Shane Ray becomes 11th former Missouri football player to win Super Bowl

Shane Ray has traveled the long road from the inner city of Kansas City to that Super Bowl podium. From the marijuana citation in April 27 to sustaining an MCL injury in the sixth week of his rookie season, Ray has faced adversity.
Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Shane Ray takes the field Sept. 12 at Memorial Stadium. Mizzou beat Central Florida 38-10.

Nine months after being picked 23rd in the NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos, former Missouri defensive lineman Shane Ray won the Super Bowl.

On Sunday, Ray became the 11th Missouri Tiger to hold the Lombardi Trophy, and during the Broncos victory, Ray recorded two tackles and added a forced fumble. Although Ray’s impact was felt on football’s biggest stage, so was that of another former Missouri defensive lineman.

Kony Ealy, who was drafted in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, was one of the stars of Super Bowl 50. Wearing No. 94, Ealy recorded an interception — something he did just once in three years of college — along with four tackles and three sacks. With his play, Ealy became the first player in Super Bowl history with multiple sacks and an interception, and he tied the Super Bowl single-game record for sacks.

Although he was trumped statistically by Ealy on Sunday night, Ray emerged on the winning end.

“Like I said when I got drafted, the Broncos have given me a great opportunity to be a part of an awesome organization, and now we’re playing for a Super Bowl,” Ray said after Denver’s AFC Championship Game win against the New England Patriots. “And I can’t say just how blessed I am to be in this situation.” Ray joins the list of Missouri players to win a Super Bowl: Henry Stuckey (Miami Dolphins, 1973), Andy Russell (Pittsburgh Steelers, 1975 and 1976), John Matuszak (Oakland Raiders, 1977 and 1981), Phil Pettey (Washington Redskins, 1988), Eric Wright (San Francisco 49ers, 1982, 1985, 1989 and 1990), Tony Galbreath and Jerome Sally (New York Giants, 1987), Byron Chamberlain (Denver Broncos, 1999), Mike Jones (St. Louis Rams, 2000) and Otis Smith (New England Patriots, 2002). Sebrina Johnson, Ray’s mother, was at Levi’s Stadium on Sunday. Before the game, she said to the Kansas City Star: “I’m just really proud of who he’s become as a man. The football deal just happened. I’m proud he stayed dedicated. He picked something he wanted to do for his career, and it’s all coming to fruition.”

Ray has traveled the long road from the inner city of Kansas City to that Super Bowl podium. From the marijuana citation April 27 that hurt his draft stock to sustaining an MCL injury in week six of his rookie season, he’s faced adversity.

And with the win on Sunday, for Johnson and Ray, his dream came to fruition.

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