James Ihedigbo has a knack of latching on to a winner.
In his five seasons after
leaving the University of Massachusetts in 2007, Ihedigbo played in
four AFC title games and will play in his second Super Bowl in two
The career special-teamer
played in two straight AFC Championship games with the Jets in 2009 and
2010 and then played for the Patriots last season in the Super Bowl.
“Winning teams just love me, I
guess,” he said.
When the Patriots released
Ihedigbo after training camp in August, he was sign by the Baltimore Ravens on September 3, 2012. He originally signed as an undrafted
rookie free agent with the Jets in 2007 where he spent the entire
season on injured reserve.
Ihedigbo had to fight to stay
on an NFL roster. He was cut and then eventually made the Jets practice
squad in 2008.
“This league is about adapt or
die," Ihedigbo told the media prior to the AFC title game against New
England. “That's truly what it's about. So when you have an
opportunity, you make the best of it.”
He adapted enough to lead the
Jets with a career-high 27 special teams stops and a sack in 2009. He
has 92 career tackles (61 solo), 5 sacks, 1 pass defense, 1 forced
fumble, and one fumble recovery. He even posted a career-high 72
tackles (50 solo) while with the Patriots in 2011.
Ihedigbo is a former walk-on
turned three-year starter at UMass, who served as the team captain his
senior season. During that time, he had 251 total tackles, 12.5 sacks
and eight interceptions and 19 passes defended in his college career.
He was also named Walter Camp All-American, College Sporting News
All-Star and Atlantic-10 First Team defensive back his senior season.
Ihedigbo started Super Bowl
XLVI last season for New England in a loss to the Giants, but now finds
himself back in the Super Bowl as a special teamer with the Ravens. He
saw action in all 16 games this season, including three starts in his
first season with the Ravens. He finished with 19 tackles, one sack,
one pass defended and six solo special teams tackles.
“We had to persevere through a
lot of things this season,” said Ihedigbo. “We fought together and now
we’re AFC Champions. We’re going to the Super Bowl.”
Always one to make the most of
his opportunities, Ihedigbo may even make a play to help the Ravens win
Kevin Saleeba is a frequent contributor and columnist
Insider. A former beat writer for local media, Kevin has extensive
the team and experience covering the Patriots. Share
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