BATON ROUGE -- When the AFC battles the NFC in this year’s Pro Bowl to be held in Hawaii on Feb. 8, 2009, it will do so with two former LSU Tigers starting on its offensive line as both the Tennessee Titans’ Kevin Mawae and New York Jets’ Alan Faneca have been named to the team.
The duo will line up beside one another as Mawae will get the start at center with Faneca ready to take his spot at guard for the American Football Conference.
Faneca, one of the NFL’s all-time greats at the position and in his first season with the Jets, is set to make his eighth-straight Pro Bowl appearance and seventh-consecutive start for the AFC. He is a key to the Jets turnaround this season as the squad is currently tied atop the AFC East standings with a 9-5 record after finishing the 2007 season at a dismal 4-12.
Faneca has started all 14 games for the Jets this season while blocking for Pro Bowl running back Thomas Jones, who will make his first trip to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl after rushing for a total of 1,222 yards and 13 touchdowns on 263 carries while adding two touchdowns receiving in 2008.
Mawae will make his seventh career Pro Bowl appearance in February and his first since the 2004 season. He made six straight appearances as a center for the Jets from 1999-2004.
Mawae anchors a Titans offensive line that boasts the fifth-best rushing attack in the NFL in 2008 with an average of 142.8 yards per game and a Pro Bowl running back in Chris Johnson, who has rushed for 1,159 yards and eight touchdowns. Mawae has started all 14 games on the season with the Titans already clinching the AFC South title with the NFL’s best record at 12-2.
Their selection adds to an already impressive week for LSU offensive linemen as senior standout Herman Johnson was named a first-team All-American by the Associated Press on Tuesday. This marks the first time that LSU has had an offensive lineman selected a first-team All-American by the AP since Faneca received the honor in 1997.