Around Town

No Panthers, but plenty of Carolinas connections in Super Bowl XLIX

If  neither Seattle nor New England rock your football boat, you can at least root for these Carolinians who will be making an appearance Sunday evening:

Russell Wilson

Position: Seahawks quarterback

Carolinas connection: Played at N.C. State

Interesting fact: Wilson is also an ace at baseball. He was drafted in the fourth round by the Colorado Rockies and played two minor league seasons, including one with the Asheville Tourists in 2011.

J.R. Sweezy

Position: Seahawks right guard

Carolinas connection: Grew up in Mooresville, played at N.C. State

Interesting fact: He exceeded the weight limit for running backs as a 10-year-old in Mooresville’s youth league, prompting a move to the offensive line.

Brandon LaFell

Position: Patriots wide receiver

Carolinas connection: Played for Panthers 2010-13

Interesting fact: Likes to listen to R&B “slow jams” to calm himself down before games. Luther Vandross is a favorite.

Landon Cohen

Position: Seahawks defensive tackle

Carolinas connection: Lives in Spartanburg, SC.

Interesting fact: Owns a valet business in Spartanburg; one evening, top NFL draft pick Jadeveon Clowney used his service.

Nate Isles

Position: Seahawks offensive lineman

Carolinas connection: Played for North Carolina A&T

Interesting fact: Isles went undrafted after graduation, but got picked up by Seattle after a tryout during a rookie minicamp in May.

Byron Maxwell

Position: Seahawks cornerback

Carolinas connection: Played for Clemson

Interesting fact: Likes to wear long sleeves during games, a look that earns him ribbing from his teammates.

Steven Hauschka

Position: Seahawks kicker

Carolinas connection: Played at N.C. State

Interesting fact: Grew up a rabid Patriots fan. He also never played football as a kid, choosing soccer instead.

Cooper Helfet

Position: Seahawks tight end

Carolinas connection: Played at Duke

Interesting fact: Roommates with Marshawn Lynch, the media darling (not).

Photo: Charlie Riedel / AP