Super Bowl LII features three former Beavers

Josh Andrews and Isaac Seumalo pose on the field after they found out the Philadelphia Eagles were going to the Super Bowl. Andrews and Seumalo were teammates at OSU.

Anna Weeks, Sports Chief

Philadelphia Eagles’ guard Isaac Seumalo, offensive guard Josh Andrews compete against New England Patriots’ wide receiver Brandin Cooks.

Not many college athletes make it in the pros, but Beavers have always been a resilient bunch. Of the 23 former Oregon State University football players currently in the NFL, three are set to compete in Super Bowl LII.

Wide receiver Brandin Cooks of the New England Patriots will compete against guard Isaac Seumalo and practice squad player center/guard Josh Andrews of the Philadelphia Eagles on Feb. 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

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This year, the Pac-12 has more alumnae in the Super Bowl than any other college conference. Super Bowl LI in 2017 had only two former OSU football players competing, including offensive guard Andy Levitre and running back Terron Ward both of the Atlanta Falcons.

Brandin Cooks

Before Cooks decided to forgo his senior year to enter the NFL draft, he accomplished more than his fair share of records and honors playing for OSU from 2011 to 2013. From being awarded Pac-12 Conference First Team to breaking the Pac-12 single season records of 1,730 receiving yards and 128 receptions, Cooks was a major asset to the team.

He was chosen as a 2013 Biletnikoff Award recipient, proving to be the nation’s outstanding receiver. Other awards include being named consensus All-American, Walter Camp first team, FWAA first team and many more.

During Cooks’ time in Corvallis, he broke multiple OSU records including 24 career receiving touchdowns and 16 touchdown receptions. 

His speed separated him from others, which led him to forgo his senior year to enter the 2014 NFL draft. Cooks was originally drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the draft and 20th overall, becoming the first first-round pick since Steven Jackson in 2004. 

It was for the Saints in 2016 that he was ranked No. 6 in the nation for wide receivers after setting a career-high of 1,173 receiving yards.

In March of 2017, Cooks and a fourth-round draft selection were traded to the New England Patriots with a first-round draft pick and third-round draft pick. Cooks is ending his 2017 regular season starting 15 of 16 games with 1,082 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns.

To date, Cooks has clocked 280 receptions, 3,943 receiving yards and 27 touchdowns throughout his NFL career.

Isaac Seumalo

Corvallis native Seumalo played for OSU from 2012 to 2015. Mainly utilized as center, Seumalo’s versatility led him to start his 37 career starts as left tackle, right tackle and right guard. He also played in every offensive line position throughout college, except left guard.

Seumalo redshirted his junior year in 2015 after recovering from a foot injury. He proceeded to start all 12 games and earn Pac-12 All Academic First Team and Pac-12 All-Conference Honorable Mention.

In early 2016, Seumalo became the sixth OSU football player to announce he was going to forgo his senior year to enter the NFL draft.

“To my teammates, you are the reason this decision was so hard to make,” Seumalo said in an OSU release. “You are family to me and I am humbled to have been on this journey with each of you. Fa’afetai tele lava and alofa atu Oregon State (thank you and I love Oregon State). Go Beavs!”

He was selected in the third-round and 79th overall by the Philadelphia Eagles in the draft and signed a four-year contract. Seumalo has played in 14 games and started two.

Josh Andrews

Nicknamed “Juice” at OSU, Andrews was a consistent player for OSU. In 2013 he became one of two lineman at OSU to ever start at left guard for all 13 games. 

After redshirting his first year in 2009, Andrews started 32 games throughout his college career. Originally a center, Andrews moved to left guard after spring of 2012, proving himself during the spring practice session.

In 2011, his right knee injury against Wisconsin forced him to sit out the next three games, but he returned in the game at Utah and started the next four.

Andrews was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2014 with the Philadelphia Eagles. In August of the same year, he was cut and signed to the practice squad. 

“Just gotta have that mindset to get ready every week,” Andrews said in an interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia. “That’s how I’ve been since I’ve been here. My time is coming, I just gotta wait and do what’s best for this team right now and keep us winning.

Q&A: Josh Andrews

When did you start playing football and why?

I started playing football when I was 10 years old. I always played football with my older brothers and began to love the sport more and more as I got older.

Tell me about your time at Oregon State University.

When I was at OSU I majored in sociology with an option in criminal justice, played Football and graduated in 2013. I really fell in with Corvallis as soon as I stepped on campus. I’m from Los Angeles and there is something about being in a small town that makes Corvallis a special place. Playing Football at Oregon State has definitely been amazing and I made a lot of great friends that I still talk to today.

What was your most memorable experience on the field for OSU?

My most memorable experience on the field would have to be winning the Hawaii Bowl my senior year because that was the only bowl game we had won my whole time there and to go out on top with a win as a senior was the best way possible I could of ended my time at OSU.

What was your favorite memory as an OSU student?

As a student my favorite experience would have to going on the “Beavers Without Borders” trip to Ethopia. That was an amazing experience that opened my eyes up to the world.

How did OSU prepare you for the NFL?

OSU has played a huge role in preparing me for the NFL. Not only have I had great coaches and teammates that have been mentors and pushed me to be the best player and person, but also the knowledge of how to be a professional when it comes to football and how much work you have to put into playing to keep being on top of your game. 

How different is it going from college to pro?

Going from college to the pros is very different. You don’t have people around at all times telling you where to be and how to use your time. For the most part, you are on your own when it comes to studying the game. The expectations are extremely high and if you can’t meet those demands they will find someone else who can. This is my 4th season in the NFL and it becomes harder and harder to stay in the league because a new wave of players come in every year and if you’re not on top of your game it can be over just like that. I can say that having Isaac Seumalo be on this team has helped out also. We played together at OSU  and we know each other pretty well. 

Explain to me the process of Super Bowl preparation that the team is currently undergoing.

It is such a honor to be a part of the Eagles and be in the Super Bowl this year. Many players don’t get this opportunity. This is probably one of the most close family oriented teams I’ve been on and it’s a huge part of why we are going to the Super Bowl. I’m writing this as we are flying to Minnesota and I can say that I am excited to be a part of this. The main thing we are doing to prepare for the Super Bowl and our coaches say this all the time is be consistent with our preparation, how we practice and how we study. That’s what has worked for us all season and I feel that it will continue to work now.