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Former N.C. State players in Super Bowl XLVIII

RUSSELL WILSON

Seattle quarterback

At N.C. State: Was very good right away, becoming the first freshman to be a first-team All-ACC quarterback, in 2008. … Had two more excellent seasons, accounting for 93 touchdowns for the Wolfpack. … Played his final collegiate season at Wisconsin after a baseball-related conflict with coach Tom O’Brien.

Hometown: Richmond, Va.

Acquired: Third-round draft pick in 2011.

This season: Led Seahawks to the Super Bowl in his second season.

Personal: As a high school sophomore, Wilson attended Peyton Manning’s passing camp.

Quote: “I definitely expected to be here. I believe in my talent. I believe in everything that I’ve been given. I expect to play at a high level and I expect to be fighting for a Super Bowl every year.”

J.R. SWEEZY

Seattle offensive guard

At N.C. State: Grandfather played for the Wolfpack, so Sweezy grew up a big N.C. State fan. … A linebacker in high school, he started as a junior and senior in Raleigh as a defensive tackle.

Hometown: Mooresville.

Acquired: Seventh-round draft pick in 2012.

This season: After the Seahawks moved him to offensive guard, he has become a full-time starter. Quarterback Russell Wilson called him Wednesday “arguably the most athletic right guard in football.”

Personal: Played linebacker at Mooresville High, where his father was once the quarterback, and also was a superb high school wrestler.

Quote: “I was a Redskins fan until the Panthers came to town. Then I switched over. I don’t have a place in Mooresville, so I just stay with my parents when I get back home. My younger sister goes to N.C. State too.”

STEVEN HAUSCHKA

Seattle kicker

At N.C. State: Played for a single season after transferring from Division III Middlebury College, where he originally played soccer (Hauschka never kicked for his high school football team). … Won the N.C. State kicking job during the 2007 offseason, then made 16 of 18 field goals for the Wolfpack.

Hometown: Needham, Mass.

Acquired: Undrafted; He bounced around several other NFL teams before Seattle signed him in 2011.

This season: Had a monster year, making 33 of 35 field goals during the regular season.

Personal: Had long planned to be a dentist, but has put dental school on indefinite hold during NFL success.

Quote: “After graduating from Middlebury, I called up a bunch of Division I schools that had lost their kickers to graduation. N.C. State was one of the only ones that returned my call. They gave me the chance to walk on. Playing Division I football was a dream of mine, but I never thought it would lead to an NFL career.”

NATE IRVING

Denver linebacker

At N.C. State: Missed the 2009 season because of serious injuries sustained in a car crash he had after falling asleep at the wheel. … Irving came back to make first-team All-ACC in 2010 as a senior and won the Brian Piccolo Award for courage.

Hometown: Teachey

Acquired: Third-round draft pick in 2011.

This season: Long a special-teams standout, Irving became a Denver starter late this season after Von Miller went down with an injury. Irving will start in the Super Bowl.

Personal: Did public service announcements after his car crash to try to bring more awareness to the dangers of “driving drowsy” as he did. “Driving drowsy is just as bad as driving drunk,” he said Tuesday.

Quote: “It’s just a blessing. I was given a second chance. A lot of people aren’t even given a first chance. I’m very grateful for it.”

Scott Fowler

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