Super Bowl smiles: Chris Harris, Steven Johnson fired up to represent KU at Super Bowl XLVIII
With the big game now just a few days a way, here's a quick look at the vibe surrounding former KU football players Chris Harris and Steven Johnson, members of the Denver Broncos, who will take on the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday evening.
Harris, a starter and arguably the Broncos most important defensive player this season, will miss the game because of a knee injury he suffered during Denver's second-round win over San Diego.
For a guy who has worked as hard as Harris has to get to this point, it's a major bummer to see him sitting on the sideline while his teammates play the biggest games of their lives. Still, true to Harris' form, he has kept an upbeat attitude about the whole thing and done his best to help the Broncos prepare for Sunday without him.
Johnson, who, like Harris, joined the Broncos as an undrafted free agent, will play in Sunday's game as a starter on all of Denver's special teams units. Johnson has traveled a long road to get to this point and he's soaking up every ounce of this experience.
Both seem thrilled to represent both Denver and KU in the big game and they're both working with the KU football offices to send back periodic sights and sounds from their time in New York.
Little known facts: There actually are a couple of other Jayhawk connections in this year's big game.
• Denver coach John Fox was an assistant at Kansas in 1983.
• Denver strength and conditioning coach Luke Richesson has family ties to the Lawrence and Kansas City areas and was a strength & conditioning intern at KU in 1997. He also played football at KU from 1992-96.
• Current KU coach Charlie Weis coached a couple of Super Bowl competitors during their college careers. They are: Seattle WR Golden Tate and Denver DB David Bruton, who both played at Notre Dame.
Here's a look at the first two messages from Harris and Johnson: