The ACC will be well-represented on Sunday in Super Bowl XLIV, and if you look at the players involved, they reflect the overall strength of the ACC -- defense. Of the 17 former players involved, there are only five on offense -- two tight ends, a receiver, a center and a guard. (Former Virginia quarterback Matt Schaub was the MVP of the Pro Bowl, though.)
Several of these players are fairly fresh out of the conference, so having covered them, it's nice to see them have success at the next level. Even though they're on the injured reserve list, the former Wake Forest players are still representing the smallest school in the BCS. The only schools that aren't represented here are Duke and Florida State.
The Indianapolis Colts have six coaches with ACC ties, including coach Jim Caldwell, who spent eight seasons as head coach at Wake Forest (1993-2000). The Colts also feature quarterbacks coach Frank Reich, who lettered at Maryland as quarterback during the 1983-84 seasons. In 1984, Reich authored what was, at the time, the biggest comeback in NCAA history as he guided the Terps from a 31-0 halftime deficit to a 42-40 win over Miami. Reich, who played 14 seasons in the NFL, also led the Buffalo Bills to the greatest comeback in NFL history in 1993, overcoming a 35-3 lead for a 41-38 overtime win and a playoff victory over the Houston Oilers.
The Colts also have six players from ACC schools on their roster:
Jeff Saturday, center, starter (North Carolina, 1994-97)
Reggie Wayne, wide receiver, starter (Miami, 1997-2000)
Philip Wheeler, linebacker, (Georgia Tech, 2003-07).
Jamie Silva, safety, reserve, (Boston College, 2004-07)
Tom Santi, tight end, injured reserve, (Virginia, 2004-07)
Jaime Thomas, guard, practice squad, (Maryland, 2005-08)
As for the Saints, they have 11 players from ACC schools on their roster:
Jeremy Shockey, tight end, (Miami, 2000-01)
Anthony Hargrove, defensive line, (Georgia Tech, 2001-2002)
DeMario Pressley, defensive line, (NC State, 2004-07)
Jonathan Vilma, linebacker, (Miami, 2000-03)
Anthony Waters, linebacker, (Clemson, 2003-06)
Pierson Prioleau, defensive back, (Virginia Tech, 1995-98))
Chris Reis, defensive back, (Georgia Tech, 2002-05)
Glenn Sharpe, corner back, (Miami 2002-07) is on the Saints practice squad.
Chip Vaughn, safety, injured reserve, (Wake Forest, 2005-08)
Jo-Lonn Dunbar, linebacker, injured reserve, (Boston College (2005-2007)
Stanley Arnoux, linebacker, injured reserve, (Wake Forest 2006-08)