Two Former Ducks Claim a Super Bowl Ring

Former Ducks Max Unger and Walter Thurmond III help the Seattle Seahawks win Super Bowl XLVIII over the Denver Broncos

By UO student Chelsea Fullmer

Max Unger ’08 (pictured) and Walter
Thurmond III ’09 won Super Bowl XLVIII as
members of the Seattle Seahawks. (Credit:
Steve Dykes, GoDucks.com)

Super Bowl XLVIII ended in a blowout, as the Seattle Seahawks won the franchise’s first ever Super Bowl with a 43-8 win over the Denver Broncos. Among the first-time champions were a pair of former Ducks, cornerback Walter Thurmond III ’09 and center Max Unger ’08.

Unger and quarterback Russell Wilson led the offense to 341 yards and an impressive 43 points. Thurmond earned playing time after missing four games during the regular season, and finished the Super Bowl with three tackles, including one solo tackle, to help the nation’s best defense hold the nation’s best offense to eight points.

Unger and Thurmond join 28 other Ducks with Super Bowl rings. In last year’s Super Bowl, Baltimore Ravens tight end Ed Dickson, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, and squad team quarterback Dennis Dixon defeated running back/kick returner LaMichael James and defensive tackle/fullback Will Tukuafu of the San Francisco 49ers. This is the third-straight year a former Duck has lifted the Lombardi trophy, after Spencer Paysinger and the New York Giants defeated Patrick Chung in Super Bowl XLVI.

The Super Bowl champion Seahawks had one friendly face on the opposing team of the Broncos, in former UO safety John Boyett ’12. Boyett did not accumulate any playing time for the Broncos as a member of the team’s practice squad. The former UO safety graduated with a degree in sociology from the College of Arts and Sciences after registering 278 total tackles, 182 solo tackles, and 10 interceptions.

Thurmond and Unger were standout players during their time at the University of Oregon. Unger started all four years for the Ducks, and entered the 2009 NFL Draft as the No. 1 offensive guard available before being selected in the second round by the Seahawks. Thurmond battled injuries throughout his collegiate career, but was a top defensive player with 12 career interceptions and 37 broken up passes, and was picked up in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

Unger has been selected to two Pro Bowls in his career—in 2012 and 2013—while Thurmond finished the 2013 season with 85 tackles, one interception and one touchdown.

Unger graduated from the School of Architecture & Allied Arts with a degree in art in 2008, and Thurmond graduated the following year with a political science degree from the College of Arts and Sciences.