Rutgers football will be well represented next weekend when the NFL holds its two conference championship games.
Safety Devin McCourty has become a mainstay in the AFC Championship game with the New England Patriots and will be joined this year by two other former Scarlet Knights.
Rookie defensive lineman Justin Francis is now teammates with McCourty on the Patriots. The two played together at Rutgers for multiple seasons and made impact plays together in the NFL playoffs this year.
In today’s win over the Houston Texans, McCourty and Francis combined for seven tackles.
Next week, the two defenders face a bigger challenge in Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who stole the show Saturday night in a double overtime victory over the Denver Broncos.
Rice has been the highest profile Rutgers product in the NFL over the past decade, but has never made it to the Super Bowl. One step away, Rice ran for 131 yards and a touchdown Saturday night. His 16 rushing yards on the final drive set up the game-winning 47-yard field goal.
The Ravens also have former Rutgers defensive lineman Alex Silvestro as a member of their practice squad. Silvestro dressed for the Patriots in last year’s Super Bowl.
In the NFC, the highest drafted Rutgers product in NFL history is one game away from the Super Bowl. San Francisco 49ers starting right tackle Anthony Davis is the lone Scarlet Knight left standing in the NFC and former 11th overall draft pick started every game in his first thee NFL seasons.