Former Commodores Quarles, Yoder Enjoying Bucs' World Championship 1/27/03

Two 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 to the.

The 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.



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