Cincinnati Bengals running back Trayveon Williams (32) runs with the ball during an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Kirk Irwin) Credit: Kirk Irwin

Houston may not have a team in Sunday’s Super Bowl LVI matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals in Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium, but the city will certainly be well represented on the football field.

The Bengals will have four players on the football field with Houston ties, while the Rams will have one Houston product on their sidelines.

Starting Bengals center Trey Hopkins starred at North Shore while defensive end Damion Square (Yates), safety Michael Thomas (Nimitz) and running back Trayveon Williams (CE King) will all play vital roles as Bengals’ reserves. Former University of Houston standout safety is on Cincinnati’s injured reserve list and will not see the field.

Linebacker Obo Okoronkwo, a former standout at Alief Taylor, is the only Rams player with Houston ties.

But the Houston connections don’t just end on the playing field. Bengals assistant coaches James Casey played for the Texans and Rice and also served as an assistant coach for the Houston Cougars, while first-year running backs coach Justin Hill played at Rice and secondary coach Steve Jackson went to Klein Forest and was also a former safety for the Houston Oilers.

On the Rams side, tight ends coach/passing game coordinator Wes Phillips is a native Houstonian and the son of former Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips and grandson of legendary Oilers coach Bum Phillips.

Here is a more in-depth look at the players who will take the field in Sunday’s Bengals-Rams matchup.


Cincinnati Bengals center Trey Hopkins (66) blocks during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in Cincinnati. The Bengals won 34-31. (AP Photo/David Dermer)Credit: David Dermer

Team: Bengals

Position: Center

High School: North Shore

Potential Impact: After years of being in and out of the lineup and even temporarily off the team at times after signing as an undrafted player out of UT, Hopkins has become a mainstay as the Bengals starting center. Hopkins is the leader up front who has kept quarterback Joe Burrow upright and opened big holes for the Bengals’ explosive offense this season.

San Francisco 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo, left, escapes a sack attempt by Los Angeles Rams’ Obo Okoronkwo during the second half of the NFC Championship NFL football game Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) Credit: Elaine Thompson


Team: Rams

Position: Linebacker

High School: Alief Taylor

Potential Impact: Okoronkwo serves primarily as a reserve at weakside linebacker behind Leonard Floyd, but the fourth-year player out of Oklahoma is productive when he gets his opportunities. He has seven solo tackles, two sacks and two forced fumbles on the season.

Las Vegas Raiders defensive tackle Damion Square (97) practices during an NFL football game against the Washington Football Team Sunday Dec. 5, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)Credit: Denis Poroy/Invision/AP


Team: Bengals

Position: Defensive end

High School: Yates

Potential Impact: Square has made history during the playoffs, becoming the first player in NFL history to play for two different teams in the same postseason. Square played for the Raiders during their wild-card round loss to the Bengals then joined the Bengals last week to play in their divisional round upset of the Kansas City Chiefs. Others have been two different rosters in the playoffs, but Square is the only one to log playing time.

Cincinnati Bengals defensive back Michael Thomas (31) leaves the field after an NFL divisional round playoff football game against the Tennessee Titans, Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. The Cincinnati Bengals won 19-16. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) Credit: Mark Humphrey


Team: Bengals

Position: Safety

High School: Nimitz

Potential Impact: After spending the 2020 season in Houston, Thomas moved on to the Bengals this season where the former Pro Bowl has provided experience and depth to the secondary since joining the active roster during the season. Thomas was in on 18 tackles during the regular season.

Cincinnati Bengals running back Trayveon Williams (32) runs with the ball during an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Kirk Irwin)Credit: Kirk Irwin


Team: Bengals

Position: Running back

High School: CE King

Potential Impact: Following a stellar career with the Texas A&M Aggies, Williams has been with the Bengals the past two seasons as a backup. Williams, who is listed behind Joe Mixon and Chris Evans, is averaging 3.4 yards per carry on 15 rushing attempts for 51 yards this season.


Team: Bengals

Position: Safety

School: University of Houston

Potential Impact: Wilson has been on injured reserve since suffering a torn ACL during Week 9, so he will not play in the game.