Safety Jordan Whitehead, running back LeSean McCoy, and wide receiver Maurice Ffrench will represent Pitt in Super Bowl LV, the seventh straight season the Panthers have sent a player to the championship game.
McCoy and Whitehead, playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, beat the Green Bay Packers 31-26 in the NFC Championship game on Sunday.
Whitehead, Central Valley alum, was instrumental in the victory, forcing two fumbles before exiting with a shoulder injury in the second half.
Ffrench, who has been on the Kansas City Chiefs expanded practice squad for much of the 2020 season, advanced following the Chiefs’ 38-24 victory over the Buffalo Bills. Ffrench hasn’t played a down for Kansas City this season but is still eligible to receive a championship ring if the Chiefs prevail.
Additionally, former Pitt track star Roger Kingdom is on the coaching staff in Tampa Bay.
With the three former Panthers facing off in the title game, a Pitt player is guaranteed to win the Super Bowl for the second year in a row. McCoy won Super Bowl LIV with the Chiefs last season.
Whitehead is far from then only WPIAL alumni in the big game. Tampa’s Rob Gronkowski (Woodland Hills), A.Q. Shipley (Moon) and Justin Watson (South Fayette) and Kansas City’s Stefen Wisniewski (Central Catholic) will all be on Super Bowl rosters. Aliquippa native Anthony Piroli is the Tampa Bay head strength and conditioning coach.
K’Waun Alexander (San Francisco 49ers), Aaron Donald (Los Angeles Rams), Nicholas Grigsby, Dion Lewis, Jabaal Sheard, Darrelle Revis (New England Patriots) and Chas Alecxih (Carolina Panthers) have represented Pitt in the Super Bowl as part of the Panthers’ current streak, which dates back to 2015.
Super Bowl LV will take place on Sunday, Feb. 7 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay and be broadcast on CBS.