The San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs will play in Super Bowl LIV Feb. 3. Here are some local connections to watch for in the game (in alphabetical order):
49ers Defensive Quality Control Coach Brian Fleury
Fleury, a 2002 graduate of Towson, played quarterback for the Tigers before launching his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Maryland. He eventually circled back to Towson, latching on as head coach Rob Ambrose’s first special teams coordinator in 2009. The 2019 season marked his first year as a defensive quality control coach; the previous three years, he worked on the Dolphins’ staff.
Chiefs Defensive Back Kendall Fuller
Fuller, 24, is a native of Woodlawn, Md., and one of four brothers to have played in the NFL, joining Kyle, Corey and Vincent. Kyle is a two-time Pro Bowl corner for the Bears, while Corey played five seasons in the league as a wide receiver and Vincent played seven years as a defensive back, mostly with the Titans. All four played their college ball at Virginia Tech. Kendall played his high school ball at Good Counsel, while Kyle went to Mount Saint Joseph and the other two went to Woodlawn. Kendall played in 11 games for the Chiefs this year.
Chiefs Linebacker Demone Harris
The Ravens signed Harris to their practice squad in October, but he only stayed in Baltimore for about a month; the Chiefs signed him off the Ravens’ practice squad in late November. He’s played in six games with the Chiefs. Undrafted out of Buffalo in 2018, Harris spent parts of the last two seasons with the Buccaneers, but he was cut in October. That led to Harris signing with the Ravens … and the viral story about the missing engagement ring he had planned — and eventually did — give to his girlfriend.
49ers Fullback Kyle Juszczyk
Juszczyk was drafted by the Ravens in the fourth round out of Harvard in 2013. He proved to be not only a solid lead blocker but a productive receiver for Baltimore; from 2014-2016, he caught 97 passes for 769 yards and five touchdowns. After a Pro Bowl season in 2016, Juszczyk signed a four-year, $21 million deal with San Francisco, and the fullback has been a perfect fit in Kyle Shanahan’s offense since Shanahan was hired in 2017. Juszczyk is leading the way for the 49ers’ highly productive running game and offering help in the passing game (83 catches, 878 yards from 2017-2019). He earned his fourth straight Pro Bowl nod this year.
49ers Running Back Raheem Mostert
After going undrafted out of Purdue in 2015, Mostert was cut by the Eagles, Browns, Dolphins, Ravens, Jets and Bears before settling down with the 49ers in 2017. He played seven games for the Ravens in 2015 but didn’t get any carries. (The Ravens’ other running backs that year were Justin Forsett, Buck Allen, Terrance West and Lorenzo Taliaferro.) Mostert got an extended look this year with the Niners after Matt Brieda missed some time due to injury, and he took advantage. Mostert ran for 146 yards on 19 carries against the Ravens Dec. 1, the first of seven consecutive games with double-digit carries. He ran for 220 yards on 29 carries against the Packers in the NFC title game.
Chiefs Linebacker Dorian O’Daniel
O’Daniel, who played his high school ball at Good Counsel, played at Clemson from 2014-2017, winning a national championship as part of the 2016 season. He racked up 205 tackles (28 for loss) with the Tigers before being drafted by the Chiefs in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He’s largely been a contributor on special teams for Kansas City.
Chiefs Linebacker Terrell Suggs
Suggs was a first-round draft pick for Baltimore in 2003 and played for the Ravens until 2018. He left as a free agent and signed with his hometown Arizona Cardinals, who waived him in December. Suggs was claimed by the Chiefs, and after some reports indicated he’d consider not reporting if his claiming team wasn’t the Ravens, Suggs reported to Kansas City. He’s now in search of his second ring. Suggs is the Ravens’ all-time leading sack artist at 132.5, and his 139 career sacks are eighth all time in the NFL.
Chiefs Coaching Intern Dan Williams
After a highly decorated career as a quarterback at Division III Stevenson, Williams jumped right into the coaching ranks. As an offensive intern, he is learning from one of the best in Andy Reid. Williams was a three-year starter for the Mustangs, though his senior season in 2018 ended prematurely due to injury. Williams threw for 2,469 yards and 26 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2016 and 3,198 yards and 25 touchdowns as a junior in 2017. He was a first-team All-MAC selection both years and the MAC Offensive Player of the Year in 2017. He was a college counselor at the Manning Passing Academy in Louisiana in June 2018.
Photo Credits: Sabina Moran/PressBox, Kenya Allen/PressBox, Sabina Moran