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Former FCS Players in Super Bowl LVIII

14 players will represent the nation’s small schools in this year’s big game.

NFC Championship - Detroit Lions v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Football is almost officially over for the year with the Super Bowl coming down the pipe this weekend. As always seems to be the case, the game will feature a pairing of teams with an abundance of talent representing every collegiate level from the top all the way down. This year, the 49ers and Chiefs are well-stocked with guys who once called the FCS home.

Here’s the 14 names that hail from the subdivision this Sunday in Las Vegas.

San Francisco 49ers

Javon Hargrave - DL (South Carolina State)

Making his second consecutive appearance in the big game will be San Francisco defensive lineman Javon Hargrave. The former SC State Bulldog is hoping to come away with a ring this year after falling just short with the Eagles last season. Hargrave signed a four-year contract with the 49ers last offseason and had an impactful first year in the bay. He registered 48 tackles and seven sacks in 2023.

Kyle Juszczyk - FB (Harvard)

Kyle Juszczyk has been a mainstay with the team for a while and has been a big part in San Francisco’s run this year, hauling in 20 passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns. He also runs behind superstar running back Christian McCaffery. Juszczyk, who played his college ball at Harvard, has been a member of the 49ers for seven years now and will be playing in his second Super Bowl.

George Odum - S (Central Arkansas)

New York Giants v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

Former UCA Bear safety George Odum is wrapping up his second season on the 49ers defense. This year, Odum saw minimal playing time due to an injury, getting in on 12 tackles. He spent much of the latter portion of the year on IR but has recently been activated to the main roster. He has not played yet during the postseason. Before coming to SF, Odum spent several years in Indianapolis.

Ross Dwelley - TE (San Diego)

Tight end Ross Dwelley has been in the NFL for six years, spending all of them in San Francisco. He signed on with the team as an undrafted free agent in 2018 but hasn’t seen the field all that much. He did appear in 12 games this year but only has one catch for 12 yards. Dwelley is currently listed on injured reserve.

Nick Zakelj - OL (Fordham)

Selected in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, former Fordham lineman Nick Zakelj has been with the 49ers for two seasons. In November he was placed on IR with a torn bicep.

Jesse Davis - OL (Idaho)

Former Vandals lineman Jesse Davis has a spot on the 49ers practice squad. He came into the NFL in 2015 originally to Seattle but has jumped around to New York and eventually Miami where he saw the most playing time of his career from 2016 to 2021. Davis also had stints in Minnesota and Pittsburg before landing in SF.

Spencer Waege - DL (North Dakota State)

Rookie Spencer Waege was signed to the 49ers practice squad as an undrafted free agent last spring. Waege spent all six years of his college career at North Dakota State where he won four national championships.

Kansas City Chiefs

B.J. Thompson - DE (Stephen F. Austin)

SFA defensive end B.J. Thompson was one of only ten FCS players to be selected in last year’s NFL Draft, being taken fifth overall by the Chiefs. Thompson only appeared in one game as a rookie, getting in on two tackles in the team’s regular season finale victory against the Chargers.

Justin Watson - WR (Penn)

Justin Watson was a standout receiver at Penn from 2014 to 2017 before being selected by Tampa Bay in the 2018 NFL Draft. Watson spent four seasons with the Bucs before coming over to Kansas City in 2022. This season he’s hauled in 32 passes for 496 yards and three touchdowns. Watson has already won two Super Bowls during his NFL career (LV and LVII) and will be going for his third this weekend.

Jack Cochrane - LB (South Dakota)

Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Ric Tapia/Getty Images

Once a force on the Coyotes defense, linebacker Jack Cochrane has been a member of KC’s defense since May of 2022. He appeared in all 17 of the squad’s regular season games this year and made 28 total tackles while also batting away a pass. Cochrane has not registered a stop in the playoffs yet but is currently on the Chiefs active roster.

Jerrick McKinnon - RB (Georgia Southern)

Jerrick McKinnon has been in the league so long that his Georgia Southern team was a member of the FCS when he was still in school. The Eagles have since left for the FBS ranks but we’ll still count hi, here. Unfortunately for McKinnon, he was placed on injured reserve just before the end of the regular season. His production was down from normal this season as he logged just one touchdown on 21 carries. McKinnon won Super Bowl LVII with Kansas City last year.

Truman Jones - DE (Harvard)

Former Harvard defensive end Truman Jones signed on with the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent this year but did not see the field. He is on the team’s practice squad.

Chris Oladokun - QB (South Dakota State)

Former Jackrabbits quarterback Chris Oladokun has found a home with Kansas City after being selected in the seventh round of the 2021 NFL draft by Pittsburg. Oladokun is currently on the Chiefs’ practice squad.

Montrell Washington - WR (Samford)

Montrell Washington, formerly a big name at Samford, joined the Chiefs in 2023 after spending the prior year in Denver. Washington got in on one kick return for Kansas City this season, taking it back 20 yards. He is also currently on the team’s practice squad.