Former SEC players to watch for in Super Bowl XLVIII

Super Bowl XLVIII will take place in East Rutherford, NJ this Sunday, and a number of former SEC stars will be front and center.

On any given Sunday in the NFL, it’s not uncommon to see multiple SEC alumni making big play after big play, and the Super Bowl will be no different.

A total of 31 former SEC players grace the rosters of the Broncos and Seahawks. That’s more than any other conference, and when given the sheer amount of SEC players drafted into the league, it isn’t surprising.

The most prominent of these, of course, is Broncos quarterback and Tennessee alum Peyton Manning. The four-time NFL MVP is truly the star of stars in this year’s big game, and he’ll be going for his second Super Bowl title.

In addition to the most well known player, the Volunteers also have the most players of any SEC school with five. They’re followed by Florida and Texas A&M, who each have four. Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State and South Carolina each have three. Alabama has two, while Arkansas has one player on a Super Bowl roster.

As far as impact on the game, Manning will obviously have a huge one, but he isn’t the only former SEC player expected to play a major role.

Former Florida star Percy Harvin is one of the Seahawks’ top receiving threats, and his skills as a playmaker could give the Denver secondary fits. On the Denver side, former Gators Andre Caldwell and Jeremy Mincey should both contribute, as they have all season for coach John Fox’s club.

Former Mississippi State linebacker KJ Wright and former Georgia defensive end Chris Clemons have made huge contributions to Seattle’s top-ranked defense this season, and they’ll be heavily relied on Sunday to slow down Manning and company.

Then there’s Georgia alumnus and Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey, who’s been one of the top cover men to play in the NFL over the last 15 years. He’ll be gunning for his very first NFL championship ring.

Bailey’s teammate and fellow Dawg Knowshon Moreno, meanwhile, has enjoyed a fantastic season as Denver’s starting running back. The Broncos will rely on Moreno to eat clock on the ground, while also serving as a receiving threat out of the backfield.

The diminutive Trindon Holliday electrified LSU fans for years with his skills as a kick return specialist, and he’ll attempt to do the same on Sunday night for Denver.

The Kentucky trio of tight end Jacob Tamme, linebackers Danny Trevathan and linebacker Wesley Woodyard are all expected to contribute for the Broncos, while former Aggie defensive lineman Red Bryant should get playing time for Seattle.

Sunday’s frigid East Coast weather isn’t exactly ideal for these former Southeastern Conference stars, but their prominent roles on their respective squads will have them in the spotlight for much of the game.

The Super Bowl is one of the most-watched sporting events in the world. As such, it will provide tremendous exposure to the SEC and its athletes, while making fans of their respective schools proud.