The last time the Giants played the Patriots in the Super Bowl, Victor Cruz was watching from a buddy's apartment at UMass after finishing up his sophomore season.
"Now, a couple years later, you're in the game," Cruz said. "It's just crazy."
Cruz is one of the most popular members of this Giants Super Bowl team. That was evident on Tuesday when he showed up at Modell's in Times Square to give a salsa lesson meet fans. The store was packed.
"It’s insane man, just to come out and see all the love and see how many people actually follow you and follow the Giants. It’s an amazing thing," he said.
The same can be said of Cruz's play this season.
The 25-year-old caught 82 balls for 1,536 yards and nine touchdowns in the regular season. He hasn't slowed much in the playoffs, hauling in ten balls for 142 yards in the Giants' win over San Francisco in the NFC Championship Game.
He's looking forward for a few days off before the showdown with New England next Sunday.
"Anytime you get a little break, get a couple days off it’s always good to rest your body," Cruz said at Modell's.
Cruz caught six balls for 91 yards against New England in the Giants' 24-20 win in the regular season.
He hopes the Giants can execute just as well in the Super Bowl against the Pats' sub-par secondary.
"It was a game where we held our own and hopefully we can [duplicate] that," Cruz said.
Cruz has come a long way this season. Early in the year, he was a bit player in the Giants' receiving corps. Now, he's one of Eli Manning's top targets.
"It’s been a roller coaster but I wouldn’t have it any other way," he said.