Iowa football: Hawks lead the way in Super Bowl 53

With Super Bowl 53 fast approaching, it’s fun to see a large representation of Iowa football players on both of the rosters.

When taking into account the active roster plus the practice squad, it’s no surprise to Iowa football fans that the Hawkeyes take the cake. There are a total of six players from the Iowa football program that now play with either the Los Angeles Rams or the New England Patriots. This is the highest total among any universities represented in Super Bowl 53.

The New England Patriots are really dipping into the Iowa football talent pool, and it makes a lot of sense given Kirk and Brian Ferentz’s connection to Bill Belichick. On the active roster, the Patriots have defensive end Adrian Clayborn and one of Kirk’s sons, James Ferentz. This will be both Clayborn’s and Ferentz’s second Super Bowl.

Clayborn, ironically enough, last played in the Super Bowl with the Atlanta Falcons when the Patriots stormed back from a 28-3 deficit to win the game. Ferentz, on the other hand, last made the Super Bowl back in 2016 with the Denver Broncos, who somewhat ironically enough, beat the Patriots in the AFC Championship game to get the opportunity to face the Panthers.

In Super Bowl 53, Clayborn is expected to get a bit more playing time then Ferentz as he is part of the defensive line rotation whereas Ferentz is the back up center so unless a starter goes down, Ferentz is likely riding the pine in Atlanta.

Enjoying the festivities, but with no chance of playing in the game, will be former Iowa football offensive lineman Cole Croston and wide receiver Riley McCarron, who are both on the practice squad.

On the opposite side of the field will be the Los Angeles Rams.

Sean McVay’s team is bringing two Iowa football players along with him; starting guard Austin Blythe and practice squad tight end Henry Krieger-Coble. Blythe has enjoyed a breakout season with McVay’s new-aged offense. According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Blythe finished as the 10th best guard in the league with a rating of 72.4. Not bad for a former seventh round draft pick who got cut by the Colts after one season.

If you don’t have a team to root for yet, the clear-cut favorite is the Patriots if you’re basing it purely off of Iowa football players.