Former Spartan Kellen Davis Preparing for Super Bowl XLVIII
Jan. 30, 2014
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Former Michigan State tight end Kellen Davis, who is in his sixth season in the NFL and first with the Seattle Seahawks, will make his first Super Bowl appearance Sunday, Feb. 2 against the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Davis spent his first five seasons with the Chicago Bears (2008-12).
This marks the fourth-straight year a former Spartan has made it to the Super Bowl on an active roster.
The 6-7, 265-pound Davis caught three passes for 32 yards in 15 regular-season games for the Seahawks. He had two catches for 31 yards in a win over Jacksonville in Week 3, and had a 1-yard touchdown reception against Arizona in Week 7. Davis has played in both playoff games during Seattle's run to the Super Bowl, including a start against San Francisco in the NFC Championship Game.
For his career, Davis has recorded 50 catches for 561 yards (11.2 avg.) and 12 touchdowns in 95 games. He hauled in a career-best five touchdown receptions for the Bears in 2011. In his final season with the Bears in 2012, Davis tallied career highs in catches (19) and receiving yards (229).
A fifth-round selection (No. 158 overall) by Chicago in the 2008 NFL Draft, Davis set career highs for receptions (32), receiving yards (513) and touchdowns (6) as a senior in 2007. He caught at least one pass in 15 consecutive games, dating back to the 2006 season.
Davis led the Spartans with four catches for 38 yards against No. 14 Boston College in the 2007 Champs Sports Bowl, including an 18-yard TD reception from Brian Hoyer to open the scoring. He also caught a two-point conversion pass from Hoyer against BC as MSU pulled to within 24-21 with 6:04 left in the fourth quarter. Davis recorded the first 100-yard receiving game of his career in the regular-season finale against Penn State, with four receptions for 106 yards.
A four-year letterman, Davis appeared in 43 career games, including 22 starting assignments. He had 60 career receptions for 789 yards (13.2 avg.) and nine TDs.
Eight-year NFL veteran and former Spartan defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson, who is in his fourth season with Denver, started 11 games in the regular season for the Broncos but has been on the injured reserve list since Nov. 27. Vickerson collected 22 tackles (18 solos, 4 assists) in 2013, including a sack against New England in Week 12. The Detroit, Mich., native collected a season-high six tackles in a win over the Chiefs in Week 10 and also had four stops in a victory over Jacksonville in Week 6.
Vickerson has totaled 153 tackles (111 solos, 42 assists) in 71 career games, including 6.5 sacks and 11 passes defended. A seventh-round draft pick (No. 216 overall) by Miami in 2005, Vickerson spent one season on the active roster for the Dolphins in 2006 before playing three seasons (2007-09) in Tennessee. He has started 41 games for the Broncos since his arrival in 2010.
Vickerson appeared in all 12 games for the Spartans in 2004, including 11 starts at defensive tackle. Vickerson enjoyed a productive senior year, recording career highs in tackles, tackles for losses and sacks. He led the defensive line and ranked seventh overall in tackles, with 46 (31 solos, 15 assists). Vickerson also paced the Spartans in tackles for losses (10.5 for 39 yards), sacks (4.5 for 29 yards) and quarterback hits (7; tied Clifton Ryan for the team lead).
A four-year letterman, Vickerson saw action in 45 games, including 19 starting assignments. He finished his career with 119 tackles (81 solos, 38 assists), including 24.5 for losses (99 yards) and 8.5 sacks (58 yards).
Although Davis is the only former Spartan player participating in Super Bowl XLVIII, Michigan State will be well represented in the coaching ranks.
Pat Ruel, who served as offensive line coach for two seasons (1998-99) under former MSU head coach Nick Saban, is in his third season as the assistant offensive line coach for Seattle. Along with coaching the offensive line, Ruel was promoted to assistant head coach in 1999 as the Spartans went 10-2 and defeated Florida in the 2000 Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla., to finish No. 7 in the national polls.
Adam Gase, who was a student assistant under Saban and graduated from Michigan State in 1999, is in his first season as the offensive coordinator for Denver. Under Gase's direction, the Broncos set an NFL single-season record for most points scored (606) and quarterback Peyton Manning set NFL single-season records for touchdowns (55) and passing yards (5,477). Gase is in his fifth season overall working with the Broncos, as he coached the quarterbacks in 2011-12 and the wide receivers in 2009-10.
Mondray Gee, an assistant strength and conditioning coach for Seattle, earned a bachelor's degree in kinesiology from Michigan State in 1999 and a master's degree in athletic administration from MSU in 2002. Gee worked under Michigan State head strength and conditioning coach Ken Mannie as a student and graduate assistant. A native of Detroit, Mich., Gee is in his 13th season as a strength and conditioning coach in the NFL.
Robert Saleh, who was a graduate assistant at MSU for two seasons (2003-04), is in his second season as a defensive quality control coach for the Seahawks.
Super Bowl XLVIII between Denver and Seattle will start at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday. The game will be broadcast on FOX.
Additional Spartan Super Bowl Facts & Lists:
Former Spartan greats Herb Adderley (Green Bay: I, II; Dallas: V, VI) and Earl Morrall (Baltimore: III, V; Miami: VII, VIII) each made four Super Bowl appearances and each won three championship rings. Dixon Edwards went a perfect three-for-three with the Dallas Cowboys, winning three Super Bowl (XXVII, XXVIII, XXX) championship rings.
Former Spartan All-American Sherman Lewis made five Super Bowl appearances as an assistant coach (San Francisco: XIX, XXIII, XXIV; Green Bay: XXXI, XXXII), winning four championship rings. Former Michigan State head coach George Perles won four Super Bowl rings (IX, X, XIII, XIV) as an assistant coach under Chuck Noll with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Former Spartans on All-Time Super Bowl Roster (43)
Former Spartan Coaches in The Super Bowl (16)
Former Spartan Assistant Coaches on All-Time Super Bowl Roster (2)
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