One former South Carolina football star to make first Super Bowl appearance, the other hopes to avenge a loss

South Carolina football alums Deebo Samuel and Javon Kinlaw are on the way to the Super Bowl after their San Francisco 49ers won the NFC Championship Game.

South Carolina football alum Deebo Samuel with some of his San Francisco 49ers teammates after winning the NFC Championship Game.
South Carolina football alum Deebo Samuel with some of his San Francisco 49ers teammates after winning the NFC Championship Game. / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina football fans may have been a little torn during their NFL Playoff viewings on Sunday.

The Baltimore Ravens (with Jadeveon Clowney on defense) and the Kansas City Chiefs (with Rod Wilson helping coach the defense) faced off in the AFC Championship Game, and the Detroit Lions (a team who has never made it to a Super Bowl) and the San Francisco 49ers (with Deebo Samuel and Javon Kinlaw playing) battled it out in the NFC Championship Game.

As it turned out, the Chiefs knocked off the Ravens, meaning that Wilson will have a chance at another Super Bowl ring, and the '9ers beat the Lions with a crazy comeback, pushing Samuel to his second Super Bowl appearance and Kinlaw to his first.

Back in Super Bowl LIV, a rookie Deebo Samuel played against the Chiefs and had a great showing, picking up 92 total yards, including a Super Bowl record for rushing yards by a wide receiver. The 49ers lost to Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Andy Reid, and the Chiefs, and Rod Wilson won his second championship as an assistant coach in the NFL.

This year's matchup is believed to be a virtual toss-up, as the 49ers opened as early 1.5-point favorites according to most oddsmakers. Both Deebo Samuel and Javon Kinlaw will play big roles for San Francisco as they look to win the organization's 6th Super Bowl title.

On the 2023 season, Samuel continued his run as one of the league's elite playmakers, tallying over 1100 yards and 12 touchdowns despite missing three games with an injury. Kinlaw is part of the defensive tackle rotation for the '9ers, and he started a few games this year, including a 2-sack performance against the Philadelphia Eagles in December.

The Super Bowl will be played in Las Vegas at 6:30 EST on February 11th. The game will be broadcast on CBS, Nickelodeon, and Paramount+.

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