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Pair of Former Illini Ready for Super Bowl XLVII

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A pair of Fighting Illini NFL rookies are in New Orleans this week for Super Bowl XLVII, which takes place this Sunday, Feb. 3, at 5:30 pm CT on CBS. Wide receiver A.J. Jenkins of the San Francisco 49ers and offensive lineman Jack Cornell of the Baltimore Ravens practice squad have been in the "Big Easy" all week going through all the usual Super Bowl week events while also getting ready, and helping their teams get ready, for the big game. It marks the seventh straight year and the 11th time in the last 12 years that at least one Illini has played in the Super Bowl.

AJ Jenkins has been active for both 49ers playoff victories but did not see any action during San Francisco's 28-24 win over the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship game. Selected by the 49ers with the 30th pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, Jenkins has yet to catch a pass during his rookie season, despite seeing playing time in several games.

Jack Cornell has spent the entire season on the Ravens practice squad after joining the team as an undrafted free agent last summer. Though he doesn't suit up for the games, he'll be there on the sideline and has been helping the team prepare for the 49ers during practice as he's done all season.

Check out Cornell's sweet Super Bowl jersey: 


ILlini History in the Super Bowl

Ed Brady (1): Cincinnati XXIII

Bill Brown (3): Minnesota IV, VIII, IX

Darryl Byrd (1): L.A. Raiders XVIII

Jameel Cook (1): Tampa Bay XXXVII

Carey Davis (1): Pittsburgh XLIII

Dave Diehl (2): New York Giants XLII, XLVI

Ken Dilger (1): Tampa Bay XXXVII

Tony Eason (1): New England XX

Greg Engel (1): San Diego XXIX

Jim Grabowski (2): Green Bay I, II

Howard Griffith (2): Denver XXXII, XXXIII

Kelvin Hayden (2): Indianpolis XLI, XLIV

Nathan Hodel (1): Arizona XLIII

Robert Holcombe (2): St. Louis XXXIV, XXXVI

Brad Hopkins (1): Tennessee XXXIV

Henry Jones (3): Buffalo XXVI, XXVII, XXVIII

Jim Juriga (1): Denver XXIV

Greg Lewis (1): Philadelphia XXXIX

Adam Lingner (4): Buffalo XXV, XXVI, XXVII, XXVIII

Rashard Mendenhall (2): Pittsburgh XLIII, XLV

Aaron Moorehead (1): Indianapolis XLI

Ray Nitschke (1): Green Bay I, II

Preston Pearson (5): Baltimore III; Pittsburgh - IX; Dallas - X, XII, XIII

Neil Rackers (1): Arizona XLIII

Simeon Rice (1):Tampa Bay XXXVII

Jack Squirek (1): L.A. Raiders XVIII

Calvin Thomas (1): Chicago XX

Pierre Thomas (1): New Orleans XLIV

Steve Weatherford (1): New York Giants XLVI

Eugene Wilson (3): New England XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLII

Walter Young (2): Carolina XXXVIII

Other Illini Performances during Conference Championship Week

Brandon Lloyd, WR, New England Patriots - Had seven catches for 70 yards, including a long of 16 yards, in the Patriots' 28-13 loss to the Ravens in the AFC Championship game. Lloyd finished the playoffs with 12 catches for 102 yards and one touchdown, after racking up 74 receptions for 911 yards and four touchdowns in the regular season.

Tavon Wilson, FS, New England Patriots - Wilson played in the Patriots' AFC Championship game loss to the Ravens, but did not record a statistic. The rookie made three tackles in two playoff games after posting 41 tackles, six passes defended, four interceptions and two fumble recoveries in the regular season.

Michael Hoomanawanui, TE, New England Patriots - Hoomanawanui started and saw plenty of action, but did not record any stats in the Patriots AFC Championship game loss to the Ravens. He made six starts and recorded five catches for 109 yards, including a long of 41, in the regular season. 

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