Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 1/29/13
Some of the Super Bowls most memorable players have a tie to the state of Florida. The gutsiest Super Bowl performance? Jack Youngblood, a former Florida standout. A player who was perfect in Super Bowls? Ted Hendricks, the Miami star who went 4 for 4. The player who got his team to the Super Bowl but fell short of a ring? Jim Kelly, the Miami quarterback who went 0 for 4. The Super Bowl MVPs? There are five of them, from Floridas Emmitt Smith to Miamis Ottis Anderson and Ray Lewis to Florida States Dexter Jackson and Fred Biletnikoff. The World Series-Super Bowl double? Florida States Deion Sanders was the first to play in both. Heres a look at 10 of the top players from Florida, Florida State and Miami who went on to play a significant role in Super Bowl history (note that Central Florida and South Florida players were considered but did not make our top 10): Jack Youngblood The former Florida star defensive end didnt win a Super Bowl title, but his name will forever be remembered for the toughness he displayed in the playoffs. Youngblood broke his fibula, the non-weight bearing bone in his leg, in the 1979 playoffs but led the Los Angeles Rams to the NFC title. Pittsburgh won Super Bowl XIV 31-19, but Youngbloods performance did not go unnoticed (and he played in the Pro Bowl the week after the Rams loss in the Super Bowl). Fred Biletnikoff He didnt score a touchdown in Super Bowl XI in January 1977. But the former Florida State wide receiver caught four passes for 79 yards, including a 48-yarder, to win game MVP honors. Biletnikoff caught a third of Ken Stablers passes, setting up three Oakland touchdowns in a 32-14 win over Minnesota. The win came 11 years after Biletnikoff and the Raiders lost to Green Bay in Super Bowl II. Ted Hendricks The former Miami star linebacker went 4 for 4 in Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl V with the Baltimore Colts in the Orange Bowl (where he played his college ball) and then added three more titles with the Oakland Raiders by claiming Super Bowls XI, XV, XVIII. Hendricks blocked a field goal in the Super Bowl XV win over Philadelphia, and he was part of defenses that allowed 13, 14, 10 and nine points en route to championship wins. Ottis Anderson The former Miami running back didnt have much of an impact in Super Bowl XXI, rushing just two times (although he added a touchdown in the Giants 39-20 win over Denver). But four years later, Anderson ran for 102 yards and a touchdown and was named the MVP of Super Bowl XXV as the Giants edged Buffalo 20-19. Emmitt Smith The former Florida running back won three Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys in the mid-1990s. And Smith was at his best in the big games. In Super Bowl XXVII, Smith had 22 rushes for 108 yards in a 52-17 win over Buffalo. The next year, Smith had 30 carries for 132 yards and two touchdowns to win MVP honors of Super Bowl XXVIII, a 30-13 win over Buffalo. Two years later, Smith ran for just 49 yards but had two touchdowns in the 27-17 win over Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XXX. Michael Irvin The former Miami receiver was a consistent target of Troy Aikmans in the Dallas Cowboys three titles. In Super Bowl XXVII, Irvin had a pair of second-quarter touchdowns (for 19 yards and 18 yards) as Dallas routed Buffalo. He added five catches for 66 yards the following year in a Super Bowl XXVIII win over the Bills, and later had five catches for 76 yards in the Super Bowl XXX victory over Pittsburgh. Jim Kelly No other team has reached the Super Bowl in four consecutive years, but former University of Miami quarterback Jim Kelly led the Bills to four straight AFC titles after the 1990-93 seasons. Kelly passed for a combined 829 yards in four Super Bowls. While Buffalo never won, Kelly & Co. were just a last-second missed field goal away from winning Super Bowl XXV. Dexter Jackson The former Florida State defensive back had an impact early for Tampa Bay, intercepting Oakland quarterback Rich Gannon twice in the first half. The free safety became the first player in Super Bowl history to have a pair of interceptions before halftime and was named the MVP of Super Bowl XXXVII, as the Buccaneers won their first title, 48-21 over Oakland. Deion Sanders The former Florida State three-sport star (where he played football and baseball and ran track) won back-to-back Super Bowls but did it with two teams. He had an interception for San Francisco in a Super Bowl XXIX win over San Diego, and the following year helped Dallas win Super Bowl XXX by grabbing a 47-yard pass. And Sanders became the first athlete to play in a World Series (with the 1992 Atlanta Braves) and a Super Bowl. Ray Lewis The former Miami linebacker is going for his second Super Bowl ring on Sunday when Baltimore plays San Francisco. It will be the final game for the 17-year veteran, and he can only hope to play as well as he did in his first Super Bowl. Lewis was selected as Super Bowl XXXV MVP after recording five tackles and knocking down four passes in the Ravens 34-7 win over the New York Giants.
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