Jan. 23, 2011
DALLAS (SMU) - Former Mustang Emmanuel Sanders is coming back to the Metroplex for Super Bowl XLV after helping the Pittsburgh Steelers to a 24-19 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday at Heinz Field to win the AFC Championship. Sanders caught one pass for 20 yards in the victory. Sanders will be the second Mustang in two seasons to play in the Super Bowl, as punter/kicker Thomas Morstead and the New Orleans Saints won Super Bowl XXIV last season.
Sanders and his Steeler teammates were awarded the Lamar Hunt Trophy for the win, an award named for the SMU alumnus and former owner of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Sanders was selected by Pittsburgh in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Sanders was named an Honorable Mention All-American by SI.com as a senior at SMU in 2009 and left SMU ranked as the school's all-time leader in career catches, TD catches and yards, single-season and single-game receptions and single-season yardage.
Standing in Sanders' way to a Super Bowl title will be the Green Bay Packers, a team built by SMU alumnus Ted Thompson, the Green Bay G.M. Thopmson was a three-year starter (1972-74) at linebacker and team captain ('74) for SMU, earning Academic All-Southwest Conference honors and graduating with a bachelor's degree in business administration. He also lettered in baseball as a senior.
Last season, Morstead executed a critical onside kick to start the second half, giving the Saints momentum. With the victory, Morstead became the first Mustang to earn a Super Bowl ring since Dale Hellestrae won a ring in 1996 with the Dallas Cowboys.
Super Bowl XLV is set for Sunday, Feb. 6 at 5:30 p.m. (CT) at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. The game will be televised on Fox.