Three Pro Bowlers Highlight Former Rebels In The NFL

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Greg Hardy (photo by Kent Smith/Kent Smith Photography)
Greg Hardy (photo by Kent Smith/Kent Smith Photography)

Jan. 3, 2014

#NFLRebels on Twitter

OXFORD, Miss. – As the NFL Playoffs begin this weekend, here at we’re looking back at a 2013 season in which former Ole Miss Rebels made huge impacts, led by three players selected to the Pro Bowl.

San Francisco linebacker Patrick Willis, Carolina defensive end Greg Hardy and Kansas City return specialist Dexter McCluster all made the Pro Bowl, which for the first time was not selected by conference. The first-ever Pro Bowl Draft will be televised on the NFL Network on Wednesday, Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. CT.

Willis is making his seventh straight Pro Bowl appearance since his rookie season in 2007. Hardy and McCluster both made their first Pro Bowl.

The Rebels’ three Pro Bowl selections are tied with Tennessee for the most of any current SEC team.

Hardy was also voted to the Associated Press All-Pro second team as a defensive end, and McCluster was voted second team as a kick returner. It is the first All-Pro recognition for either player.

Former Rebels are primed to make big impacts on the NFL Playoffs. The following nine players are heading to the postseason with their teams: Rishaw Johnson (Kansas City), Kendrick Lewis (Kansas City), McCluster (Kansas City), Jerrell Powe (Kansas City), Cassius Vaughn (Indianapolis), BenJarvus Green-Ellis (Cincinnati), Willis (San Francisco), Brandon Bolden (New England) and Hardy (Carolina).

Overall, Ole Miss had 23 alums in the league during the 2013 season. Many former Rebels played key roles for their clubs, including 13 full-time starters and several others who made appearances in the starting lineup.

Full-time starters in 2013:
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB (Cincinnati)
Greg Hardy, DE (Carolina)
John Jerry, OG (Miami)
Peria Jerry, DE/DT (Atlanta)
Kendrick Lewis, FS (Kansas City)
Eli Manning, QB (New York Giants)
Trumaine McBride, CB (New York Giants)
Michael Oher, OT (Baltimore)
Ashlee Palmer, LB (Detroit)
Jamarca Sanford, SS (Minnesota)
Bradley Sowell, OT (Arizona)
Mike Wallace, WR (Miami)
Patrick Willis, LB (San Francisco)

Others who started at least one game in 2013:
Brandon Bolden, RB (New England)
Rishaw Johnson, OG (Kansas City)
Dexter McCluster, WR/PR (Kansas City)
Jermey Parnell, OT (Dallas)
Jerrell Powe, DT (Kansas City)
Chris Spencer, OG/C (Tennessee)
Cassius Vaughn, CB (Indianapolis)

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