Former Big Ten Players and Coaches Set to Compete in Super Bowl
Jan. 24, 2012
The Big Ten Conference will be well-represented on Sunday, Feb. 5, in Super Bowl XLVI at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Big Ten Football Championship Game. Twenty-two former student-athletes and eight coaches with conference connections appear on the rosters of the New England Patriots and New York Giants. The Big Ten and the SEC (23 players) are the only conferences with 20 or more players on the two Super Bowl squads, followed by the ACC (17), Pac-12 (13) and Big East (11). The Big Ten has also produced two of the last three Super Bowl Most Valuable Players in former Purdue quarterback Drew Brees (Super Bowl XLIV Champion New Orleans) and Ohio State wide receiver Santonio Holmes (Super Bowl XLIII Champion Pittsburgh).
Fourteen former Big Ten standouts from nine different schools will compete for the Giants in the Super Bowl. Illinois tackle David Diehl, Indiana tackle James Brewer, Michigan center David Baas and wide receiver Mario Manningham, Michigan State wide receiver Devin Thomas, Ohio State tight end Jake Ballard and center Jim Cordle, Penn State tackle Kareem McKenzie and Wisconsin tight end Travis Beckum will line up on offense for the Giants, while Iowa safety Tyler Sash, Michigan State linebacker Greg Jones, Nebraska defensive back Prince Amukamara and Penn State defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy check in on the defensive side of the ball. Illinois punter Steve Weatherford will lead New York’s special teams unit.
Eight of the Giants’ and Patriots’ assistant coaches have ties to Big Ten schools, including incoming Penn State head coach and current New England offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien. Patriots’ tight ends coach Brian Ferentz (played at Iowa, son of current Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz), defensive line coach Pepper Johnson (played at Ohio State) and offensive assistant Josh McDaniels (graduate assistant at Michigan State) have also spent time with Big Ten teams. Giants offensive line coach Pat Flaherty (assistant at Iowa and Penn State), secondary and cornerbacks coach Peter Giunta (assistant at Penn State), linebackers coach Jim Herrmann (played and served as an assistant at Michigan) and running backs coach Jerald Ingram (played and served as a graduate assistant at Michigan) each have Big Ten ties.
The complete list of Big Ten players and coaches set to participate in Super Bowl XLVI appears below:
New England Patriots (8)
New York Giants (14)
* Injured Reserve