Northeast Mississippi CC

Mario Addison made what was considered at the time to be a brash prediction about his Carolina Panthers last July before the National Football League season got underway.

“I see a Super Bowl. I feel it, man,” Addison told reporters prior to team training camp in South Carolina. “We’re going all the way. We have all the tools and all we have to do is put it together.”

He was right.

On Sunday, Addison will become the first Northeast Mississippi Community College alumnus to compete in the NFL’s annual championship game, as his Panthers play the Denver Broncos.

Kickoff from Levi’s Stadium is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on CBS.

The Birmingham native is a five-year veteran of the NFL with stops at four different franchises. He has settled in with Carolina and helped them capture three consecutive NFC South Division titles.

Addison is having a stellar campaign at defensive end for the Panthers. He has accumulated 19 total tackles and six sacks, which is the second highest mark on the squad behind fellow lineman Kawann Short.

He compiled a season-best four takedowns in a win against New Orleans during Week 3. Addison had a pair of sacks in Carolina’s opening contest of the year at Jacksonville.

Addison has been spectacular in the Panthers’ playoff run. He pressured Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson into throwing an interception that eventually transitioned into a Carolina score during a victory over Seattle in the NFC Divisional Round.

He was part of another momentum changing play one week later in the NFC Championship matchup. Addison and Short hit Arizona signal caller Carson Palmer at the same time to cause a fumble that was recovered by the home standing Panthers.

Addison has participated in 65 games since entering the professional ranks in 2011. He set career-highs of 26 tackles and 6.5 sacks during the 2014 campaign with Carolina.

The 6-2, 240-pounder has cumulative figures of 40 solo stops, 37 assisted takedowns, 16 sacks, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and one pass deflection.

“We are very proud to have a former Tiger playing in the Super Bowl,” said Northeast head coach Greg Davis. “His hard work and success prove that we put out high caliber athletes.”

Addison was tabbed as an MACJC All-State selection in 2007. He led the entire conference with 21.5 tackles for loss that season.

The Tarrant (Ala.) High School graduate added solid numbers that included 60 stops, 3.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and one pass breakup in his last campaign on the Booneville campus.

He also made an impact for the Tigers as a freshman with 46 takedowns, 10 tackles for loss and four sacks. Addison also had two interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown.

Addison concluded his amateur career at Troy (Ala.) University. He amassed 79 stops, including 21.5 of them for loss, and 13 sacks during a stellar run with the Trojans that featured berths to both the GMAC Bowl and the New Orleans Bowl.

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