Former Commodores Quarles,
Yoder Enjoying Bucs' World Championship 1/27/03
former Vanderbilt Commodores, linebacker Shelton Quarles and
tight end Todd Yoder, earned world championship rings Sunday
by playing key roles in Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Super Bowl rout
of the Oakland Raiders in San Diego.
Quarles, a native of Nashville who was Vanderbilt's leading
tackler in three of four varsity seasons, was a vital ingredient
in the Bucs' manhandling of Oakland quarterback Rich Gannon
and the Raiders' top-ranked offense. Yoder, a native of New
Palestine, Ind., who finished his Vanderbilt career in 1999,
was active on all Tampa Bay special teams.
Tampa Bay is the first Super Bowl winner to have at least
two former Commodores on its roster.
Quarles, a starting inside linebacker, was one of Tampa Bay's
top defenders, finishing with seven total tackles. He, fellow
linebacker Derrick Brooks and a dominant defensive front controlled
the middle and refused to give Oakland's offense any signs
of life. Quarles' importance to the Buc defense was evident
in the fourth quarter when the Raiders scored on a pass to
Jerry Rice while the former Commodore was out with a brief
injury. The Raiders did not threaten again after Quarles returned
Bucs limited the Raiders to 19 yards rushing, 269 total yards
and just 11 first downs. They also intercepted five Gannon
passes, returning three for touchdowns.
Quarles and Yoder was expected to join their teammates Tuesday
for a parade through downtown Tampa.
Prior to the Super Bowl XXXVII success of Quarles and Yoder,
the most recent Vanderbilt athlete to play for a Super Bowl
champion was Corey Harris, who starred at safety for the defensive-oriented
Baltimore Ravens in 2001.