Rakeem Nunez-Roches becomes 17th former Southern Miss player to appear at Super Bowl

Rakeem Nunez-Roches becomes 17th former Southern Miss player to appear at Super Bowl

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (USM Athletics) - Rakeem Nunez-Roches doesn’t have far to travel for his first Super Bowl.

Nunez-Roches, a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and a former Southern Miss football letterwinner from 2011-14, has a chance to start in the big game this Sunday in its home facility, Raymond James Stadium. This game marks the first time in the 55-year history of the event that a team will play for the National Football League championship in its home city.

The Buccaneers meet defending NFL champion, the Kansas City Chiefs, in a 5:30 p.m. CT contest, which will be telecast on CBS.

The native of Dangriga, Belize, Nunez-Roches appeared in all 16 regular season games this season with 11 starts. He totaled 20 tackles (seven solo) with three quarterback hurries. In the postseason, he has started in all three road wins – coming over Washington, New Orleans and Green Bay – at the nose tackle position. His starts for the postseason include three assisted tackles and a quarterback hurry.

This is the third year for Nunez-Roches with Tampa Bay, after spending the three previous seasons with this weekend’s opponent, Kansas City.

Nunez-Roches becomes the 17th former Golden Eagle to be on the official dress roster for the Super Bowl.

Former Golden Eagle punter, Jerrel Wilson, holds the distinction of being the first from the program to play in the contest as he appeared in the inaugural game. Wilson also went on to play in Super Bowl IV. He is also the only Golden Eagle player to play for the Chiefs in a Super Bowl. Tarvarius Moore and Nick Mullens are the two previous Southern Miss players to be on the active roster in the NFL’s championship game, dropping Super Bowl LIV to the Chiefs last season. Moore registered an interception in that contest, while Mullens did not make an appearance.