Three former FAU football players to take part in Super Bowl LVI

Two former Owls will compete for the Los Angeles Rams and one for the Cincinnati Bengals.


Mohammed F Emran

University Press Stock Photo of Trey Hendrickson.

Matthew Aguilar-Lizzi, Contributing Writer

On Sunday, Feb. 13, the Los Angeles Rams will face the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. There will be three alumni from FAU registered on their respective rosters: defensive end Trey Hendrickson (Bengals), running back Gregory “Buddy” Howell Jr. (Rams), and free safety Sharrod Neasman (Rams).

Super Bowl LVI will be the second year in a row where the host city’s team will play in the game. Last season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the first team to play a Super Bowl in their own stadium.

Hendrickson played for FAU from 2013 to 2016, playing a total of 38 games with 122 total tackles (68 solo) and 178 sack yardage. In his senior year, Trey was invited to the NFLPA All-Star game. He was also named the 2016 Conference USA Defensive Player of the year, First Team All-Conference, was the Owls’ MVP, and ranked No. 1 nationally in blocked kicks following the regular-season.

Hendrickson will be hoping to start in another game for Cincinnati. Out of the 20 games he played in this year,  he started in 17 of them (3 were playoff games). Hendrickson’s defense was solid as he had 40 total tackles (25 solo), getting 31 quarterback hits, and forcing four fumbles. This is Hendrickson’s fifth year in the NFL.

Howell Jr. played for the Owls from 2014 to 2017. He also helped them win the C-USA Championship game and the Boca Bowl his senior year. He played a total of 39 games, scored 22 touchdowns, rushed for 2,419 yards, and averaged 9.6 yards per carry. 

This is his first year for the Rams and fourth year in the National Football League (NFL) after being traded from the Houston Texans in 2020. His only appearance for the Rams was against his former team where he had five rushing attempts, 11 rushing yards, and averaged2.2 rushing yards per attempt.

Neasman represented FAU from 2012 to 2015 playing a total of 42 games. In his senior year, he was named team captain as he had a team-high 10 tackles against Tulsa, and was recognized as the team’s Student-Athlete of the Year

He enters his sixth season in the NFL, but his first with the Rams. He was with the Atlanta Falcons from 2016 to 2020, then went to the New York Jets in 2021. The Jets finished the regular season at the bottom of the AFC East with a 4-13 record, so he was cut and later signed with the Rams and went into their practice squad.

The game will be broadcast on NBC and streamed on Peacock. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. EST.

Matthew Aguilar-Lizzi is a contributing writer at the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected], or tweet him @mattaguilarUP.