DALLAS -- The Southeastern Conference has the most players participating in Super Bowl XLV with 18. Guess who is second on the list?
The Mid-American Conference will be represented in the game with 15 former players. The Big Ten also has 15.
The Green Bay Packers have nine for MAC stars, including wide receiver Greg Jennings (Western Michigan), running back James Starks (University at Buffalo) and defensive end Cullen Jenkins (Central Michigan). Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (Miami, Ohio) and linebacker James Harrison (Kent State) are among six MAC products on the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Pittsburgh has three MAC quarterbacks with Byron Leftwich (Marshall) and Charlie Batch (Eastern Michigan) joining Roethlisberger. Marshall is no longer in the MAC.
"That’s just an awesome thing for this conference," said Roethlisberger. "I’m proud to represent Miami. I think it speaks volumes that even as a small conference you don’t have to be a BCS or a national championship contender every year to have players be able to come play in the Super Bowl."
Jennings turned down a scholarship offer from Big Ten member Michigan to play for Western Michigan, a move he has never regretted.
"I got the opportunity to establish myself as a student and then as a player," Jennings said. "It worked out great for me. If I had the chance to do it all over again I would choose Western. It allowed me to progress a lot quicker and mature a lot quicker."
One of the reasons Starks chose UB was to prove a point that if you're good enough the NFL will find you.
"Everybody doubted and said, 'If you go there, you aren’t going to do this, you aren’t going to do that,''' the Niagara Falls native said. "Alright, that’s what pushed me to go there and I am happy to be a part of the University of Buffalo.''
taggedNFL | Super Bowl XLV