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Former AAC Players in Super Bowl LVII

The Kelce Brothers and Haason Reddick headline this year’s G5 participants in the big game.

NCAA FOOTBALL: SEP 10 Stony Brook at Temple Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 57th edition of the Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles will kick off on Fox at 6:30 PM ET on Sunday, February 12. Both squads will feature a substantial amount of players who once featured for teams that UDD readers have become very familiar with over the last several years.

Some of those names will play significant roles in the game, some will dot the sideline waiting for an opportunity. Either way, we jotted down some notes of what to expect from the former AAC names in the big game.

Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia’s defense features a face that football fans in the City of Brotherly Love have become quite familiar with. Former Temple linebacker Haason Reddick, has been a steady contributor all year with 16 sacks in the regular season plus 3.5 sacks this postseason.

Former Tulane linebacker Patrick Johnson will also likely see the field for Philly as well, but his snap count could once again be in the single digits.

Philly’s backfield features a significant amount of G5 flair, including former Memphis star Kenneth Gainwell. Gainwell’s rushing load has increased significantly this postseason. The former Memphis Tiger rushed for a career-high 112 yards and a touchdown in the Eagles’ divisional win against the New York Giants.

Penn State v Memphis
Gainwell (#19) at Memphis in 2019
Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images

Former Memphis kicker Jake Elliott will also play a significant role for the Eagles. Elliott connected on 20 of 23 field goal attempts in the regular season along with 51 of 53 extra points. Elliott has yet to miss a kick this postseason.

In the trenches, the Eagles will have veteran talent led by former Cincinnati center Jason Kelce and former East Carolina defensive tackle Linval Joseph. Kelce is a five-time All-Pro selection. Joseph is a more recent contributor for the Eagles, but is a 13-year NFL veteran. Joseph recovered a fumble in Philly’s NFC Championship victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Both Kelce and Joseph competed for their respective schools before the formation of the AAC in 2013.

Rookie tight end Grant Calcaterra, a former SMU Mustang, should also see a handful of snaps as a blocking tight end and on special teams on Sunday.

Former Houston receiver Greg Ward and former Temple linebacker Shaun Bradley would also get a championship ring from a Philly victory as members of the practice squad and injured reserve, respectively.

Kansas City Chiefs

Current Chiefs and former Cincinnati tight end Travis Kelce has grown into one of the most recognizable faces in pro football. An eight-time pro bowler, Kelce will once again be a favored target of Kansas City’s offense. He’s been targeted 25 times with 21 completions and three touchdowns this postseason. Kelce played at UC from 2008 to 2012.

Pittsburgh v Cincinnati Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Also on the offensive side of the ball, AAC fans will recognize Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Valdes-Scantling played at South Florida in 2016 and 2017 after transferring from NC State. Valdes-Scantling caught 42 passes for for 687 yards and two touchdowns in the 2022 regular season, his first with Kansas City. Valdes-Scantling played his first four pro seasons with Green Bay.

Another former Bearcat will likely play about half of the defensive snaps for the Chiefs. Rookie safety Bryan Cook, who also played at Howard during his college days, will also see time on special teams. Cook was selected 62nd overall by the Chiefs in last year’s NFL Draft.

Three other former AAC players dot Kansas City’s practice squad with South Florida offensive lineman Austin Reiter, UCF tight end Jordan Franks, and UCF kicker Matthew Wright.