The last Mountaineer to win a Super Bowl title was Bruce Irvin with the Seattle Seahawks in 2014. On Sunday, four new WVUPros get their chance to take home an elusive Super Bowl ring.
Following the 2017 NFL Draft, former WVU star defensive lineman Julian Miller dubbed the Philadelphia Eagles the #WVUEagles after the team drafted Rasul Douglas and Shelton Gibson, joining Najee Goode and Wendell Smallwood.
Those same Eagles will take the field in Minnesota to battle the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII. The four players representing WVU tie for the most from any one university in SB LII. Florida State, Michigan, and Stanford are the others with four representatives.
This season, Goode set a career high for tackles with 22 and started three games. He will likely see the most playing time among the group of Mountaineers, particularly if LB Dannell Ellerbe ends up missing time with a hamstring injury. The last time the Eagles played against the Patriots was in 2015. Always known for being a special teams ace, Goode scored on a blocked punt in that game. Goode also plays all three linebacker positions for the Eagles.
Another point of interest: Goode’s dad, James, played for Philadelphia for one season in 1985. He will be in the stands cheering on his son.
Look for the two rookies, Douglas and Gibson, to play on special teams, as neither player has appeared on offense or defense thus far in the NFL Playoffs. With the entire offense healthy, I look for Wendell Smallwood to be Inactive in the game.
Anything can happen in a Super Bowl. All it takes is one play to turn a relative unknown into a legend. Could that be Najee Goode, Shelton Gibson, Rasul Douglas, or Wendell Smallwood? We, and the world, will find out on Sunday.