PHOENIX — Jonas Gray was a sophomore in high school when Detroit hosted the Super Bowl nine years ago.

Gray’s mother, Jerri, was a police officer at the time, and one day she came home with a signed picture of two of the game’s biggest stars, Jerome Bettis and Hines Ward.

“I remember watching those games being excited,” Gray said. “Just thinking I could be a part of something like that now is really crazy. I’m so blessed and I think all these guys have put in so much work and just blessed to be a part of this organization.”

Gray, a Birmingham Detroit Country Day star, is one of this year’s most unlikely Super Bowl participants.

He went undrafted out of Notre Dame in 2012 and spent 2½ years bouncing between teams before the New England Patriots finally promoted him in October from the practice squad.

Gray got his first NFL carry in an Oct. 16 win over the New York Jets, exploded for 201 yards on 37 carries a month later in a victory over the Indianapolis Colts, then overslept for a meeting and was benched a week later against his hometown Detroit Lions.

Since that late-November misstep, Gray has been in and out of the Patriots’ lineup and Coach Bill Belichick’s doghouse.

He had 11 carries for 62 yards in a December win over the Miami Dolphins, but has consistently been behind LeGarrette Blount in the running-back rotation and has just four carries this postseason.

At Super Bowl media day today, Gray didn’t want to rehash his meeting mishap, but he said he’s learned valuable lessons about being a pro this year (and not just to keep his cellphone plugged in so his battery/alarm clock stays charged).

“I didn’t really look at it as it was going to be my show if I’d have been able to play (against the Lions),” Gray said. “Honestly, I was just happy we got the win. I was kind of upset I didn’t get a chance to contribute, but I moved past it. That was so long ago.”

Gray, who watched Blount carve up the Colts defense for 148 yards on 30 carries in the AFC championship game two weeks ago, said no matter what his role is Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks, this already-special season will get even better for him if Patriots win the Super Bowl.

“I appreciate (being here) a whole lot,” he said. “You look at the guys, the veterans around the team, guys who’ve been here for a long time that haven’t been to a Super Bowl, guys that been here for a long time, lost in the Super Bowl. You know you don’t get many chances like this so it’s’ been gratifying and I know that when you continue to put that work in, eventually you’re going to have an opportunity to do something really special like this.”