The 2012 NFL Pro Bowl takes place on Sunday, January 29 at Aloha Stadium in Hawaii. The AFC and NFC All-Star teams will face off in the last NFL event before Super Bowl XLVI. The rosters represent the best NFL players of the 2011 regular season, with the exception of players from the New York Giants and New England Patriots who are gearing up to play in the biggest game of the year in Indianapolis next week.
The rosters for the 2012 Pro Bowl include two players each with ties to Southern California colleges, including three starters.
In the AFC, rushing machine Maurice Jones-Drew of the Jacksonville Jaguars will be the starting running back. Jones-Drew is a former member of the UCLA Bruins. He'll be joined on the team by reserve strong safety Troy Polamalu of the PIttsburgh Steelers, who was at one time a fixture of the USC Trojans.
The NFC squad contains two more USC alums. Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews and Carolina Panthers center Ryan Kalil were both Trojans once upon a time. Ryan's brother, Matt Kalil, just finished up his senior year as a dominant offensive tackle for USC and is expected to go in the top 5 of the 2012 NFL Draft.
Although the Pro Bowl is not often given the attention of All-Star games in the other major sports, the inclusion of these players should at least give Southern California fans reasons to cheer.