Gamecocks in the NFL: Samuel, Kinlaw not the only former South Carolina players in Super Bowl LVIII

On3 imageby:Mike Uva02/11/24

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For the final time this season, it’s time to provide you with your Gamecocks in the NFL guide: Super Bowl LVIII edition.

22 weeks ago, 27 former South Carolina players appeared on NFL teams. Throughout the course of the season some free agents were signed to teams while others were cut. With just two teams remaining, only two former Gamecocks remain, who’ll be playing in today’s game. But there’s also an additional Gamecock who’ll be going for his third Super Bowl ring, who’s a member of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Here’s a look at which former South Carolina players to keep an eye on this weekend, as well as former players who are now coaching in today’s big game.

Note: The Gamecocks in the NFL weekly guide won’t always include game day injury statuses. Players who are placed on IR (+) or on practice squad (*) will have marks next to their names. (q) are for players who are questionable(o) are for players who are out.

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Super Bowl LVIII
Chiefs vs 49ers – 6:30 pm (CBS)

**Deebo Samuel – WR #19 (SF)
***Javon Kinlaw – DT #99 (SF)

**Appearing in his second Super Bowl of his young career, Samuel looks to win his first Super Bowl title. Like during his rookie season in 2019, Samuel played against the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV. Despite catching three passes for 39 yards and adding an additional 53 yards rushing on three carries, the 49ers fell to Kansas City 31-20. Samuel has been battling a shoulder injury since the divisional round. The extra week off leading up to the Super Bowl couldn’t have come at a better time. While reports indicate that it’s still not 100 percent, we should expect to see Deebo as close to himself as one could ask for this deep into the season.

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***For Kinlaw, Sunday will mark the first time in his career that he’ll be playing in a Super Bowl. Plagued by injuries the previous two seasons, he’s been having one of the most productive years of his career and is coming off a two tackle performance, which included a tackle for loss, in the NFC Championship Game. If you’ll be looking for No.99 on defense keep in mind that Kinlaw has only been playing about 30 percent of the 49ers defensive snaps this postseason. That’s been a total of 42 defensive snaps in two games. He’s also played a total of nine snaps on special teams this postseason.

COACHES

Former South Carolina linebacker Rod Wilson returns to the Super Bowl as a Defensive Assistant. In his fifth season with the Chiefs, this is the second season that Wilson has held his current title. He returned to coach with Kansas City in 2022 after spending the two previous seasons coaching at Coastal Carolina in 2021 and his alma mater in 2020. Before that, he was on the Chiefs coaching staff from 2017-19 as an Assistant Special Teams Coach. There, he won his first Super Bowl title when the Chiefs beat the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV.

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