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A Look At What Colleges Are Well Represented in Super Bowl XLVII

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Colleges Represented at Super Bowl XLVII

Colleges Represented at Super Bowl XLVII
Derick Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Super Bowl XLVII is a battle between a young team like the San Francisco 49ers, and a veteran squad in the Baltimore Ravens, but every player we will see on Super Sunday got into the NFL and on this path through what they were able to showcase as collegians. Clearly the Niners and Ravens fan-bases are on fire and ecstatic these days, but there are a few colleges that are well represented in this Super Bowl and those fan-bases should be proud/excited too. This slideshow article will take a look at a few schools that have several ex-players suiting up for the Super Bowl.

I feel it is worth noting a special shout-out to the Stanford Cardinal fans as they have several former coaches doing important jobs in Super Bowl XLVII. Jim Harbaugh is the most notable, and the job he has done in general at the NFL level has been remarkable, but that is hardily the only brain contributing to this game that once worked for Stanford.

Greg Roman is the 49ers offensive coordinator and he came to San Fran with Harbaugh in 2011, plus we will see Vic Fangio running the 49ers defense with some help from assistant Peter Hansen and they also came from the Cardinal coaching staff (Fangio also spent time with the Ravens organization).

As far as Baltimore's connection to Stanford, in 2009, John Harbaugh hired Matt Weiss (defensive assistant) who had held several different coaching positions over a three year span with the Cardinal.

There are several schools that will have more than one former player in action on Super Bowl Sunday, but there are a few who stand out to me. Click NEXT in the top right of this article and let's have a look...

@craigballard77

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Texas Longhorns

Texas Longhorns
Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE

The last time the Texas Longhorns finished a season in the Top 25 was back on 2009, but on Super Bowl Sunday they will have four former players who will have a chance to make big plays.

Veteran Leonard Davis is a guy who provides depth at the offensive guard positions, but his days as a starter who logs a lot of action are behind him.

Ravens cornerback Chykie Brown not only has a great name, but the former Longhorn is getting more action lately than ever before as a pro. Brown has played in 26 NFL games, but just three as a starter and interestingly two of those have been the last two games. In these playoffs Brown has seen more playing time than ever before and he will likely start at left cornerback in Super Bowl XLVII.

One former Longhorn who is sure to start at cornerback in the big game is 49er Tarell Brown. This is the second year now where Brown has earned starters playing-time, and he has developed into a top cornerback who in particular has become a fantastic cover-corner.

Justin Tucker went undrafted, but he had a massive rookie season for the Ravens as he is 32 for 35 on field goals (including the playoffs). Tucker is cash money from under 40 yards, and he is also four for four on kicks longer than 50+. Amazing to think that this undrafted young man (who may be a stud kicker for years to come at this level) may well play a major role in Super Bowl XLVII.

@craigballard77 ... craigballard77@myself.com

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Utah Utes

Utah Utes
Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

Fans of the Utah Utes will have a lot to cheer about on Super Bowl Sunday as they will have a few key players representing them. One guy is David Reed who is likely No.5 on the Ravens wide receiver depth chart and is unlikely going to see action on offense, but he is a special teams contributor.

Ma'ake Kemoeatu is very interesting, and he will need to play well in this game as the starting nose tackle for the Ravens. This veteran is in his second stint with the Ravens, and he was out of football in 2011 as he needed to drop a ton of weight to get back to being effective. 80 lost pounds later and he has rejuvenated his career, big-time. The Ravens have a wonderful linebacker group and Kemoeatu has the task of occupying would-be blockers in order to allow the linebackers to make plays (article on Ravens linebackers is RIGHT HERE).

Linebacker Paul Kruger has developed into the Ravens best pass-rusher (fourth year player led the Ravens this season with 9.0 sacks) and he has played well enough to become a starter for their defense. Kruger went to Utah as a quarterback, but the big fella has become a very legit outside linebacker for Baltimore.

49ers fans are hoping that Alex Smith will not play as they are surely hoping that Colin Kaepernick can do his thing and lead the way for them. At Utah we saw Smith have a wonderful college career as he rushed for 15 touchdowns, threw for 47 touchdowns and had just eight interceptions. All of that helped the Utes go 21-1 when Smith was running Urban Meyer's spread offense. I feel that Smith is legit and would be just fine if he was forced into action in the big game. Jim Harbaugh felt that Kaepernick was more dynamic than Smith so the change was made, but Smith has shown he can come up big for Harbaugh and the 49ers.

@craigballard77 ... craigballard77@myself.com

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THE Ohio State

THE Ohio State
Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

THE Ohio State will be well represented on Super Bowl Sunday as they have starters and depth guys playing in the big game, interestingly all of them will suit up as 49ers. Larry Grant is unlikely to see much action, but he provides depth for the 49ers linebackers crew.

Ted Ginn Jr. was a star for the Buckeyes, and on the NFL level he has shown that he is a legit special teams contributor, but he has not been good as a wide receiver. Ginn will see some playing time at the wide receiver position, but his major function is as a punt returner.

Alex Boone has developed into an excellent right guard for the Niners, and he is now a steady starter for them. Boone allowed just four sacks this season, and his run blocking has become excellent. The 6'7" 335 big fella has really raised his game and has proven he is a legit starting lineman in this league, and he is a guy who will need to play well vs a veteran/dangerous Ravens defense.

49ers strong safety Donte Whitner has played in over 100+ games as a pro, and the former Buckeye will start on Super Bowl Sunday. Whitner will have much expected from him as he will be needed to help slow down the suddenly hot Ravens offense.

@craigballard77 ... craigballard77@myself.com

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Oregon Ducks

Oregon Ducks
Jim Rider-US PRESSWIRE

The Oregon Ducks have a few depth guys, and a few important starters in action on Super Bowl Sunday. One of the depth guys is Will Tukuafu who entered the NFL undrafted in 2010, and he is a guy who provides depth as a defensive end, and as a fullback. This guy is an interesting and dynamic player who we should see get some action in the big game.

LaMichael James is a major X-factor in this game as the former Duck is getting in on the rushing action lately, plus he has taken over the kickoff return duties, too. In December, James had at least one kickoff return of 30+ yards in every game he played, but in the playoffs his longest return so far has been 25 yards. In his last three games (including playoffs), James is averaging 7.0 yards per carry so this young man will have his hands on the football with a chance to make plays a few times on Super Bowl Sunday.

Ravens tight end Ed Dickson will see some action as he usually starts for Baltimore, but in their passing game we will see Joe Flacco look for Dennis Pitta when he throws to that position. Dickson will be the tight end that the Ravens run behind, or use to help the lineman pass-block more than Pitta. Dickson will get a lot of snaps, but he is a guy that does the dirty work more than he is a guy that will make big plays.

Haloti Ngata is one of the most important players on the Ravens team as A) he is awesome, and B) he does big boy work on that Ravens defensive line and is so effective that not only does he make plays, but he takes up a lot of attention from opposing offensive lines, which allows his teammates to roam free and make plays. This ex-Duck is a major piece of the puzzle for the Ravens defense.

@craigballard77 ... craigballard77@myself.com

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The U

The U
Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE

The University of Miami last finished a season as a ranked team back in 2009, but they will have some ex-Hurricanes to cheer for on Super Bowl Sunday. There are major players in this game from The U, and a special teams contributor too.

Tavares Gooden is a linebacker, but his contributions to the 49ers are on special teams. In his NFL career he has a dozen starts, and ironically all of them came as a member of the Ravens where he started alongside Ray Lewis in 2009.

We know this will be the final game for Lewis, and the linebacker has authored a Hall of Fame career that was really something to see. He has returned to health in these playoffs and has led the Ravens in tackles in all three of their playoff wins. He has a career in broadcasting so we have not at all seen the last of Lewis, but no doubt he will have numerous Hurricanes fans rooting big-time for him on Super Bowl Sunday.

Ed Reed looks like he will return for a 12th season, and he too has authored a Hall of Fame career. The safety was recently inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame, as was his Ravens teammate Bryant McKinnie (Lewis was inducted back in 2006). Reed is still a starter, while McKinnie comes off the bench (although McKinnie has been getting starters playing time and seeing a ton of action lately).

Frank Gore has been a stud for the 49ers ground game since they drafted him out of Miami back in 2005. It is a certainty that Gore will be featured in Super Bowl XLVII as the 49ers are 19-1-1 in the Harbaugh era in games where Gore has at least 75 yards from scrimmage. In his last three games, Gore has romped for four touchdowns, including three in two playoff games.

Thank you for checking out my work! That is much appreciated...pass it on... For all of my articles as the 2013 NFL Playoffs Insider for Rant Sports CLICK HERE