By Sam Draut–
In the 2015 NFL Draft, Louisville had a school record 10 selections, a year earlier, three former Cardinals were picked in the first round. Louisville alums set another record with four current NFL players selected to the 2016 Pro Bowl.
Elvis Dumervil, Gary Barnidge, Eric Wood and Teddy Bridgewater were picked to play in the annual all-star exhibition game played between NFL standouts.
Dumervil is the only member of the four former Cardinals to be making a return trip to the Pro Bowl.
The Baltimore Raven’s outside linebacker is playing in his second consecutive Pro Bowl and fifth of his career after totaling six sacks and 48 tackles in 2015.
Dumervil played at Louisville from 2002-05 and was then drafted by the Denver Broncos in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft. Over his 10 year career, the 5-foot-11 Miami, Florida. Native has accumulated 96 sacks and earned the reputation as one of the best pass-rushers in the NFL.
His 17 sacks in 2014 set a Baltimore Raven’s franchise record for sacks in a season.
While at Louisville, Dumervil set numerous school and NCAA records. In his senior year, Dumervil earned All-American honors, finishing with 20.5 sacks and 10 forced fumbles. He was awarded the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Big East Defensive player of the year.
After the Buffalo Bills led the NFL in rushing yards in 2015, Wood is making his first trip to the Pro Bowl.
The center from Cincinnati, Ohio has 95 career starts in the NFL. He was picked by the Bills in the first round in 2009 after a decorated collegiate career.
Playing at Louisville from 2004-08, Wood earned Freshman All-American honors in 2005 and won first-team All-Big East in his junior and senior seasons.
Wood started 49 consecutive games at center while at Louisville and was a vital piece in Louisville’s 2007 Orange Bowl win.
After playing seven relatively quiet seasons in the NFL, Barnidge had a breakout year for the Cleveland Browns in 2015 and earned his first Pro Bowl invitation.
The tight-end had 44 receptions for 603 yards and three touchdowns in his first seven seasons, but he became an integral part of the Browns offense in 2015.
Barnidge led Browns receivers with 79 receptions for 1,043 yards and nine touchdowns.
He played for Louisville from 2004-07 and earned All-Big East honors in his senior year. Barnidge was drafted in the fifth-round by the Carolina Panthers in 2008.
Bridgewater led the Minnesota Vikings to its first Division Title since 2009 in his second year in the NFL.
The quarterback from Miami, Fl. completed 65.3-percent of his passes for 3,231 yards and 14 touchdowns.
The Vikings drafted Bridgewater as the final pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft had a near flawless collegiate career at Louisville.
From 2011-13, Bridgewater commanded the Cardinal offense and won the 2013 Sugar Bowl. During his three seasons at Louisville, Bridgewater passed for 9,817 yards and 72 touchdowns.
Louisville’s previous high of Pro Bowl selections was set in 2001 when Sam Madison, Ted Washington and David Akers were invited.
The Pro Bowl will be played on Jan. 31 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii and televised by ESPN.