PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Freshman Congressman Seth Magaziner has looked to the NFL for his first State of the Union guest.

The first-term Democrat has invited Kwity Paye — a star defensive end for the Indianapolis Colts who was a gridiron standout at Bishop Hendricken — as his guest for President Biden’s address on Tuesday.

“In so many ways, Kwity Paye’s journey from a refugee camp in Guinea, to Section 8 housing in Rhode Island, and now to the highest echelons of the NFL is emblematic of the American Dream that I’m fighting for in Washington,” Magaziner said in a statement. “Kwity Paye represents the best of our state – and our country.”

Paye thanked Magaziner for the invitation, saying, “This is a special opportunity for me, so I’m looking forward to building new relationships, learning, and making a positive impact for anyone I can. I’m grateful for my Rhode Island upbringing and Liberian heritage.”

Paye, 24, was a first-round draft pick coming out of the University of Michigan and is a defensive starter for the Colts, though he dealt with injuries during the 2022 season.

It’s not the first time Paye has been the local guest for a big speech. In 2017, during his senior year at Hendricken, Paye was one of then-Gov. Gina Raimondo’s guests at her State of the State address.

Other local lawmakers in recent days have also been announcing their guests for the State of the Union, which will begin Tuesday at 9 p.m. (WPRI 12 will broadcast the speech live on air and online.)

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed is bringing Lucy Rios, executive director of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence, in part because of Biden’s role in passing the Violence Against Women Act.

U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has invited Woonsocket veteran Vance Scullin, who served in Iraq during the Gulf War and is newly eligible for service-related benefits due to last year’s PACT Act.

Congressman David Cicilline is bringing Andrew Cortés, founder and executive director of Building Futures, the pre-apprenticeship program in Providence launched when Cicilline was mayor. (Cortés was also Reed’s “virtual guest” for last year’s speech.)

In Massachusetts, Congressman Jake Auchincloss is bringing Dr. Xiaoyan Qin, an independent pharmacist from his hometown of Newton. Auchincliss is working on bipartisan legislation that would target pharmacy-benefit managers like CVS Health.

Ted Nesi ( is a Target 12 investigative reporter and 12 News politics/business editor. He co-hosts Newsmakers and writes Nesi’s Notes on Saturdays. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook