USC well-represented in Super Bowl

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first_imgOn Feb. 2, multiple former Trojans will showcase their talents in an attempt to take home the title of Super Bowl XLVIII champions.Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman stole the spotlight after the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers due to his passionate post-game rant. With 22 seconds left in the game, Sherman tipped the ball away from 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree, but it was former Trojan linebacker Malcolm Smith who came up with the interception in the end zone to clinch the game and the berth to the Super Bowl.Smith, the younger brother of former Trojan wideout Steve Smith, played at USC from 2007-2010, recording 96 tackles and one interception in his career. The Northridge, Calif. native also played on special teams during his first two years as a Trojan. Smith was drafted by the Seahawks in the seventh round of the 2011 NFL draft, going 242nd overall. This season with the Seahawks, Smith has 34 tackles and two interceptions.Smith is joined on the Seahawks by former Trojan linebacker Mike Morgan. From 2006-2010, Morgan recorded 83 tackles. Originally from Dallas, Tex., Morgan also played on special teams at USC. Morgan went undrafted in the 2011 NFL draft, but was later signed by the Seahawks, who might have been impressed by his 4.64 40-yard-dash time. This season, Morgan contributed six total tackles for Seattle.Seahawks tight end Anthony McCoy will also represent USC at the Super Bowl, but hasn’t played this season after being placed on injured reserve. From 2006-2009, McCoy caught 24 passes for 274 yards for the Trojans. In the 2010 NFL draft, Seattle took McCoy in the sixth round, 185th overall.For the Broncos, offensive tackle Winston Justice will carry on the Trojan legacy. The eight-year NFL veteran played at USC from 2002-2005. He was drafted 39th overall, in the second round of the 2006 NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. Justice has fought injuries all season, but is listed as probable for the Super Bowl.Both the Broncos’ and the Seahawks’ coaching staffs also feature former Trojan greats.Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll is known as one of the greatest USC coaches in school history. From 2000-2009, Carroll posted a .835 winning percentage as head coach. Carroll led the Trojans to two national championships, produced three Heisman Trophy winners and boasted a national-record 33 consecutive weeks as the Associated Press’ top-ranked team. ESPN ranked the Trojans of 2000-2009 the best college football team of the decade. Carroll coached in the NFL prior to his tenure with the Trojans. The University of the Pacific graduate coached the New York Jets in 1994 for one unsuccessful season before leading the New England Patriots to the playoffs in 1997 and 1998. Carroll’s Patriots teams never made it past the Divisional Round of the playoffs. With the Seahawks, Carroll has gone 38-26 and reached the playoffs three times.The Denver Broncos’ defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio was a Trojan linebacker from 1981-1984 while also playing for USC’s baseball team. Del Rio was voted the co-MVP of the 1985 Rose Bowl, and was drafted 68th overall in the third round of the 1985 NFL Draft. The Castro Valley, Calif. native served as the interim head coach of the Broncos for four games earlier this season, when head coach John Fox was recovering from heart surgery. He also served as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2003-2011, taking what was at the time one of the worst-performing franchises in the NFL to the playoffs twice.Smith, Morgan, McCoy and Justice will add to the 104 previous Trojans who have appeared in Super Bowls. After this game, USC will have been represented in all but five of the 48 Super Bowls.last_img

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