When the Baltimore Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers to win Super Bowl XLVII with a 34-31 victory, it was big day for the fans of Baltimore, but also Temple, Philadelphia and Black college football.
Bernard Pierce, former Temple All-American running back, played a big role in helping the Ravens win the Super Bowl. Pierce, a Glen Mills product, had 12 carries for 33 yards on Sunday, picking up some key first downs along the way. He provided a consistent ground attack to support Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, who completed 22-of-33 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns while being named the Super Bowl’s Most Valuable Player.
Pierce is just the ninth Owl to earn a Super Bowl ring and sixth to do it as a rookie. Eight other Temple players have earned 14 championships. All six Owls who played in the Super Bowl as rookies won championship rings.
Since 1975, 12 Temple players have made 19 appearances in 15 Super Bowls with 14 winning championship rings. Pierce is just the sixth Temple player to advance to the Super Bowl during his rookie season. The last Owl to do that as a rookie was linebacker Rian Wallace (2002-04), who won a ring with the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XL.
The Temple player with most Super Bowl rings in Randy Grossman (1971-73), who won four as a tight end with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Defensive lineman Dan Klecko (1999-02) earned three Super Bowl rings, two with the New England Patriots and one with the Indianapolis Colts.
Pierce, a third round pick in last spring’s NFL draft, decided to leave Temple early, giving up his final year of eligibility. He had a fine rookie year picking up 532 yards on 108 carries while scoring one touchdown.
As a junior, the 6-foot, 218-pounder, became Temple’s all-time leader in rushing touchdowns (53), total touchdowns (54), and points scored (324). He also set the season records for rushing TDs (27), total TDs (27), points scored (162), and 100-yard rushing games (9), while setting game records for rushing TDs (five at Maryland) and points scored (30 at Maryland).
Pierce was the only Temple player on the Super Bowl rosters for both teams. However, Jameel McClain, former George Washington star, will receive a Super Bowl ring. McClain, an All-Public League standout, played linebacker for the Ravens throughout most of the season. Unfortunately, he suffered a spinal contusion in December and missed the rest of the season.
Jahri Evans, former Frankford High star, was the last Public League player to win a Super Bowl. Evans, an offensive tackle, helped the New Orleans Saints defeat the Indianapolis Colts, 31-17 to win the 2009 Super Bowl XLIV.
For a lot of Black college football fans, Jacoby Jones really put on a show in Sunday’s Super Bowl, scoring two touchdowns. Jones, Ravens wide receiver and kick returner, had two of the game’s biggest plays. Flacco threw a 56-yard TD pass to Jones. Then, Jones opened the second half with a 108-yard kickoff return, which set an NFL postseason record.
Jones played his college football at Lane College, a historically Black college, in Jackson, Tenn. Lane College is a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The SIAC is a league of Division II HBCU schools like Morehouse, Clark Atlanta and Fort Valley State just to name a few.
Jones, a 6-foot-2, 220-pounder, was originally a third round pick of the Houston Texans in 2007. He spent four seasons with the Texans before signing with the Ravens. Jones was also named to his first Pro Bowl this year as a kick returner.