NJ Natives, Former Rutgers Players Will Face Each Other At Super Bowl Lviii

Three former Rutgers University football players will face off in Super Bowl LVIII, including one New Jersey native trying to win his third Lombardi Trophy and two Scarlet Knights looking to earn their second championship.

Logan Ryan and Isaiah Pacheco.

Logan Ryan and Isaiah Pacheco.

Photo Credit: coolmombreezy/lil_poppy856 Instagram

Kansas City Chiefs starting running back Isiah Pacheco, of Vineland, helped lead the defending champions in the AFC title game at Baltimore on Sunday, Jan. 28. He rushed for 68 yards, caught four balls for 14 yards, and scored a second-quarter touchdown to put the Chiefs ahead of the Ravens for good in their 17-10 win.

In a postgame interview with FOX Sports, Pacheco said it was a very rewarding feeling to get back to the Super Bowl.

"We knew we had doubters," he said. "Just eliminate it, go in as a unit, and come in with one goal and one purpose to get the victory."

Pacheco was drafted by the Chiefs in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL Draft. He has emerged as a key part of quarterback Patrick Mahomes' offensive attack, leading the Chiefs in rushing yards in both seasons he's played in Kansas City.

Pacheco played for Rutgers from 2018 to 2021, running for 2,442 yards and 18 touchdowns in 44 games for the Scarlet Knights. 

"Jersey's Finest," the Rutgers football team tweeted, along with a picture of Pacheco wearing his AFC champions hat.

Before arriving in Piscataway, Pacheco and was a star at Vineland High School.

Two fellow Rutgers alums are standing in Pacheco's way of winning back-to-back Super Bowl rings. Defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day and safety Logan Ryan are members of the elite San Francisco 49ers defense.

Ryan, 32, is a Berlin native who won two Super Bowls with the New England Patriots in 2015 and 2017. He signed with the Niners on Tuesday, Dec. 5.

Ryan had two tackles in San Francisco's 34-31 massive comeback win over the Detroit Lions in the NFC Championship on Sunday, Jan. 28.

After his time with the Pats, Ryan eventually returned to New Jersey to play for the New York Giants in 2020 and 2021. He also spent three seasons with the Tennessee Titans and one with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

While at Rutgers, Ryan had 170 tackles and seven interceptions in 37 games. He was also a standout defensive back at Eastern Regional High School in Voorhees Township.

Like Pacheco, Joseph-Day is also trying to win his second Super Bowl. He was a member of the Los Angeles Rams when they won Super Bowl LVI in 2022.

Joseph-Day played in the Niners' win over the Lions. While he didn't record any stats, he did make two tackles in their divisional round win over the Green Bay Packers on Saturday, Jan. 20.

Like Ryan, Joseph-Day also joined the Niners late in the season. After the Stroudsburg, PA, native was cut by the Los Angeles Chargers, San Francisco signed him on Wednesday, Dec. 27.

The 28-year-old Joseph-Day played in 50 games for Rutgers from 2013 to 2017. As a Scarlet Knight, he had 97 tackles, 3 1/2 sacks, and two forced fumbles.

Rutgers said Super Bowl LVIII will have the most former Scarlet Knights since four played in Super Bowl LIII.  Joseph-Day played in the 2019 game, along with twins Devin and Jason McCourty and Duron Harmon.

Rutgers also said it's one of just eight colleges with three or more former players in Super Bowl LVIII. That includes powerhouse programs like Michigan, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Penn State.

Super Bowl LVIII will be played at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Sunday, Feb. 11.

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