Feb. 1, 2013

Buckeyes in the Super Bowl

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State football program is, once again, well represented at the Super Bowl with four former players – San Francisco 49ers’ RG Alex Boone, WR Ted Ginn, LB Larry Grant and S Donte Whitner – just three days from playing in Super Bowl XLVII against the Baltimore Ravens at the Super Dome in New Orleans.

This Buckeye contingent at the Super Bowl is tied for the second-most number of players from one school (Miami, 7) at the game. The players’ appearance also marks the 15th consecutive year a former Buckeye has made the Super Bowl. Only Nebraska (20 consecutive years) has been represented consecutively in the Super Bowl longer than Ohio State.

Ohio State defensive line coach Mike Vrabel is tied with the great Jim Marshall among Buckeyes with four appearances in the Super Bowl. Vrabel leads all Buckeyes with three Super Bowl rings. A total of 29 Buckeyes have been on a Super Bowl-winning team and they have combined for a total of 35 rings.

Multiple Super Bowl Champions
3 – Mike Vrabel           New England – 2008, 2005 and 2004
2 – Pepper Johnson     New York Giants – 1991 and 1987
2 – William Roberts     New York Giants – 1991 and 1987
2 – John Frank             San Francisco 49ers – 1989 and 1985
2 – Morris Bradshaw   Oakland Raiders – 1981 and 1977

Here are some more Super Bowl notes and numbers.

  • The most Buckeyes in one Super Bowl is five, and this happened twice: in 1977 at Super Bowl XI with Len Willis and Jim Marshall representing Minnesota and Jack Tatum, Morris Bradshaw and Neal Colzie representing Oakland. In 2000, at Super Bowl XXXIV, Eddie George and Chris Sanders played for Tennessee while Orlando Pace, Lorenzo Styles and Joe Germaine represented the St. Louis Rams.
  • This year’s contingent of 49ers is tied for the third-largest Buckeye representation at the Super Bowl with the 2011 game that featured Will Allen with Pittsburgh and A.J. Hawk, Ryan  Pickett and Matt Wilhelm with Green Bay. 
  • This year marks only the second time one team has had as many as four Buckeyes on its Super Bowl roster: in 1997 William Roberts, Terry Glenn, Keith Byars and Tom Tupa all played for New England.
  • Santonio Holmes was the MVP of Super Bowl XLIII. He caught nine passes for 131 yards, including a game-winning, 6-yard touchdown catch from Ben Rothlisberger with 35 seconds to play in Pittsburgh’s 27-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals.
  • Six Buckeyes have played on two different teams that reached Super Bowls: Bob Brudzinski (played in 1980 Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams and in 1983 and 1985 with Miami); Pete Johnson (1982 with Cincinnati and 1985 with Miami); William Roberts (1987 and 1991 with the New York Giants and 1997 with New England); Mike Tomczak (1986 with Chicago and 1996 with Pittsburgh); tom Tupa (1997 with New England and 2003 with Tampa Bay); and Ryan Pickett (2002 with St. Louis and 2011 with Green Bay). 
  • There are no Buckeyes – former coaches or players – coaching in this Super Bowl, but over the years 22 former Buckeyes have coached in at least one Super Bowl.