HOUSTON – Two former University of Florida football players played in Super Bowl LI on Sunday for Atlanta. Defensive backs Keanu Neal and Brian Poole each started for the Falcons.
With the two former Gators having competed on the biggest stage in sports once again, Super Bowl 51 now marks the 15th consecutive season in which a former UF player has appeared in the big game.
During Atlanta’s 34-28 loss to the New England Patriots, Neal tallied a game-high 13 tackles, while Poole had four stops with one tackle-for-loss.
Neal, who played and started in 14 games during the regular season, recorded 106 tackles and five forced fumbles which both rank second on the team. In addition, Neal tallied nine pass deflections.
Poole played in all 16 games and started nine during the 2016 season. The undrafted rookie totaled 59 tackles, 10 pass deflections, one sack and one interception during the regular season.
Following completion of Super Bowl 51, 46 former UF standouts have now appeared in 35 Super Bowls since its inception in 1967.
There are two more UF connections in the game, Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn and defensive backs coach Marquand Manuel. Super Bowl I (1967) Green Bay : Don Chandler (P) Super Bowl II (1968) Green Bay : Don Chandler (P) Super Bowl X (1976) Dallas: Burton Lawless* (G) Super Bowl XII(1978) Dallas : Larry Brinson (RB), Burton Lawless (G) Super Bowl XIII (1979) Dallas: Larry Brinson (RB), Burton Lawless (G) Super Bowl XIV (1980) Los Angeles Rams: Jack Youngblood* (DE) Super Bowl XVI (1982) Cincinnati: Glenn Cameron* (LB), Cris Collinsworth* (WR) Super Bowl XVII (1983) Miami: Nat Moore (WR) Super Bowl XIX (1985) Miami: Nat Moore (WR) Super Bowl XX (1986) Chicago : Wilber Marshall* (LB) Super Bowl XXI (1987) Denver: Tony Lilly (FS), Ricky Nattiel (WR) Super Bowl XXII (1988) Denver: Tony Lilly* (FS), Ricky Nattiel* (WR) Super Bowl XXIII (1989) Cincinnati: Cris Collinsworth (WR) Super Bowl XXVI (1992) Washington : Wilber Marshall* (LB) Super Bowl XXVII (1993) Dallas : Emmitt Smith* (RB), Godfrey Myles (LB) Super Bowl XXVIII (1994) Dallas : Emmitt Smith* (RB), Godfrey Myles (LB) Super Bowl XXX (1996) Pittsburgh: John L Williams* (RB), Ernie Mills* (WR) Dallas : Emmitt Smith* (RB), Godfrey Myles (LB) Super Bowl XXXIII (1999) Atlanta: Elijah Williams (DB) Super Bowl XXXIV (2000) Tennessee: Jevon Kearse* (DE), Zach Piller (OG) St. Louis : Kevin Carter* (DE) Super Bowl XXXV (2001) New York Giants: Lomas Brown* (OT), Ike Hilliard* (WR) Baltimore : Jeff Mitchell* (C) Super Bowl XXXVII (2003) Oakland: Mo Collins* (OG) Tampa Bay : Kenyatta Walker* (OT), Lomas Brown (OT) Super Bowl XXXVIII (2004) Carolina: Jeff Mitchell* (C) Super Bowl XXXIX (2005) Philadelphia: Lito Sheppard* (CB), Jevon Kearse* (DE) New England : Gus Scott (S, Injured Reserve) Super Bowl XL (2006) Seattle: Darrell Jackson* (WR), Marquand Manuel* (S) Pittsburgh : Max Starks* (OT) Super Bowl XLI (2007) Chicago: Alex Brown* (DE), Rex Grossman* (QB), Todd Johnson (S), Ian Scott* (DT) Super Bowl XLII (2008) New England: Jabar Gaffney (WR), Chad Jackson […]