Jan 19, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) runs with the ball after a catch in the second half against the New England Patriots during the 2013 AFC championship playoff football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Super Bowl features 13 ACC players

Both sides of the ball will have heavy representation from ACC players in the Super Bowl this Sunday.

When the Denver Broncos are on offense, wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, a former Georgia Tech star, will get plenty of attention from both Peyton Manning and the Seattle Seahawks secondary. So far this year, Thomas has racked up 92 receptions for 1,430 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Speaking of the Seahawks secondary, strong safety Kam Chancellor, from Virginia Tech, and cornerback Byron Maxwell, from Clemson, are mainstays on a defensive unit that was tops in the NFL this year.

The Broncos’ offensive line is also heavy with ACC blockers. Starting right tackle Orlando Franklin played in Miami, backup tackle Vinston Painter is fresh out of  Virginia Tech and backup center Steve Vallos played for Wake Forest.

When the Seahawks go on the offensive, they will rely on the nimble legs and strong arm of Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who flashed his skills at NC State while accounting for nearly 4,000 yards of total offense and 27 touchdowns.

NC State isn’t finished contributing players to this game. Kicker Steven Hauschka, another former Wolfpacker, has hit 33-of-35 field goal attempts this season and has connected on all three tries from beyond 50 yards. Offensive guard J.R. Sweezy, also from NC State, is set to start up front for Seattle.

Denver will counter on defense with its own ACC products. Defensive tackle Sylvester Williams, from North Carolina, and linebacker Nate Irving, another NC State alum, figure heavily in the Broncos’ scheme. Cornerback Tony Carter from Florida State will also see playing time for Denver, mostly in nickel and dime looks.

All told, the ACC boasts 13 former student-athletes in this year’s Super Bowl, and its nine starters rank second among all collegiate conferences. NC State’s four representatives in Sunday’s game are the second-most of any school.

Tags: ACC Clemson Tigers Denver Broncos Florida State Seminoles Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Miami Hurricanes NC State Wolfack North Carolina Tarheels Seattle Seahawks Virginia Tech Hokies Wake Forest Demon Deacons

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