EL PASO, Texas – The National Football League (NFL) Pro Bowl has come and gone while Super Bowl LI is set to be played, Sunday, Feb. 5 in Houston with many former Sun Bowl participants making a name for themselves at the highest level possible.
There were 12 former Sun Bowl partakers who saw action in the 2017 Pro Bowl, which was played in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, Jan. 30. One of the most notable names to see some action was Seattle Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman, who played for Stanford in the 2009 Sun Bowl versus Oklahoma. Sherman tallied eight tackles and one pass break up in the 31-27 loss to the Sooners.
In the second quarter of the Pro Bowl that ended with the AFC winning 20-13, the Seattle Seahawks cornerback intercepted an Andy Dalton pass that was intended for Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. It was a play that made a statement with highlights available online at ESPN.com.
“It’s always interesting during this time of year to see the players that came to El Paso and played in front of our fans make it to the highest level of play,” said Sun Bowl Executive Director Bernie Olivas. “I think fans get excited knowing that players such as Richard Sherman and DeMarco Murry, who played in the Pro Bowl and players such as running back D.J. Foster of the Patriots, who played with Arizona State just a couple years back, were here in El Paso.”
Foster played with the Sun Devils in the 2014 Sun Bowl helping his team to an exciting 36-31 win over Duke. Foster is the backup running back for New England and is averaging 3.4 yards a carry. Atlanta Falcons tight end Levine Tiololo played in the 2009 Sun Bowl for Oklahoma helping the Sooners to a victory in El Paso. He has three catches for 31 yards this postseason.
The Super Bowl is set for a 4:30 p.m. (MT) start, Sunday, Feb. 5, at NRG Stadium in Houston with TV coverage on FOX.
• David DeCastro, OL (Pittsburgh Steelers) – played in the 2009 Sun Bowl with Stanford
• DeMarco Murry, RB (Titans) – played in the 2009 Sun Bowl with Oklahoma
• Leonard Williams, DE (Jets) – played in the 2012 Sun Bowl with Georgia Tech
• Zack Martin, OL (Dallas Cowboys) – played in 2010 Sun Bowl with Notre Dame
• Trent Williams, OL (Washington Redskins) – played in 2009 Sun Bowl with Oklahoma
• Johnny Hekker, Punter (Los Angeles Rams) – played in 2008 Sun Bowl with Oregon State; won the John H. Folmer Trophy after being named the Sun Bowl Special Teams MVP
• Harrison Smith, Safety (Minnesota Vikings) – played in 2010 Sun Bowl with Notre Dame
• Anthony Barr, LB (Minnesota Vikings) – played in 2013 Sun Bowl with UCLA
• Doug Baldwin, WR (Seattle Seahawks) – played in the 2009 Sun Bowl with Stanford
• Cliff Avril, DE (Seattle Seahawks) – played in the 2004 Sun Bowl with Purdue
• Richard Sherman, CB (Seattle Seahawks) – played in the 2009 Sun Bowl with Stanford
• Gerald McCoy, DT (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – played in the 2009 Sun Bowl with Oklahoma
*this list does not include all players selected to the Pro Bowl; only those who played in the Pro Bowl
New England Patriots
• D.J Foster; RB – played in the 2014 Sun Bowl with Arizona State
• Shaquille Mason, OL – played in the 2011 Sun Bowl with Georgia Tech
• Eric Rowe, DB – played in the 2011 Sun Bowl with Utah
• Jabaal Sheard, DL – played in the 2008 Sun Bowl with Pittsburgh
• Matthew Slater, WR – played in the 2005 Sun Bowl with UCLA
• Levine Toilolo, TE – played in the 2009 Sun Bowl with Oklahoma
• Matt Bosher, P – played in the 2010 Sun Bowl with Miami
• Andy Levitre, G – Played in the 2006 and 2008 Sun Bowls with Oregon State