MIAMI LAKES (CBSMiami) – The Orange Bowl has been played annually since 1935, serving as a prestigious proving ground for the brightest stars in College Football.
Many of those stars move on to prosperous NFL careers, going from the Orange Bowl to the Super Bowl.
This season, thirteen Orange Bowl alumni on the Patriots and Eagles will meet at Super Bowl LII in Minnesota.
From the Orange Bowl Committee:
13 players whose collegiate teams participated in games hosted by the Orange Bowl will meet in Minneapolis for Super Bowl LII between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018.
The 13 Orange Bowl alums playing in Super Bowl LII represent six different current collegiate conferences – American East Conference (1), Atlantic Coast Conference (4), Big Ten Conference (2), Pac 12 Conference (3), Big 12 Conference (1) and the Southeastern Conference (2).
The AFC Champion New England Patriots have six former Orange Bowl participants on their roster, including Tom Brady who competed in the Orange Bowl in 2000. In that game, Brady threw for a then Orange Bowl record 369 yards as Michigan defeated Alabama 35-34 in the first overtime game in the Classic’s history.
Joining Brady are Johnson Bademosi and Cameron Fleming who played in the 2011 Orange Bowl when Stanford defeated Virginia Tech; Shaq Mason, who helped anchor the Georgia Tech offensive line in the 2014 Orange Bowl; James Ferentz who played offensive line for the 2010 Orange Bowl Champion Iowa Hawkeyes and Cyrus Jones who was part of Alabama’s 2013 BCS National Championship victory hosted by the Orange Bowl.
The NFC Champion Philadelphia Eagles have seven Orange Bowl alumni on their roster hungry to bring the City of Brotherly Love its first Super Bowl title. The list includes: Ronald Darby – Florida State (2013 Orange Bowl), Tim Jernigan – Florida State (2013 Orange Bowl), Zach Ertz – Stanford (2011 Orange Bowl), Najee Goode – West Virginia (2012 Orange Bowl), Jason Kelce – Cincinnati (2009 Orange Bowl), Chance Warmack – Alabama (2013 BCS National Championship hosted by the Orange Bowl) and Caleb Sturgis – Florida (2009 BCS National Championship hosted by the Orange Bowl).
Ertz, Kelce and Warmack have all played crucial roles for an Eagles’ offense that ranked seventh in the NFL in yards per game (365.8). Kelce, who played center in the 2009 Orange Bowl as a member of the Cincinnati Bearcats, and Warmack, who played with Alabama in the 2013 BCS National Championship hosted by the Orange Bowl) anchor the Eagles’ offensive line that ranked third in the NFL in rushing (132.2 yards per game). Ertz ranked third in the NFL among tight ends with 74 receptions for over 800 yards and eight touchdowns.
Darby, Jernigan and Goode played key roles for the Eagles’ defense that ranked first overall in the NFL in rushing yards per game allowed (79.2) and fourth overall in the NFL in yards per game allowed (306.5).
Several of the collective 13 Orange Bowl veterans now vying for a Super Bowl win made a lasting mark on Orange Bowl history. In the 2011 Orange Bowl, Ertz helped power a Stanford Cardinal team to a 40-12 victory over Virginia Tech with a second quarter touchdown from Orange Bowl MVP Andrew Luck to help the Cardinal defeat the Hokies.
For More information on the Orange Bowl game and committee, click here.