NFL Pro Bowl to Feature Four Independence Bowl Alumni

Former Florida State edge rusher, Brian Burns, at the 2017 Independence Bowl vs. Southern Miss (Photo: Steve Mauldin/Independence Bowl Archives)

SHREVEPORT, La. (Feb. 3, 2022) – The 2021 National Football League (NFL) Pro Bowl will kick off from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nev. on Sunday, February 6 at 2 p.m. CT, and the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl will be represented by four former players in the NFL’s annual all-star game.

The four Independence Bowl alumni that will play in Sunday’s Pro Bowl are Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Wyatt Teller (Virginia Tech, 2015), Las Vegas Raiders linebacker Denzel Perryman (Miami, 2014), Raiders punter A.J. Cole (NC State, 2016) and Carolina Panthers defensive end Brian Burns (Florida State, 2017). Perryman, Cole and Burns were all named starters for their respective conferences. All four players are making their first Pro Bowl appearances.

Along with having four former players in the 2021 Pro Bowl, the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl also has three alumni on the 2021 NFL All-Pro team that was released in mid-January. Cole is the lone representative to find himself on the All-Pro first team, while Teller and Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons (Boston College, 2013) were named second-team All-Pro. It is Cole’s first selection to the NFL All-Pro team, while Teller (2020) and Simmons (2019) were selected for the second time in their young careers.

Perryman enjoyed a breakout year in his seventh NFL season, as he finished tied for third in the league in solo tackles (102) and sixth in the NFL in combined tackles (154). In his third professional season, Burns tied for 13th in the NFL in tackles-for-loss (13) and tied for 21st overall in sacks (9.0). Those nine sacks tied his previous career-high from 2020, and he now has 25.5 sacks in three NFL seasons. Cole made an enormous leap in his third NFL season, as he led the league in yards-per-punt (50.0) – up almost six yards from his 2020 yards-per-punt (44.1).

Simmons – in the first in his new contract as the NFL’s highest-paid safety – once again showed why he is one of the premiere safeties in the league. He finished the season with 60 tackles and 80 combined tackles to go along with five interceptions, 12 passes defended and four tackles-for-loss. His five interceptions matched his career-high from 2020 and tied him for fourth-most in the NFL this season. He now has 21 career interceptions in six NFL seasons.


Established in 1976, the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl™ is the nation’s 11th-oldest bowl game. The UAB Blazers defeated the No. 13 BYU Cougars 31-28 in the 45th Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl on Saturday, December 18, 2021. The Independence Bowl Foundation announced a one-year extension with Radiance Technologies – ensuring they will be the title sponsor through 2025. The bowl’s conference and team agreements, as well as the television agreement, also run through the 2025 season. Per those agreements, Army West Point and BYU are slated to matchup against a rotation of the Pac-12 Conference, American Athletic Conference and Conference USA, which will be televised on an ESPN network.

The Independence Bowl Foundation is prevalent in the Shreveport-Bossier City area throughout the year, hosting events to help enhance the economic impact and growth of our community. The Mission of the Independence Bowl is to attract and provide quality, nationally recognized football competition oriented to the Ark-La-Tex region. For more information, visit or follow the bowl on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @IndyBowl.

Independence Bowl Foundation

P.O Box 1723, Shreveport LA 71166  |  401 Market Street, Shreveport, LA 71101  |  318.221.0712

2022 Independence Bowl