Super Bowl 50: Anatomy Of Carolina, Denver Rosters

    Super Bowl 50: Which cities, states and schools have all the bragging rights when it comes to where the players from the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos?

    February 6, 2016


    Super Bowl 50: Which cities, states and schools have all the bragging rights when it comes to where the players on the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos are from?


    E-mail Rich Cirminiello | Follow me … @RichCirminiello

    Super Bowl 50: Which cities, states and schools have all the bragging rights?

    As the sports world—and the world in general—braces for Super Bowl 50, it’s an opportune time to take a more local, granular look at the active rosters of the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos.

    Who makes up these two wannabe champs, each on the brink of NFL immortality? Where do they come from, and which schools, conferences and residential neighborhoods throughout America will watch them with a particular sense of pride and personal connection?

    Football has long been a global entity, both for fans and for players looking to make their mark on the American game. The players filling the rosters of the Panthers and the Broncos serve as testament to the diversity of their backgrounds and the disparate paths that have gotten them to the sport’s summit.

    Bragging Rights (the states)

    – The host state, California (12), once again birthed the greatest number of Super Bowl participants, though Georgia (11) rallied to nearly overtake the perennial leader in this category.

    – Texas (9) and Florida (8) will be well represented on Sunday, just like they are on Signing Day and at the annual NFL Combine.

    – After sending four native sons to Super Bowl XLIX, Virginia has been shut out this February. Ditto the rest of the world, which boasted players from Canada and Germany a year ago.

    – Representatives from 33 states will play in the game. Montana, rarely a pipeline to the NFL, is home to two players, Carolina DT Dwan Edwards and Denver QB Brock Osweiler.

    – The only player not raised in one of the 50 states is Bronco TE Vernon Davis, who hails from Washington D.C.

    California … 12
    Georgia … 11

    Texas … 9

    Florida … 8

    Alabama … 7

    Ohio … 6

    Louisiana … 4

    Pennsylvania … 4
    Maryland … 3

    North Carolina … 3
    Oregon … 3
    Tennessee … 3

    Illinois … 2

    Iowa … 2

    Michigan … 2

    Missouri … 2
    Montana … 2

    Nevada … 2

    New Jersey … 2

    Oklahoma … 2
    South Carolina … 2

    Washington … 2

    Wisconsin … 2
    Arizona … 1

    Colorado … 1

    Connecticut … 1
    Idaho … 1

    Indiana … 1
    Kansas … 1
    Minnesota … 1
    Mississippi … 1

    New York … 1
    Utah … 1

    Washington, D.C. … 1

    Bragging Rights (the cities and towns)

    – The cities with the most former residents at this year’s Super Bowl are Birmingham (Denver’s Evan Mathis and Carolina’s Jerricho Cotchery and Joe Webb) and New Orleans (Carolina’s Trai Turner and Denver’s Peyton Manning and Lorenzo Doss).

    – Turner and Doss played for the same prep school, St. Augustine High School, which also happens to be the alma mater of current LSU RB Leonard Fournette.

    – Other major cities sending its own to the big game include:
    Baltimore (Denver’s Shaquil Barrett)
    Charlotte (Carolina’s Brenton Bersin)
    Cincinnati (Carolina’s Luke Kuechly and Andrew Norwell)

    Cleveland (Carolina’s Ted Ginn)
    Dallas (Denver’s Corey Nelson)
    New York (Carolina’s Dean Marlowe)
    Las Vegas (Denver’s Brandon Marshall and Carolina’s Ben Jacobs)
    Memphis (Carolina’s Michael Oher)
    Miami (Denver’s Kayvon Webster)
    Minneapolis (Denver’s Ryan Harris)
    Oklahoma City (Denver’s Antonio Smith)
    Phoenix (Carolina’s J.J. Jansen)
    Portland (Carolina’s Mike Remmers)
    Sacramento (Carolina’s Shaq Thompson)
    San Diego (Denver’s Sam Brenner)
    Tampa (Denver’s Andre Caldwell)

    – Scappoose, OR, with a population of just 6,802 in 2013, is sending two of its former residents to Super Bowl 50, Carolina QB Derek Anderson and LB David Mayo.

    – Three of this year’s players, Carolina’s Jared Allen and Denver’s T.J. Ward and C.J. Anderson, grew up within an hour or so drive of Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium, site of this week’s game. Allen was born in Los Gatos, Calif. and raised in tiny Morgan Hill, both of which place him closest to the pin as far as Super Bowl homecomings go.

    Bragging Rights (the conferences)

    – After lagging behind the Big Ten and the Pac-12 in 2015, the SEC (23) once again leads the way in being a Super Bowl pipeline. In fact, nearly a quarter of the players in Sunday’s game will have spent their college years on a Southeastern Conference campus.

    – The American and the Mountain West, with seven alums apiece, set the standard among Group of Five conferences. The Sun Belt has also impressed with four former players, two from Troy and one each from Texas State and Idaho.

    – The MAC, which sent four of its graduates to last year’s Super Bowl, is going to be blanked at this season’s game.

    – More than 10% of the Panther and Bronco rosters did not even matriculate at an FBS program, with 9 players coming from FCS institutions. In fact, there are as many FCS graduates as those who played in the Big 12.

    – Two Super Bowl 50 participants did their apprenticeships at the Division II and NAIA levels, Assumption College’s Scott Simonson and Morningside College’s Brandon Wegher, respectively. Wegher began his career at Iowa before bouncing around and amassing a warchest of records with the Mustangs.

    SEC … 23

    Big Ten … 17

    Pac-12 … 13

    ACC … 11

    Big 12 … 9

    FCS … 9
    American … 7

    Mountain West … 7

    Sun Belt … 4

    C-USA … 2

    Independents … 2
    Division II … 1
    NAIA … 1

    Bragging Rights (the programs)

    – There’ll be an undeniable scarlet and gray tinge to Super Bowl 50, with Ohio State (5) heading the charge in this year’s school rankings. Just behind the Buckeyes is Tennessee (4), which of course is spearheaded by Bronco QB Peyton Manning.

    – After tying for the top spot with four graduates in last year’s matchup, both Rutgers and Texas A&M will not be represented in this season’s game.

    – Good onya, Coastal Carolina for developing two of the game’s players, Panthers Mike Tolbert and Josh Norman. Ditto Kansas, which was winless in 2015, but can celebrate that alums Chris Harris and Aqib Talib will be playing on Sunday.

    – Rivals Oregon and Oregon State and Georgia and Georgia Tech will each be represented by three former players at Levi’s Stadium.

    Ohio State … 5
    Tennessee … 4
    Alabama … 3

    Florida … 3
    Georgia … 3
    Georgia Tech … 3
    Oregon … 3

    Oregon State … 3

    Auburn … 2
    Coastal Carolina … 2
    Kansas … 2
    Maryland … 2
    Michigan … 2
    Missouri … 2
    Nevada … 2

    North Carolina … 2

    Notre Dame … 2

    Oklahoma … 2

    San Diego State … 2

    Troy … 2
    Tulane … 2

    Utah … 2

    Wisconsin … 2

    Where Were They Drafted?

    – Of the 106 Broncos and Panthers currently on the active roster, 18 began their pro careers as first-round draft picks. And of those 18, only the quarterbacks, Carolina’s Cam Newton and Denver’s Peyton Manning were top overall selections.

    – Failing to be drafted hardly signals an end to the dream of being a Super Bowl champion. In fact, a staggering 33 Broncos and Panthers began their NFL careers as undrafted free agents. That’s almost one-third of the rosters of the league’s two best teams.

    First Round … 18
    Second Round … 10
    Third Round … 11

    Fourth Round … 7
    Fifth Round … 11
    Sixth Round … 8
    Seventh Round … 8

    Undrafted … 33

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