As one No. 24 raced toward the end zone in Green Bay Sunday, there were a couple No. 24s keeping pace in the stands at Lambeau Field.
Quinten Rollins had his first NFL interception and touchdown on the same play Sunday in the Packers’ 24-10 win over the St. Louis Rams.
“We were right on the 50 yard line, about 20 rows up from the field,” said Khandi Rollins, Quinten’s mom. “It was crazy. My uncle (Rick Belle) was going back and forth to follow the Bengals game and he said, ‘I have a feeling we’re going to get a Pick-6 today.’ I said I think you’re right.”
Shortly thereafter, Quinten was sprinting toward the end zone, ball tucked under his right arm and not a Ram in sight. Once the officials raised their arms signaling a touchdown, Quinten continued through the end zone and into the stands, capping the play with the expected Lambeau Leap.
“We were screaming and running with him,” Khandi said. “Me and my uncle were running with him, running into people in the stands. Everybody was high-fiving me. It was crazy.”
Quinten also had an interception later in the game to seal the win.
Following the game at a reception for team family members, Khandi was beaming like any mother.
“After the game, the president of the Packers (Mark Murphy) came to our table and said, ‘I know you are a proud family. Q has a bright future in front of him,’” Khandi said. “Oh, man, I was so proud.”
Several other players came to Khandi’s table and congratulated her.
“One of the linebackers came out and said ‘Q can’t even get dressed back there for all the media,’” she said.
When she met Quinten after the game, tears were rolling over her cheeks.
“When he came out, I gave him a hug and the first thing I said to him was ‘God is good; he said I know, momma,’” Khandi recalled. “Usually he comes out (after the game) smiling but (Sunday) he was glowing. He was like a kid at Christmas.
“I told him he doesn’t show his emotions so I’ll show enough for both of us.”
Khandi continued to deal with the celebrity status on the way home.
“On our way back (Sunday night), we stopped to get gas,” she said. “Fans came up to us at the gas station and asked if we were related to Quinten Rollins.”
Two ladies inside the gas station wanted their photo taken with the Rollins’ family members. Khandi met another man who said his son played with the Packers five years and he hoped Quinten could have a good career as well.
But for Quinten, the ups and downs and notoriety of being a professional athletes are all part of the process. For one of the games earlier this season, Quinten did not dress. He didn’t fret or worry that his days in Green Bay were numbered.
“He told me there’s a good chance I won’t be dressing,” Khandi said. “He was humble. He said it was part of the process. He told me, ‘I just have to wait my turn. I’m just blessed to be here. God has me here for a reason.’”
That Quinten didn’t gyrate or dance following his interception in what has become the typical post-play, look-at-me celebration was not unexpected. That’s simply not Q’s style.
“It’s just a blessing to be out on the field, be able to honor God on this Sunday afternoon and be able to put my best foot forward when I got the opportunity,” Quinten said after the game. “Hopefully get another opportunity next week. I have been itching for an opportunity. I finally got it and ran with it. I was doing my part on special teams, that’s how you get out on the field, take care of special teams first and the rest will fall in place after that.”