BOSTON (CBS) — While each player travels a different path to their NFL career, usually there’s an impressive collegiate résumé that propels them into the professional ranks.
NFL players show their school pride throughout the season, usually more as their alma mater enters the important months of November and December and especially when it comes to the NCAA bowl season. You’ll also often see former teammates share a quick embrace or fist bump at the end of games, or hear about former teammates who still keep in touch throughout the years.
But that feeling of collegiate comradery and school pride goes out the window when they line up across from each other with a Super Bowl Championship on the line. That will be the case for 17 players and two coaches come Sunday, Feb. 1 in Glendale, Arizona when the Patriots and Seahawks battle for NFL supremacy.
Here is the long list of former college teammates who will be suiting up against each when the Patriots and Seahawks duke it out in Super Bowl XLIX:
Patriots LB Dont’a Hightower, Seahawks G James Carpenter & WR Kevin Norwood (Alabama 2009-10)
Hightower was teammates with a pair of Seahawks from 2009-10, and the trio won a National Championship at Alabama in 2010. He was also teammates with Norwood for the 2011 season.
Patriots DE Rob Ninkovich & Seahawks DE Cliff Avril (Purdue 2004-05)
The two were teammates on the Boilermakers defensive line before they began their NFL careers. Both started all 16 games for their team this year, and were major contributors on their respected defenses.
Seahawks QB Russell Wilson & Patriots RB James White (Wisconsin 2011)
Wilson was teammates with the Patriots rookie running back in 2011. As a senior for the Badgers that season, Wilson threw for 3,175 yards and 33 touchdowns (rushing for six others) while White ran for 713 yards and six touchdowns as a sophomore.
Patriots S Patrick Chung, Seahawks C Max Unger & FB Will Tukuafa (Oregon 2008)
The trio were all Ducks in 2008, with Chung and Unger serving as team captains. Oregon went 10-3 that season and beat Oklahoma State in the Holiday Bowl.
Patriots OL Cameron Fleming & Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin, CB Richard Sherman (Stanford 2010)
The trio were Cardinals under Jim Harbaugh in 2010, when Stanford went 11-1 and beat Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl for the school’s first BCS Bowl victory.
Patriots LB Chris White & Seahawks LB K.J. Wright (Mississippi State 2009-10)
The two played a pair of seasons together in the Bulldogs’ linebacking corps.
Patriots LB Jonathan Casillas & Seahawks DE O’Brien Schofield (Wisconsin 2006-08)
The two played together on the Badgers defense for three seasons.
Patriots OL Marcus Cannon & Seahawks LS Clint Gresham (TCU 2007-09)
Cannon and Gresham were Horned Frogs together for three seasons, and were part of the 2009 team that went 12-0 before falling to Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl (which was played at University Of Phoenix Stadium).
Patriots ST Matthew Slater, Seahawks Asst. Head Coach Tom Cable, ST Coordinator Brian Schneider (UCLA 2003-05)
Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater will be going up against two of his former coaches from his days as a UCLA Bruin when Super Bowl XLIX kicks off. Cable was UCLA’s offensive coordinator/offensive line coach from 2004-05 and Schneider was a defensive/special teams assistant from 2003-05 during Slater’s collegiate career.
Tune in to Super Bowl XLIX on 98.5 The Sports Hub — the flagship station of the New England Patriots. It’s the only place to hear Bob Socci & Scott Zolak’s local call of the game!