Three former Clemson football players are playing in the biggest game of their careers today.
Sammy Watkins, Bashaud Breeland and Dorian O’Daniel will suit up for the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV in Miami Gardens, Fla., when they take on the San Francisco 49ers.
The Chiefs knocked off the Tennessee Titans 35-24 to win the AFC Championship.
Watkins caught a 60-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Patrick Mahomes and finished with 114 yards on seven catches to help the Chiefs reach their first Super Bowl in 50 years.
The former Clemson star receiver and 2014 first-round draft pick signed with Kansas City in 2018 after spending three years in Buffalo and one with the Rams.
In 2019, Watkins saw the third most targets (90) and produced the third most receiving yards (673) and catches (50) of his career. He’s caught four touchdowns, including his playoff numbers.
You have free articles remaining.
“One of the best decisions of my life was coming to this team,” Watkins said after he led the Chiefs in receiving.
Breeland, who played cornerback for the Tigers and joined the Chiefs in 2019, had four tackles against the Titans and nearly came up with an interception that was overturned on replay.
Breeland recorded two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and 48 tackles in 15 starts in the 2019 regular season.
O’Daniel, who starred at the linebacker/safety hybrid position under Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables, didn’t record a tackle in Sunday’s game. He has been used primarily on special teams, although he did play 12 snaps on defense in the AFC Divisional playoff win over the Houston Texans.
All three players have experienced the Super Bowl festivities, and they’ll be going up against a pair of former South Carolina Gamecock players in receiver Deebo Samuel and defensive back Rashad Fenton.
The Super Bowl will be televised on Fox at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 2.
The 49ers reached the final game by beating the Green Bay Packers 37-20 on Sunday to win the NFC Championship.
The Chiefs last won the AFC in 1969, and they went on to win Super Bowl IV against the Minnesota Vikings.
Zach Lentz is a Clemson University alumnus who got his start working with the Tigers basketball team from 1999-2004. Now a resident of Orangeburg County, he reports on Clemson sports as a correspondent for The Times and Democrat. He also serves as a co-host of Solid Orange, seen at 11 p.m. Wednesdays on WACH FOX 57 in Columbia. He is editor of www.SI.com/college/Clemson