Rosemont, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference will be well-represented on Sunday, Feb. 2, in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Thirteen former student-athletes and nine coaches with conference connections appear on the rosters of the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks.
Eleven Big Ten schools will be represented among the players and coaches in the Super Bowl, including draft picks and undrafted free agents who entered the National Football League (NFL) between 2004 and 2013. Wisconsin is tied for second among all schools with four players on the rosters, followed by Michigan State, Penn State and Purdue with two each. Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern will each have one former player competing for the title. On the sidelines, Michigan State has four coaches with affiliation to the Spartan program, while Ohio State has two coaches with Buckeye ties and Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin each have one with a connection to the school.
The Broncos boast six former Big Ten players on their roster, each from different schools. Minnesota wide receiver Eric Decker, Northwestern cornerback Marquice Cole, Purdue defensive end Shaun Phillips and Wisconsin running back Montee Ball highlight the active roster, while Michigan State defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson and Nebraska linebacker Stewart Bradley are on the injured reserve.
Seven former Big Ten standouts from four different schools are members of the Seahawks active roster. Michigan State tight end Kellen Davis, Penn State fullback Michael Robinson and Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson will line up on offense for Seattle, while Penn State defensive tackle Jordan Hill, Purdue defensive end Cliff Avril, and Wisconsin free safety Chris Maragos and linebacker O’Brien Schofield check in on the defensive side of the ball.
Seattle’s head coach and eight of the Broncos’ and Seahawks’ assistant coaches have ties to Big Ten schools. Seahawks’ head coach Pete Carroll (secondary coach at Ohio State), offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell (played at Wisconsin), assistant offensive line coach Pat Ruel (assistant at Michigan State), running backs coach Sherman Smith (assistant at Illinois), defensive quality control coach Robert Saleh (assistant at Michigan State) and assistant strength and conditioning coach Mondray Gee (graduate assistant at Michigan State) each have Big Ten ties. Broncos’ offensive coordinator Adam Gase (attended Michigan State), offensive line coach Dave Magazu (graduate assistant at Michigan) and defensive line coach Jay Rodgers (played at Indiana and recruiting intern at Ohio State) have also spent time with current Big Ten institutions.
The complete list of Big Ten players and coaches set to participate in Super Bowl XLVIII appears below:
2014 Super Bowl Participants from Big Ten Schools
Denver Broncos (6)
Name, Position, School (Joined NFL)
Kevin Vickerson*, DT, Michigan State (2005 NFL Draft – seventh round)
Eric Decker, WR, Minnesota (2010 NFL Draft – third round)
Stewart Bradley*, LB, Nebraska (2007 NFL Draft – third round)
Marquice Cole, CB, Northwestern (2007 undrafted free agent)
Shaun Phillips, DE, Purdue (2004 NFL Draft – fourth round)
Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin (2013 NFL Draft – second round)
Adam Gase, Offensive Coordinator (Attended Michigan State from 1996-99)
Dave Magazu, Offensive line coach (Graduate assistant at Michigan in 1983)
Jay Rodgers, Defensive line coach (Played at Indiana from 1996-98 and was a recruiting intern with Ohio State in 2000)
Seattle Seahawks (7)
Name, Position, School (Joined NFL)
Kellen Davis, TE, Michigan State (2008 NFL Draft – fifth round)
Jordan Hill, DT, Penn State (2013 NFL Draft – third round)
Michael Robinson, FB, Penn State (2006 NFL Draft – fourth round)
Cliff Avril, DE, Purdue (2008 NFL Draft – third round)
Chris Maragos, FS, Wisconsin (2010 undrafted free agent)
O’Brien Schofield, LB, Wisconsin (2010 NFL Draft – fourth round)
Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin (2012 NFL Draft – third round)
Pete Carroll, Head coach (Secondary coach at Ohio State in 1979)
Darrell Bevell, Offensive Coordinator (Played quarterback at Wisconsin from 1992-95)
Pat Ruel, Assistant Offensive line coach (Offensive line and assistant coach at Michigan State from 1998-99)
Sherman Smith, Running backs coach (Assistant coach at Illinois from 1992-94)
Robert Saleh, Defensive quality control coach (Assistant coach at Michigan State from 2002-03)
Mondray Gee, Assistant strength & conditioning coach (Went to Michigan State for undergrad and graduate degrees from 1996-01)
* Injured Reserve