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Ravens' Smith aims to join local Super Bowl club
FILE/David J. Phillip/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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BY TAFT COGHILL JR.
As a three-time Pro Bowl kick returner for the Washington Redskins, Mike
Before every contest Nelms would become overwhelmed by nervousness.
"But as soon as the game started," Nelms said, "I was loving it."
That wasn't the case when the Redskins faced the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XVII at the end of the 1982 season. The usual nerves were there. But they never left.
"It shocked me to death," said Nelms, who has lived in Spotsylvania County since 1995. "I got in that thing and the 20th play felt like the first play, and the 100th play felt like the first play. I never lost the nervousness and I just had to play through it."
The Redskins went on to win the game 27-17 and Nelms had a productive day. He's one of three former or current NFL standouts with ties to the Fredericksburg area who have earned Super Bowl rings.
Colonial Beach native and Stafford High School graduate Torrey Smith will attempt to become the fourth tonight when his Baltimore Ravens take on the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans.
Smith wants to duplicate what Nelms, Fredericksburg native George Coghill and King George's Jermon Bushrod have already done.
"I need to join the club," said Smith, a second-year wide receiver.
Coghill was a backup safety and special teams ace for the Denver Broncos when they defeated the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII.
He was on the practice squad the year prior when the Broncos earned the first championship in their franchise's history.
Coghill said his "15 minutes of fame" came when he made the first and last tackles of the win over the Falcons.
He said what he remembers most from the experience is the large media presence, glancing through the crowd at celebrities in attendance and the flashbulbs going off at kickoff.
"It's like what you see on TV, but when you're out there it's 10 times brighter," said Coghill, who is now an assistant football coach at Mountain View High School in Stafford County. "After the kickoff, it was just a regular game."