PORTLAND, Ore. — It’s Super Bowl week and as usual there’s a few players with ties to Oregon and Washington playing in the big game. In fact, two players who played high school football in the Portland area will be playing key roles in Sunday’s championship matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs.
Of the five players connected to the Pacific Northwest, four of them play for the Buccaneers. Here’s a look at the five players who will be on the sidelines Sunday:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ndamukong Suh, defensive lineman (Grant High School)
Suh was a standout at Grant High School before he made a national name for himself in college at Nebraska and through his 11 seasons in the NFL. Suh has had six sacks this season, his second with Tampa Bay. This is his second Super Bowl appearance in the last three years. Suh was on the Rams team that lost to the New England Patriots (and current teammate Tom Brady) in 2019.
Jaydon Mickens, wide receiver (University of Washington)
Mickens led the Washington Huskies in receptions and receiving yards during his junior and senior seasons. He’s yet to find the same level of success in the NFL, bouncing around the league through his five professional seasons. After being cut and re-signed by the Buccaneers multiple times this season, Mickens has played himself onto the field during the playoffs as the team’s punt and kick returner.
Vita Vea, defensive lineman (University of Washington)
Vea, who was the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2017 while with the Huskies, was drafted by Tampa Bay in the first round of the 2018 draft. After suffering fractures to his right leg and ankle in October, Vea returned for the NFC championship game against the Green Bay Packers. Vea was one of several players on the Buccaneers’ defensive line credited with disrupting Green Bay's offense, helping the Tampa Bay pull off the upset win to get to the Super Bowl.
Deone Bucannon, linebacker/defensive back (Washington State University)
Bucannon, who was a first round pick of the Arizona Cardinals in the 2014 draft, is in his second stint with the Buccaneers. He was promoted to the team’s active roster heading into the playoffs. He’s yet to play a defensive snap for the Buccaneers but has played on special teams.
Kansas City Chiefs
Mike Remmers, offensive lineman (Jesuit High School and Oregon State University)
Remmers has had a nearly decade-long NFL career after playing at Jesuit and Oregon State. Remmers started every game of his college career with the Beavers. He’s signed with nine teams during his NFL career. He played for the Carolina Panthers, who lost in the Super Bowl to the Denver Broncos in 2016. Remmers' latest landing spot is with the Chiefs. He has been a consistent starter on Kansas City’s offensive line this year and will be relied upon for stability in the Super Bowl with other Chiefs offensive linemen sidelined due to injury.
In what could be a fun Portland matchup, Remmers and Suh may be lined up against each other during certain plays on Sunday. Keep an eye out!