As the final play of arguably the most thrilling Super Bowl in history unfolded Sunday, there was no denying a heavy Big Ten influence.
Former Michigan and current New England Patriots QB Tom Brady tossed the ball to former Wisconsin and current Pats RB James White, who headed right, then cut upfield and lunged into the end zone, giving New England a 34-28 victory in Super Bowl LI, the first overtime in Super Bowl history.
For good measure, it was former Purdue standout Ricardo Allen who was trying to bring White down as the ex-Badger scored his third TD of the game in Houston.
But it’s another Big Ten school, one that doesn’t immediately come to mind when thinking of football dominance, that had perhaps the biggest reason to celebrate. Certainly it had the most abundant of reasons.
Of the 53 players on the Patriots’ active roster in the Super Bowl, no college was better-represented than Rutgers, with three players: DB Duron Harmon, DB Devin McCourty and DB Logan Ryan. Add to that LB Jonathan Freeny, who is on injured reserve, and four Scarlet Knights will soon be scheduling appointments for ring fittings.
Thus, one wouldn’t blame the Rutgers football program if it did a little gloating after the big game. And it did:
— Rutgers Football (@RFootball) February 6, 2017