(Tampa, FL) — Two former University of Minnesota star football players were on the winning Super Bowl team last night, while a third had a big night for the losing team. Tampa Bay Buccaneer rookies Antoine (AN-twon) Winfield, Junior and Tyler Johnson helped their team beat the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 55 last night 31-9.
Winfield, Junior intercepted a pass in the second half and recorded six tackles in the game. Winfield celebrated his interception by doing a “Row The Boat” celebration with his teammates on the field.
Winfield was later penalized for taunting Kansas City receiver Tyreek Hill. Winfield explained the situation after the game saying his actions stemmed from Week 12 of the N-F-L regular season when Hill did a backflip on a touchdown against Winfield and held up a peace sign just before doing it. Winfield says he held up the peace sign yesterday after a failed Chiefs’ fourth down play and admited he enjoyed it despite drawing a 15-yard penalty after the play. The Bucs still got the ball and Winfield got his payback.
Winfield says he was able to embrace his father, former Vikings defensive back Antoine Winfield, Senior, after the game on the field and they both became emotional. The elder Winfield was a standout player for 14 seasons in the N-F-L but never made it to the Super Bowl. Winfield spent his early years attending school and playing youth sports in Eden Prairie while his dad player for the Vikes.
Johnson was targeted once by Tampa quarterback Tom Brady, but the pass won incomplete. Johnson is a former Minneapolis North High School star.
Former Gopher linebacker Damien Wilson led Kansas City with ten total tackles, including two key stops on a goal line stand in the first half. Wilson was an all-Big Ten player for Minnesota in 2014.
In addition, Tampa Bay offensive lineman Joe Haeg of Brainerd also won his first Super Bowl ring with last night’s win. He was in the game as an extra offensive lineman and an eligible receiver and nearly caught a first half touchdown pass from Tom Brady, but couldn’t hang on. Haeg played college football at North Dakota State.