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Six former NJCAA student-athletes set for Super Bowl
 February 1, 2013

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Sunday, the NJCAA will continue its long tradition of former student-athletes competing for the NFL’s most coveted prize, the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Six players that began their collegiate football careers in the NJCAA will take center stage in New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVII.

Suiting up for the AFC champion Baltimore Ravens are four former NJCAA student-athletes including starting left tackle Bryant McKinnie (right, #78) from Lackawanna College (Pa.).  Following two successful years with the Falcons, McKinnie moved on to the University of Miami. In his senior season with the Hurricanes, McKinnie earned the Outland Trophy which is awarded to the best interior lineman in college football.

“I had the pleasure of coaching Bryant at Lackawanna from 1997 through 1998,” said Lackawanna head football coach Mark Duda. “He became one of the most dominant offensive linemen in the country. We are proud of him and all he has accomplished on and off the field. Bryant is a great example of what hard work and toughness can do.”

McKinnie would be drafted by the Minnesota Vikings with the 7th-overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft. The former Falcon spent nine seasons in Minnesota and was selected to the 2009 NFL Pro Bowl. In 2011, McKinnie signed with the Ravens where he worked his way back onto the field. Despite not receiving his first start this season until the AFC wild-card round, McKinnie has played every offensive snap for the Ravens in their three playoff victories.

Going up against McKinnie and the Ravens’ offense are two former NJCAA student-athletes in the San Francisco 49ers secondary. Safety Dashon Goldson from Coffeyville CC (Kan.) and defensive back Tramaine Brock from Mississippi Gulf Coast anchor the NFL’s 11th-ranked pass defense. In 2003, Goldson earned NJCAA first team All-American honors after recording 99 tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble with the Red Ravens. Goldson leads the 49ers with three interceptions this season and forced a fumble in San Francisco’s 45-31 win over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC divisional round.

Two other former NJCAA student-athletes will be on the defensive side of the ball for the Ravens Sunday, including former Mississippi Gulf Coast defensive tackle Terrence Cody and former Itawamba CC (Miss.) defensive end Pernell McPhee. Defensive tackle Ryan McBean from Hinds CC (Miss.) is on the Ravens’ injured reserve list.

Photos courtesy of Coffeyville Community College and the Baltimore Ravens.

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