Three former UCLA football players and one former assistant coach will participate in Super Bowl XLI on Feb. 4.
Representing the NFC Champion Chicago Bears are cornerback Ricky Manning Jr. and linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, as well as former UCLA assistant coach Don Johnson, who is the Bears' defensive line coach. Chicago defeated New Orleans in the NFC Championship game, 39-14. Manning had two tackles in the game.
Tight end Bryan Fletcher, who made a key 32-yard reception in the winning drive at the AFC Championship game, will represent the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts overcame a 21-3 deficit to defeat New England, 38-34, and post the biggest comeback ever in a conference championship game.
This will be the seventh straight year UCLA has had at least one player in the Super Bowl and the 27th time in the last 28 years. UCLA was represented last season by defensive lineman Travis Kirschke and quarterback Tommy Maddox, who won the Super Bowl with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
-- UCLA's Justin Medlock in College Football All-Star Challenge
Medlock one of 12 future NFL players participating; Event is Free and Open to the Public, Nationally Televised on ESPN
Miami, FL – Jan. 24, 2007 – Twelve future NFL players who represent the best in college football, including UCLA consensus All-America place kicker Justin Medlock, will showcase their skills in the ninth annual State Farm College Football All-Star Challenge, tapedat Orange Bowl Stadium on Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 1:00 p.m. ET and airing on ESPN Super Bowl weekend, Saturday, Feb. 3 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. ET.
This year's talented field includes quarterbacks Chris Leak of Florida, Troy Smith of Ohio State, Drew Stanton of Michigan State and Jared Zabransky of undefeated Boise State. Rounding out the competition are Auburn running back Kenny Irons, USC wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett, Tennessee wide receiver Robert Meachem and kickers Mason Crosby of Colorado, Justin Medlock of UCLA, John Vaughn of Auburn and Andrew Wellock of Eastern Michigan.
Free and open to the public, the State Farm College Football All-Star Challengewill provide all spectators the unique opportunity to be on the field at Orange Bowl Stadium and see college football's elite compete prior to the NFL Draft. Fans can also take part in a post-event autograph session.
Produced by Chicago-based Intersport, the State Farm College Football All-Star Challengeis one of the most highly-anticipated college football events of the year. Last year's event featured four first-round NFL Draft picks (Vince Young, DeAngelo Williams, Vernon Davis and Sinorice Moss.) and scored the highest cable ratings of the day.
Eight of the 12 confirmed players are ranked in the top five at their position according to ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper: Stanton (3rd QB), Smith (5th QB), Jarrett (3rd WR), Meachem (4th WR), Irons (4th RB), Crosby (1st K), Medlock (2nd K) and Wellock (4th K). Kiper projects Jarrett and Meachem as the 14th and 15th overall picks in the draft, respectively.
The State Farm College Football All-Star Challenge is a unique skills-and-drills competition that tests the finest college football stars in the country prior to their entry into the NFL.Players participate in a variety of competitions showcasing their speed, agility, strength and stamina. In the eight-year history of the event, 29 competitors have gone on to become first round selections in the NFL Draft. Former players include Drew Brees, Daunte Culpepper, Ken Dorsey, Ron Dayne, Rex Grossman, Edgerrin James, Deuce McAllister, Donovan McNabb, Santana Moss, Charles Rogers, Javon Walker, Cadillac Williams, Vince Young and many more.
-- During the Fall '06 Quarter, 270 UCLA current or former student-athletes earned a spot on the Director's Honor Roll, signifying a grade-point average of 3.00 or higher. Of those 270, 104 earned GPAs of 3.50 or higher. Thirty-three of the student-athletes participate in football.