Nashville, Tenn. - Former Tennessee State University free safety Anthony Levine had an immense rookie season as a member of the practice squad of the Green Bay Packers.
Despite not seeing any game action during the season, Levine has a Super Bowl Championship ring headed his way after the Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers, 31-25, in Super Bowl XLV on Sunday in Arlington, Texas.
Levine told the Winston-Salem Journal, ""It was amazing," Levine said by telephone that week."To be around the guys and being a part of the team was something that I couldn't have imagined."
Levine did not dress for the Super Bowl but was seen during several moments of the celebration.
As legendary Dallas Cowboys and Pro Football Hall of Famer, Roger Staubach, made his way to midfield with the championship trophy, you can see a clear shot of Levine touching the trophy as Staubach leaned the gold in his direction.
Also, the close up of quarterback Aaron Rodgers's interview during the presentation, you can see Levine right in the background enjoying the win.
Levine, a 6-0 safety had interests from other NFL teams and an offer from the Philadelphia Eagles. However, the Packers kept him a signed him to a three-year contract in May 2010 after performing through a rookie-orientation camp.
He was among eight players the Packers kept on the practice squad occasionally playing that week's opponent best wide receiver.
At the end of the 2010 NFL Preseason, Levine finished with four tackles (3 solo), but received rave reviews from Packer analysts on acmepackingcompany.com. In a story entitle "Someone to Keep an Eye On: Anthony Levine", analysts feel comfortable about Levine being a member of the Packers.
They stated, "This time last year, one of the players I looked at was S Anthony Levine. While the Packers decided to go with SS Morgan Burnett in the 3rd round, and got a shockingly good season from SS Charlie Peprah (I had expected nothing from him and he ended giving them 15 quality starts), they still signed Levine to the practice squad."
Acmepackingcompany.com added, "And he was one of the few players who stayed on the practice squad all season. In an interview with the Winston-Salem Journal, Levine called this season his "redshirt year." His role with the team last season was to play the part of the opponent's top receiver on the scout team. Sometimes those versatile players can become valuable contributors, such as RB Ryan Grant, who used to be the opponent's top running back on the scout team when he was on the Giants practice squad. The Packers recently signed Levine for next season, and he'll enter 2011 with a valuable year of experience under his belt, and a Super Bowl ring."
"I'm glad I stayed because my future is looking very good with the Packers," Levine told the Winston Salem Journal. "They are a great organization, and I'm happy with how things have worked out."
In college, Levine played in 40 games and had 129 tackles (80 solo) and five interceptions.
According to John Dell of the Winston-Salem Journal, Levine, 23, has learned so much from Packers teammates Charles Woodson and Nick Collins that it can only help him in the future. Now that he is signed to a regular contract, he said he plans on working hard this spring and summer to be ready for next season. He also plans on getting on to the field in 2011.
Levine explained to the Journal. "I just took it in stride and enjoyed the ride and tried to get better each and every practice.It was an awesome experience."
An All-Ohio Valley Conference selection at the end of his senior year, Levine becomes the 19th TSU Football alum on a roster of a Super Bowl team. He becomes the first as a member Green Bay Packers and the sixth to either play in a Super Bowl as a rookie, or listed on the roster of a team that played in the championship game that year.
In addition, he brings TSU's count to 12 in regards to players who are members of a Super Bowl Championship team.
Other TSU alums that were part of the championship game in their rookie season include: Fletcher Smith (Kansas City Chiefs - Super Bowl I), Jim Marsalis (Kansas City Chiefs - Super Bowl IV), John Holland (Minnesota Vikings - Super Bowl IX), Donald Laster (Washington Redskins - Super Bowl XVII), Bennie Anderson (Baltimore Ravens - Super Bowl XXXV) and most recently, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Arizona Cardinals - Super Bowl XLIII).
Among the list of former TSU football players that were on the rosters of Super Bowl teams in their first season in the NFl, Levine joins Marsalis, Laster, and Anderson to end the year with a championship ring.
Levine is a native of Abbeville, La. but attended R.J. Reynolds HS in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Anthony Levine (L) takes the opportunity to touch the Super Bowl trophy presented by legendary Dallas Cowboys quarterback and Pro Football Hall of Famer, Roger Staubach (R), at the conclusion of Super Bowl XLV. The Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers, 31-25, in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas