Super Bowl 2022: Meet the 24 Rutgers players who have made the big game; Scarlet Knights history lessons

Clark Harris is going for the first time. Sebastian Joseph-Day has been there before.

Together, they will end a two-year drought for Rutgers football on the sport’s grandest stage.

Day and Harris share an alma mater, but the former Scarlet Knights will be on opposite sides of Super Bowl LVI on Sunday in Los Angeles. Harris, Rutgers’ NFL ironman, is the Cincinnati Bengals’ long snapper. Day is a defensive tackle for the Los Angeles Rams. They are two of the 24 players in program history to make the big game, and one of them will become the 17th to win a ring when it is over.

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Here is a closer look at Rutgers’ Super Bowl history:

The first Super Scarlet Knight: Bill Pickel — who had one of the best NFL careers of any Rutgers player — was the first Scarlet Knight to play in, and win, a Super Bowl. He won Super Bowl XVIII as a rookie defensive tackle with the Raiders.

The four-time club: Three players — Duron Harmon, Devin McCourty and Harry Swayne — have made it to four Super Bowls with each player winning three rings. Harmon and McCourty won all three with the Patriots while Swayne won two with the Broncos and one with the Ravens (his other appearance was with the Chargers).

Back-to-back(-to-back): Five players have been to back-to-back Super Bowls — Marco Battaglia, Alex Silvestro, Harmon, McCourty and Swayne — and Harmon and McCourty went to three consecutive games. Battaglia and Silvestro pulled off the feat with different teams in each year.

The first champions: Budge Garrett and Bob Nash were members of the 1920 Akron Pros, who were declared champions of the inaugural season of the American Professional Football Association, the NFL’s name for its first two years.

Before the Super Bowl: Bill Pellington played in three NFL title games with the Colts, winning in 1958 (The Greatest Game Ever Played) and ’59 and losing in ’64. Bob Simms lost the 1961 NFL title game with the Giants.

Final count: A Rutgers player has been on a team roster for 21 of 56 Super Bowls.

Rutgers players on a Super Bowl roster (in chronological order of first appearance):

  • Bill Pickel (Super Bowl XVIII with Raiders)
  • James Jenkins (Super Bowl XXVI with Washington)
  • Harry Swayne (Super Bowls XXIX with Chargers, XXXII, XXXIII with Broncos, XXXV with Ravens)
  • Ray Lucas (Super Bowl XXXI with Patriots)
  • Darian Barnes (Super Bowl XXXVII with Buccaneers)*
  • Marco Battaglia (Super Bowls XXXVII with Buccaneers, XXXVIII with Panthers)
  • LJ Smith (Super Bowl XXXIX with Eagles)
  • Gary Brackett (Super Bowls XLI, XLIV with Colts)
  • Shaun O’Hara (Super Bowl XLII with Giants)
  • Darnell Stapleton (Super Bowl XLIII with Steelers)
  • Eric Foster (Super Bowl XLIV with Colts)
  • Nate Jones (Super Bowl XLVI with Patriots)
  • Alex Silvestro (Super Bowls XLVI with Patriots, XLVII with Ravens)**
  • Anthony Davis (Super Bowl XLVII with 49ers)
  • Ray Rice (Super Bowl XLVII with Ravens)
  • Duron Harmon (Super Bowls XLIX, LI, LII, LIII with Patriots)
  • Devin McCourty (Super Bowls XLIX, LI, LII, LIII with Patriots)
  • Logan Ryan (Super Bowls XLIX, LI with Patriots)
  • Tim Wright (Super Bowl XLIX with Patriots)
  • Jonathan Freeny (Super Bowl LI with Patriots)
  • Mohamed Sanu (Super Bowl LI with Falcons)
  • Sebastian Joseph-Day (Super Bowls LIII, LVI with Rams)
  • Jason McCourty (Super Bowl LIII with Patriots)
  • Clark Harris (Super Bowl LVI with Bengals)

* — finished college career at Hampton

** — replaced Tiquan Underwood on roster day before Super Bowl XLVI

Rutgers players with a Super Bowl ring (in chronological order of first win):

  • Bill Pickel (Super Bowl XVIII with Raiders)
  • James Jenkins (Super Bowl XXVI with Washington)
  • Harry Swayne (Super Bowls XXXII, XXXIII with Broncos, XXXV with Ravens)
  • Darian Barnes (Super Bowl XXXVII with Buccaneers)
  • Marco Battaglia (Super Bowl XXXVII with Buccaneers)
  • Gary Brackett (Super Bowl XLI with Colts)
  • Shaun O’Hara (Super Bowl XLII with Giants)
  • Darnell Stapleton (Super Bowl XLIII with Steelers)
  • Brandon Bing (Super Bowl XLVI with Giants)*
  • Ray Rice (Super Bowl XLVII with Ravens)
  • Alex Silvestro (Super Bowl XLVII with Ravens)
  • Duron Harmon (Super Bowls XLIX, LI, LIII with Patriots)
  • Devin McCourty (Super Bowls XLIX, LI, LIII with Patriots)
  • Logan Ryan (Super Bowls XLIX, LI with Patriots)
  • Tim Wright (Super Bowl XLIX with Patriots)
  • Jonathan Freeny (Super Bowl LI with Patriots)

* — practice squad member

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James Katch may be reached at jkratch@njadvancemedia.com.

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