Football

Super Bowl appearance appears well within reach for former HSU player

Humboldt State Athletics

By Ray Hamill — It’s not too often we see a former Lumberjack starting in the Super Bowl, but there appears to be a growing chance we could see one this year.

In just his third season in the NFL, Alex Cappa is quickly establishing himself as a solid right guard, and is doing so on a Tampa Bay team that is now the betting favorite in the NFC, according to VegasInsider.com.

The Bucs are 6-2 heading into a key Sunday night primetime showdown against the division rival New Orleans Saints (5-2), and appear perfectly poised for a Super Bowl run halfway through the season.

The team has added several high profile free agents this year in an obvious effort to win now, including the likes of legendary quarterback Tom Brady, tight end Rob Gronkowski and (recently) receiver Antonio Brown.

Their success, however, has been founded largely on the consistent play of the offensive line, including former Lumberjack Cappa.

An ever-present on the line for the second straight year, Cappa has allowed zero sacks in 552 snaps this season, while committing just two penalties.

Playing alongside high draft pick Tristan Wirfs, who starts at right tackle, the duo have been a force on the right side, growing stronger with each game.

The Bucs have allowed just two sacks total in the past three games.

And the team’s play, which has seen it win six of its last seven games, has not gone unnoticed, with VegasInsider.com listing the Bucs at 13-2 to lift the Vince Lombardi trophy in early February.

That makes them the third favorite to win the Super Bowl, trailing only AFC frontrunners the Kansas City Chiefs (7-2) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2), with the Seattle Seahawks just behind the Bucs at 8-1.

If Cappa was to qualify for the Super Bowl, it would be a memorable occasion for Humboldt State, which cut the football program one year after he last played for the Jacks in 2017.

The Dublin, CA, native enjoyed four outstanding seasons at the Redwood Bowl, quickly earning a reputation as a fan favorite, before the Bucs traded up to draft him in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

As far as we can tell, the only other former HSU player to ever play in the Super Bowl was Wendell Hayes back in 1970.

Hayes played 11 years in the AFL/NFL, including the last seven with the Kansas City Chiefs, where he played fullback on the team that defeated the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV.

Hayes carried the ball eight times for 31 yards in the win, while also pulling in a reception for three yards.

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