(TOPEKA, Ks.) This Sunday, some of the best football players in the NFL will be on display.
While you may expect to see the Ravens and 49ers rosters littered with players from Division I powerhouses like Alabama and USC, you can't forget about the MIAA.
Washburn puts two players in the Super Bowl - including defensive back Cary Williams.
Williams is the starting right cornerback for the Ravens - a defense that includes surefire Hall of Famers Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.
The former Ichabod tied Reed with a team-leading four interceptions for the season, and even ended the New England Patriots hopes in the AFC Championship game by sealing the contest with a fourth quarter interception of Tom Brady.
While Williams is suiting up for the Ravens on Sunday, another Ichabod will be donning the red and gold for the 49ers.
Linebacker Michael Wilhoite will be on the opposite sideline of his former Washburn teammate, but his path to the Super Bowl was anything but ordinary.
Those closest to Wilhoite know just how special his Super Bowl appearance will be.
"Everybody says it, but it's the truth: nobody deserves it more than Mike," Ken Darting, Wilhoite's former coach at Highland Park High School in Topeka, said.
The former Ichabod linebacker gets his chance on the biggest of all stages this Sunday. But Wilhoite's journey to the NFL didn't come easy. After a one year stint in the UFL, he went back home to Topeka, and worked as a shoe salesman at the West Ridge Mall before getting the phone call from the 49ers that would change his life.
San Francisco signed him to the practice squad in December of 2011.
"He worked all kinds of jobs, and he always had a great attitude about it, never got down," Wilhoite's Washburn head coach Craig Schurig said. "Just felt like 'hey, it's what I'm supposed to do.' And I think his faith, he's got a tremendous faith. I think that carried him through those low points."
"He never lost sight," Darting said. "He never lost his dream."
That spot on the practice squad turned into a spot on the active roster in late November playing special teams, and was even named a team captain for the NFC Championship game against the Atlanta Falcons.
"Everybody's surprised about where Mike Wilhoite's at except Mike Wilhoite. Mike Wilhoite is not surprised," Darting said. "And he doesn't have an arrogant bone in his body, it's not arrogance. It's 'I'm going there, because I'm going to do what it takes,'"