Twelve Orange Bowl Veterans to Meet in Super Bowl 50
Twelve players whose collegiate teams participated in games hosted by the Orange Bowl will meet in the San Francisco Bay Area for Super Bowl 50 between the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos on February 7, 2016.
The NFC Champion Carolina Panthers have five Orange Bowl veterans on the active roster hoping to bring the Vince Lombardi Trophy to Charlotte for the first time in history. Each of the five players are a part of a Carolina offensive unit that ranks No. 1 in total offense (385.5 yards per game). The list includes: Corey “Philly” Brown – Ohio State (2014), Graham Gano – Florida State (2006), Ryan Kalil – USC* (2005), Andrew Norwell – Ohio State (2014), and Kevin Norwood – Alabama (2012 BCS National Championship).
The AFC Champion Denver Broncos have seven former Orange Bowl participants on the active roster that have propelled the team to its eighth Super Bowl appearance (tied for most all-time). The list includes three offensive players and four defensive players, including: Chris Harris Jr. – Kansas (2008), Peyton Manning – Tennessee (1998), Jordan Norwood – Penn State (2006), Bradley Roby – Ohio State (2014), Aqib Talib – Kansas (2008), Demaryius Thomas – Georgia Tech (2010), and Derek Wolfe – Cincinnati (2009).
Several of the collective twelve Orange Bowl veterans now vying for a Super Bowl win made a lasting mark on Orange Bowl history. In the 2008 Orange Bowl, current Denver teammates Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr. powered Kansas to a 24-21 victory over Virginia Tech. Talib returned an interception for a touchdown, one of only nine players to complete the feat in an Orange Bowl game. For his efforts, he was named the 2008 Orange Bowl Most Outstanding Player – the last defensive back to be awarded the honor. Offensively, Carolina’s Corey “Philly” Brown and Denver’s Jordan Norwood remain in the Orange Bowl record book as two of only 29 receivers with more than 100 receiving yards in an Orange Bowl game – Brown (8 rec, 116 yards vs. Clemson in 2014) and Norwood (6 rec, 110 yards vs. Florida State in 2006).
Orange Bowl veterans have earned Super Bowl Most Valuable Player honors 11 times, including Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning in Super Bowl XLI. Manning could become only the second Orange Bowl veteran to win multiple Super Bowl MVPs, joining Tom Brady (Michigan 2000) who was named MVP of Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII and XLIX. Additionally, in the 18-year career of Manning, no Orange Bowl veteran has won more NFL MVP awards (5).
The twelve Orange Bowl alums playing in Super Bowl 50 represent six different current conferences– American Athletic Conference (1), Atlantic Coast Conference (2), Big Ten Conference (4), Big 12 Conference (2), Pac-12 Conference (1), and Southeastern Conference (2).
* USC’s participation in the 2005 Orange Bowl was later vacated by the NCAA.
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