Ex-MU players make Super Bowl
HUNTINGTON -- Super Bowl XLVII is being dubbed as the Harbaugh Bowl, but it could also be renamed as the Sup-Herd Bowl.
Between the two teams, Marshall University has six individuals involved -- four former players and two graduates who are Baltimore Ravens cheerleaders.
Each of the teams features two former Marshall players.
The San Francisco 49ers, who won the NFC Championship with a 28-24 come-from-behind win over Atlanta, feature former Marshall record-breaking wide receiver Randy Moss and former Herd safety C.J. Spillman.
The Baltimore Ravens, who earned the AFC title with a 28-13 win over New England in Foxboro, Mass., feature former Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year Albert McClellan and former Marshall safety Omar Brown, who is in his rookie season.
After a one-year retirement, Moss signed with San Francisco in the preseason and has 28 catches for 434 yards and three touchdowns in his 14th NFL season.
Spillman, who signed with San Francisco in 2010, has become one of the most heralded special teams players in the NFL, earning a nod as a Pro Bowl alternate in 2012 and has 11 tackles on the season as a gunner for the punt coverage team. He also recovered a muffed punt in the 49ers' win over Green Bay in the NFC Divisional playoffs.
The former Marshall free safety was signed as an undrafted rookie by the San Diego Chargers in 2009, but signed with the 49ers midway through the 2010 season.
For Baltimore, McClellan is in his second season out of Marshall and has 49 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble in the 2012 year. He has started 11 games this season for Baltimore, seeing action as both an inside linebacker and an outside linebacker.
Former Marshall free safety Omar Brown is in his rookie season with the Ravens after being signed as an undrafted free agent out of Marshall.
Brown, who spent much of the season on the practice squad, was called to the active roster late in the season. He has three tackles, including his first career sack, which came against Eli Manning in the Ravens' 33-14 win over the New York Giants on Dec. 23.
Baltimore also has two cheerleaders who are Marshall graduates. Jo T. is a former captain of the Marshall dance team from Damascus, Md., while Whitney J. grew up in Ravenswood, W.Va. The NFL team doesn't release last names of cheerleaders for privacy reasons, but both women are identified as Marshall graduates on its website, www.baltimoreravens.com.