Ledbetter joins list of former Hogs in the Super Bowl
For the 13th straight year, Arkansas will be represented in the Super Bowl.
After beginning season on the practice squad, Jeremiah Ledbetter was promoted to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' active roster in Week 13 and will be eligible to play in Super Bowl LV after his team beat the Green Bay Packers 31-26 in the NFC Championship on Sunday.
However, Ledbetter has missed the last four games - including all three in the playoffs - as he's battled a calf injury. Only in the days leading up to Sunday's games was he healthy enough to return to practice.
Before getting hurt, though, he was playing really well for the Buccaneers. Ledbetter played 30 total snaps in back-to-back road games against the Falcons and Lions and notched eight total pressures, according to Pro Football Focus.
One of those pressures was a sack at Detroit. It was the first solo sack of his career and helped him earn 81.2 and 81.3 grades, respectively, from PFF.
Ledbetter also played 24 defensive snaps in a Week 6 game against the Packers when he was elevated from the practice squad using new rules put in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He isn't the only Arkansas tie with the Buccaneers.
Tampa Bay's defensive line coach is Kacy Rodgers, who held the same position with the Razorbacks in 2002 before making the jump to the NFL the following year.
Cory Bichey is also on the Buccaneers' staff as their assistant strength and conditioning coach. He was a member of Arkansas' strength staff under Bret Bielema from 2013-17.
Their presence in Super Bowl LV makes it 13 straight years the Razorbacks have had a former player or coach in professional football's biggest game.
That streak dates back to Super Bowl XLIII following the 2008 season, when former Arkansas assistant coach John Mitchell was the Pittsburgh Steelers' defensive line coach in their win over the Arizona Cardinals.
A page in Arkansas’ annual football media guide is dedicated to listing all of those former Razorbacks who have reached the Super Bowl.
It’s a lengthy list broken into two main sections - players and coaches - but it could easily be divided further based on their roles and how frequently they made it to the Super Bowl.
For example, Trey Flowers is on an exclusive list of former Arkansas players who have won multiple titles, while Rodgers is one of several former assistants who've made the big game as an assistant.
This list tries to separate it out and provide clarity on what these former Razorbacks did in the Super Bowl…
Former Hogs with multiple Super Bowl wins
Arkansas’ career leader with 14 interceptions, Atwater was a part of the Broncos’ great teams of the 1990s with quarterback John Elway. As a rookie in 1989, he started at free safety when Denver was crushed by Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers 55-10, the largest blowout in Super Bowl history.
Near the end of his career, Atwater was a part of Denver’s back-to-back titles in 1997 and 1998. He had a sack against the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII and seven tackles against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII. Until Flowers made it back this year, Atwater was the only former Arkansas player to appear in three Super Bowls.
Caldwell was a fifth-round pick out of Arkansas in 1986 and two years later, he recovered a fumble for the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XXII, helping them beat Atwater’s Broncos. He was also part of the Redskins’ win over Buffalo in Super Bowl XXVI, the second of four straight Super Bowl losses by the Bills. Caldwell did not start either game.
In one of the more dominant performances by a former Arkansas player in the Super Bowl, Flowers notched 2.5 sacks - fifth most in the game's history - to help the Patriots rally and beat the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI. He also had six tackles and five quarterback hits in the game. The following year, Flowers made five tackles - including one for loss - and had two quarterback hits in the Patriots’ Super Bowl LII loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
By reaching Super Bowl LIII last season, Flowers became the first former Arkansas player to appear in three straight Super Bowls and only the second to play in three during his career, joining Atwater. Despite not being quite as productive, finishing with three tackles - including one for loss - and two quarterback hurries, Flowers played all but four defensive snaps and still helped the Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams to become the fifth former Arkansas player with multiple Super Bowl titles.
He did not start either game, but Reavis was a backup offensive lineman on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ back-to-back title teams in Super Bowls IX and X.
When the Steelers won their next back-to-back titles a few years later, another former Arkansas player was on their roster. Winston recovered a fumble in Super Bowl XIII and started at linebacker in Super Bowl XIV because future Hall of Famer Jack Ham was out with an injury.
Other former Hogs with multiple Super Bowl appearances
In Super Bowl XLVIII, Bailey started and played 16 offensive snaps as a sixth offensive lineman, helping the Seattle Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos. He played just four special teams snaps in Seattle’s bid for a repeat in Super Bowl XLIX, which it lost to the Patriots.
Billy Ray Smith
Smith was the first former Arkansas player to appear in a Super Bowl, starting at defensive tackle in the Baltimore Colts’ famous Super Bowl III loss to the New York Jets, when Joe Namath guaranteed the upset victory. Two years later, the former All-SWC performer helped the Colts beat the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl V.
Ugoh was a backup offensive lineman in the Indianapolis Colts’ Super Bowl XLIV loss and the New York Giants’ Super Bowl XLVI win. He is the only former Arkansas player to make the Super Bowl with multiple teams.
Deatrich Wise Jr.
After playing only six defensive snaps as a backup and not recording any statistics in the New England Patriots' Super Bowl LII loss, Wise was a much bigger factor the following season. He started at defensive end and played nearly half (30 of 65) the defensive snaps, racking up five tackles and one quarterback hit to help the Patriots win Super Bowl LIII.
Other Hogs to win the Super Bowl
~Lance Alworth: Famous for Hall of Fame career with the San Diego Chargers, but played final two seasons with the Dallas Cowboys… Caught two passes for 28 yards, including a key third-down reception and a 7-yard touchdown, in Dallas’ Super Bowl VI win
~Cedric Cobbs: Lightly used backup running back as a rookie for the New England Patriots… Did not play in Super Bowl XXXIX win
~Steve Cox: Starting punter and kickoff specialist for the Washington Redskins… Punted four times for 150 yards and kicked off seven times with two touchbacks in Super Bowl XXII win
~Brett Goode: Starting long snapper for the Green Bay Packers… Snapped for six punts, four extra points and one field goal in Super Bowl XLV win
~Dan Hampton: Hall of Famer and starting defensive lineman on the Chicago Bears’ famed 1985 defense… Made one sack and one fumble recover in Super Bowl XX win
~Greg Lasker: Backup safety for the New York Giants as a rookie… Played on special teams in Super Bowl XXI win
~Mitch Petrus: Backup offensive lineman for the New York Giants… Played, but did not start, in Super Bowl XLVI win
~R.C. Thielemann: Starting offensive lineman for the Washington Redskins… Started at right guard in Super Bowl XXII win
~Bobbie Williams: Backup offensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens… Played seven special teams snaps in Super Bowl XLVII win
Other Hogs to lose the Super Bowl
~Isaac Davis: Starting offensive lineman for the San Diego Chargers as a rookie… Started at left guard in Super Bowl XXIX loss
~Dre Greenlaw: Starting linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers as a rookie... Started, played 73 of 79 defensive snaps and made 4 tackles (2 solo) in Super Bowl LIV loss
~Henry Ford: Backup defensive tackle for the Tennessee Titans… Played, but did not start, in Super Bowl XXXIV loss
~Ryan Hale: Backup defensive tackle for the New York Giants… Played, but did not start, in Super Bowl XXXV loss
~Madre Hill: Backup running back for the Oakland Raiders… Played, but did not start, in Super Bowl XXXVII loss
~Raylee Johnson: Backup defensive end for the San Diego Chargers… Did not start, but sacked Steve Young twice in Super Bowl XXIX loss
~Jim Lindsey: Backup running back for the Minnesota Vikings… Played, but did not start, in Super Bowl IV loss
~Ryan Mallett: Third-string quarterback for the New England Patriots… Inactive for Super Bowl XLVI loss
~Brison Manor: Backup defensive end for the Denver Broncos… Played, but did not start, in Super Bowl XII loss
Transfer Hogs in the Super Bowl
~Chris Akins: Transferred to UAPB… Made one special teams tackle and defended a pass in the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl XXXVIII win
~Mike Cherry: Transferred to Murray State… Backup quarterback in the New York Giants’ Super Bowl XXXV loss
~Michael Coe: Transferred to Alabama State… On injured reserve for the New York Giants’ Super Bowl XLVI win
~Tarvaris Jackson: Transferred to Alabama State… Took three snaps and threw an incomplete pass in the Seattle Seahawks’ Super Bowl XLVIII win and did not play in their Super Bowl XLIX loss
Practice squad Hogs in the Super Bowl
Although there are none this year, four of the previous six Super Bowls featured a team with at least one former Arkansas player on its practice squad.
~Brandon Allen: Los Angeles Rams... Super Bowl LIII loss
~Jake Bequette: New England Patriots... Super Bowl XLIX win
~Cody Hollister: New England Patriots... Super Bowl LII loss
~Cameron Jefferson: Denver Broncos... Super Bowl 50 win
~Dan Skipper: New England Patriots... Super Bowl LIII win
Injured Hogs in the Super Bowl
A trio of former Razorbacks were on teams that reached the Super Bowl, but missed out on playing in the game because of injuries.
~Shawn Andrews: Won the starting right guard job as a rookie in 2004, but broke his leg in Week 1 and missed the Philadelphia Eagles’ run to Super Bowl XXXIX, which they lost to the New England Patriots
~Ken Hamlin: Started the first six games of the 2005 season at safety, but an off-the-field injury forced him to miss the Seattle Seahawks’ run to Super Bowl XL, which they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers
~Jason Peters: Started the first seven games of the 2017 season at left tackle before suffering a torn ACL and MCL that landed him on injured reserve and kept him out of the Philadelphia Eagles’ run to Super Bowl LII, which they won
Hollister, who was on the Patriots’ practice squad for Super Bowl LII, also belongs on this list because he was on New England's Non-Football Injury (NFI) list for its Super Bowl LIII win.
Former Hogs as head coaches in the Super Bowl
~Raymond Berry: Known for his Hall of Fame career as a wide receiver for the Baltimore Colts, but went into coaching after his playing career… Former wide receivers coach at Arkansas (1970-72)… Head coach of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX loss
~Pete Carroll: Former graduate assistant at Arkansas (1977)… Head coach of the Seattle Seahawks for Super Bowl XLVIII win and Super Bowl XLIX loss
~Joe Gibbs: Former running backs coach at Arkansas (1971-72)… Head coach of the Washington Redskins for Super Bowl XVII, XXII and XXVI wins and Super Bowl XVIII loss
~Jimmy Johnson: Former Arkansas player (lettered 1962-64, All-SWC guard and team captain in 1964) and defensive coordinator (1973-1976)… Head coach of the Dallas Cowboys for Super Bowl XXVII and XXVIII wins
~Barry Switzer: Former Arkansas player (lettered 1957-59, team captain in 1959) and running backs coach (1961-65)… Head coach of the Dallas Cowboys for Super Bowl XXX win
Former Hogs as assistant coaches in the Super Bowl
~Don Breaux: Former assistant at Arkansas (1968-71)… Running backs coach for the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVII and XXII wins and Super Bowl XVIII loss, and offensive coordinator in Super Bowl XXVI win
~Nick Caley: Former graduate assistant at Arkansas (2013)… Offensive assistant for New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI win, and tight ends coach for the Patriots in Super Bowl LII loss and Super Bowl LIII win
~Dave Hanner: Former player at Arkansas (lettered 1949-51, All-SWC tackle in 1950 and '51, team captain in 1951)... Defensive line coach for Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl I and II wins
~Bill Johnson: Former defensive line coach at Arkansas (1990-91, 2000)… Defensive line coach for the New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl XLIV win
~John Mitchell: Former defensive line coach at Arkansas (1977-82)… Defensive line coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XL and XLIII wins and Super Bowl XXX and XLV losses
~Kacy Rodgers: Former defensive line coach at Arkansas (2002)... Defensive line coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV
~Pat Ruel: Former offensive line coach at Arkansas (1977)… Offensive line coach for the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII win and Super Bowl XLIX loss
~Fred von Appen: Former Arkansas assistant (1969) and defensive line coach (1981)… Special teams coach for the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XIX and XXIII wins
Other former Hogs in the Super Bowl
Only three people don’t really fall into any of the previous categories, so we’ll list them here.
~Cory Bichey: Former Arkansas strength and conditioning staff member (2013-17)... Assistant strength and conditioning coach for Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV
~Bret Bielema: Former Arkansas head coach (2013-17)… Consultant to New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick for Super Bowl LIII win
~Jerry Jones: Former Arkansas player (lettered 1962-64, team captain in 1964)… Owner and general manager of Dallas Cowboys for Super Bowl XXII, XXVIII and XXX wins