From Humble Beginnings to the Big Stage

**  What do Arkansas, Baylor, Nebraska, Stanford and Virginia Tech have in common?
**  Answer:  They are Power Five schools that have no players on an active roster for
Super Bowl 50.  In fact, over half (67 of 128) of all FBS schools have no alumni in this year’s
big game.
**  And Assumption College, a Division II school in Worcester, Massachusetts, does!
**  Assumption is a private, Catholic, liberal arts school with just over 2,100 undergraduate students.  The Greyhounds play in the Northeast-10 Conference.  In 2015 they went 11-2, losing
41-39 to Slippery Rock in the second round of the Division II playoffs.  In the first round Assumption hosted a game in its first-ever playoff appearance.
**  Carolina tight end Scott Simonson appeared in nine games this season for the Panthers, catching one pass for 10 yards.
**  In 2013 at Assumption, Simonson was an Honorable Mention All-American for the 6-5
Greyhounds.  He led the team with 39 catches for 604 yards and five touchdowns.  Simonson started the last 31 games of his college career.

**  What do Brigham Young, Florida State, L.S.U., Michigan State, Southern Cal and T.C.U. have in common?
**  Answer:  They have less than two players on active rosters for Super Bowl 50.  In fact, only 23 FBS schools have two or more players on active rosters, which means that 105 schools have one or zero alumni in the big game.
**  And Coastal Carolina, an FCS school in Conway, South Carolina, has two!
**  C.C.U. is a public, state-supported, liberal arts university.  It’s eight miles west of Myrtle Beach.
Coastal was founded in 1954 as a two-year junior college, became a four-year institution in 1974, and became independent of the University of South Carolina and fully on its own in 1993.
**  Coastal Carolina’s football team is leaving FCS and the Big South Conference for FBS and the Sun Belt Conference.  There’s a transitional period, so the Chanticleers will become a Sun Belt Conference member officially in 2017 and attain full bowl eligibility the following season.  In 2016 Coastal Carolina will play an independent FCS schedule.
**  C.C.U. first played football in 2003 but has won or shared Big South Conference titles seven
times and appeared in the FCS playoffs six times.
**  Both of Coastal Carolina’s participants in the Super Bowl play, not surprisingly, for Carolina.  Both cornerback Josh Norman and fullback Mike Tolbert see plenty of action for the Panthers.  Norman is a starter; Tolbert made the 2014 Pro Bowl.
**  Norman played at Coastal from 2008 to 2011.  He was All-Big South First Team three times and a First Team AP FCS All-American in 2011.  He had 11 interceptions in his career, tying for second-most in school history.
**  Tolbert played at Coastal from 2004 to 2007.  In his senior year he led the team in rushing with 748 yards on 111 carries (a 6.7 average)  and scored nine touchdowns.  For his efforts he was selected Second Team FCS All-American.  In four seasons Tolbert carried 277 times and caught 26 passes without ever fumbling.
**  Tolbert was a college teammate of quarterback Tyler Thigpen and wide receiver Jerome Simpson, both of whom would also play in the NFL.

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