Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes II played three seasons at Texas Tech under head coach Kliff Kingsbury, now with the Arizona Cardinals.
Mahomes led the country in passing yards in 2016 with 5,052, 14 years after Kingsbury also finished first in passing yards at Texas Tech.
The two will face each other for the first time in the NFL Friday night as the Chiefs visit the Cardinals in Week 2 of the preseason.
Kingsbury mentioned in a press conference this week that he still talks to Mahomes "quite a bit."
"We text quite often about football, about different teams when we play a common opponent, about different plays that I'll see or he'll see that we run," Kingsbury said this week.
Together, they went 12-13 over Mahomes' two full seasons as a starter, but finished with a top-five scoring offense in both years.
Since then, Mahomes' career has been defined by winning. He won the MVP in 2018, a Super Bowl the following year and the AFC championship last season.
"He's a great quarterback, obviously," Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray said this week. "We're trying to get to where he is. He's won Super Bowls, he's won MVP's. I think as a kid, you grow up you strive to be the best . . . that's what we're chasing."
Kingsbury talked about the different challenges Mahomes and Murray faced when they entered the league. Mahomes took over a playoff team that traded up to take him, while Murray and Kingsbury joined the Cardinals after a 3-13 season.
"(Kansas City is) a great model to follow with the success they've had," Kingsbury said.
"The situation is completely different for Kyler. He came to the last-place team. (The Chiefs) were a team that I think had the 27th pick and traded up, so it was a playoff team that (Mahomes) was able to go into, learn for a year and then take over. He's been unbelievable ever since. But this deal was for (Murray) to start at the bottom. He's had to work these last two years to try and get better and better and hopefully this is the best we've been."
Mahomes will play Friday night as Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said he will use his starters in the first half.
Kickoff is at 5 PM in the Valley. The game will be aired on ESPN and locally on Fox 10.