Feb. 4, 2011
Three former Tennessee offensive linemen get their evening in the NFL spotlight Sunday when Super Bowl XLV takes place in Arlington, Texas.
Green Bay left tackle Chad Clifton and center Scott Wells lead the Packers against Pittsburgh right guard Ramon Foster and the Steelers. All three are native Tennesseans and former UT team captains who starred for the Big Orange during the late 1990s in Clifton's case and the 2000s for Wells and Foster.
The three former Vols keep alive Tennessee's impressive two-decade run of representatives in the Super Bowl. This year's game marks the 19th Super Bowl in the last 20 featuring at least one former Tennessee player.
Clifton, a Martin native, started 45 of 48 career games played for UT. He was a 1999 All-America second team choice by Sporting News and 1998 All-SEC first team selection by Football News. Clifton was a 2000 NFL Draft second-round pick by the Packers and is completing his 11th season in Green Bay.
Wells played in 50 games for the Vols, starting the last 49 consecutive to end his collegiate career with the third-longest active streak by an offensive lineman in all of college football. The Brentwood Academy product went on to earn 2000 Freshman All-SEC and 2003 All-SEC accolades from the league coaches. Wells was chosen by the Packers in the seventh round of the 2004 NFL Draft and is concluding his seventh season in Green Bay.
Foster appeared in 44 games with 28 starts in a Big Orange uniform. The Henning native finished his career with starts in 26 consecutive games and in 2007 was a member of the All-Mayday Team, as selected by ESPN college football analyst Mark May and recognizing college football's "Toughest of the Tough." Foster signed as a free agent with the Steelers in 2009 and is completing his second season in Pittsburgh.
Another former Vols offensive lineman serving in a reserve role is Steelers tackle Chris Scott, who came to Tennessee from Riverdale, Ga., and played for the Vols from 2006-09. Packers defensive tackle Justin Harrell, another Martin native and 2006 team captain, is an injured reserve member. And former UT linebacker and Knoxville native Reggie McKenzie is Green Bay's director of football operations.
The five former Vols on this year's Super Bowl rosters are tied with LSU and Texas for most among any collegiate program.