TOPEKA, Kan. - Two former Washburn Ichabods will be playing in the Super Bowl. Cary Williams is a starting cornerback for Baltimore. Michael Wilhoite is a special teams ace for San Francisco.
This is a special week for Craig Schurig. The head football coach at Washburn University is preparing to watch two of his former players face off in the Super Bowl.
"You are like a little kid at Christmas getting to watch those guys play," Schurig said.
Both players have traveled a long road from the Division II level to the NFL. Williams was a seventh-round pick of the Tennessee Titans in 2008. He signed with the Ravens the following year. Williams has been a starting cornerback for Baltimore the past two seasons. He has intercepted six passes this season, including two in the playoffs.
Wilhoite will be standing on the other sidelines. He was a three-year captain at Washburn. However, no NFL teams came knocking on his door following graduation. So, Wilhoite played one season with the Omaha Nighthawks in the UFL. When the season ended, he returned to Topeka. Wilhoite was selling shoes when the 49ers called with a tryout offer. After a stint on the practice squad, he was elevated to the active roster. He has registered seven special teams tackles this season.
This is the first time a former Ichabod has made it to the Super Bowl. Regardless of the outcome, Schurig will be able to proudly proclaim that one of his former players is a Super Bowl champion.
"When the Ravens are on defense, I'm going to be watching #29 (Williams) and hope that he plays very well just like he has all year," Schurig said. "When the Niners are on special teams, I'm rooting on #57 (Wilhoite) to go down and make a play or make a block. So, Washburn is going to have a Super Bowl champ."