Cornerback Carlos Rogers of the San Francisco 49ers and linebacker Josh Bynes of the Baltimore Ravens ensured the Tigers would once again be well-represented on the NFL’s brightest stage, as they ready to take part in Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3 at the Superdome in New Orleans.
In fact, 29 of the 47 Super Bowls have featured at least one former Tiger. This is only the ninth time two Auburn alums will face off, but it’s becoming far more common – four times in the past six years.
Rogers is arguably Auburn’s most successful pro this side of quarterback Cam Newton. The 2004 Jim Thorpe Award winner (nation’s best defensive back) who helped the Tigers that year to an undefeated season, Rogers was the highest defensive back ever selected out of Auburn when the Washington Redskins took him ninth in the 2005 NFL Draft. After six years with the Redskins, Rogers was named a starter on the 2011 NFC Pro Bowl roster in his first year with the 49ers, who fell one step short of last year’s Super Bowl, but redeemed themselves Sunday with a 28-24 comeback win at Atlanta.
Rogers’ glory comes at the expense of rookie Josh Harris, a three-year deep snapper for the Tigers who started for the NFC top-seeded Falcons at long snapper.
Bynes went undrafted in 2011, but latched on with Baltimore last year. He suffered cracked vertebrae this summer at the start of training camp, and was waived to the practice squad before the season began, before being promoted to the 53-man roster before Week 7 when Ray Lewis tore his triceps. Bynes has played in every game for the AFC champion Ravens since.
Auburn products have been part of a Super Bowl champion each of the past five years: starting with Giants fullback Brandon Jacobs and linebacker Reggie Torbor, Steelers guard Kendall Simmons, Saints fullback Heath Evans, Packers cornerback Pat Lee and Jacobs again with the Giants. (Jacobs played three games for the 49ers in 2012 before being waived on Dec. 31.) Either Rogers or Bynes will make it six straight.