Moss, who has not yet addressed media since the 49ers beat Atlanta to advance to the Super Bowl, came out of a season's retirement. With Ray Lewis getting all the attention for trying to cap his great career with his second Super Bowl title, Moss is looking to punctuate his 15,292-receiving yard, 156-touchdown career with a single ring.
Playing in his 14th year and a step or two slower by most accounts, Moss seems to be content with being a third or fourth option behind the explosive Michael Crabtree and tight end Vernon Davis. He still averages 15.5 yards per his 28 catches and has scored three times.
At age 37, Moss' best contributions may be more intangible.
"It's good, man, it's fun," Spillman said of being around Moss. "Learning from him about the pros and cons on the field and off the field, what to do, what not to do. He's been around the block; that's why we give him a hard time."
Spillman and McClellan could have entered the NFL at the same time, but McClellan's ligament tear before the 2007 season intervened. The Lakeland, Fla., native took a redshirt that year after winning the media vote as C-USA defensive player of the year in 2006.
He returned as a first-team all-conference performer in 2008 and slipped to the second team his senior season. After going undrafted, he signed with the Ravens and spent 2010 on the practice squad. In the Ravens' scheme, the 6-foot-2, 255-pound McClellan fit better as an outside linebacker.
He started one game in 2011 and 11 of the first 13 games of the current campaign and has 49 tackles, two pass breakups, a forced fumble and two recoveries to show for it.
But he has tailed off late in the season, missing the final two regular-season games with a hamstring injury and losing his starting job at "Sam" linebacker to Courtney Upshaw. Still, McClellan continues to play on special teams, and has two tackles in the postseason.
The Ravens did not make McClellan available for interviews this week, but did make the rookie Brown available. Brown, who started his MU career in 2008, played one season alongside Spillman in the safeties unit, and two seasons behind McClellan. Brown started nine games in 2009 and eventually became a first-team all-conference performer in 2011.
Also with the Ravens, he stuck with the team as essentially the fifth safety. He finally made his NFL debut in Week 15, recovering a fumble in a 34-17 loss to Denver. He also played the last two weeks of the regular season, accounting for three tackles against the Giants and the Bengals.
He is brother of MU's Evan McKelvey, who suffered a season-ending knee injury shortly after being moved from safety to linebacker. And yes, McKelvey is getting a ticket to New Orleans, as is Brown's mother Estella McKelvey.
Despite his frequent inactive status on game day, Brown is otherwise a full participant, tapping into the considerable knowledge of veterans such as Lewis and Ed Reed.
"He's not what I thought he would be, just seeing him on the field," Brown said of Lewis. "He's a lot more quiet. He's a funny guy."
Some time after their initial Thundering Herd reunion, McClellan gave to Brown one bit of indisputable advice for any unheralded NFL prospect: "Be good friends with the special-teams coach, because that's where you're going to start out at. And you go from there."
Brown knows this Super Bowl trip could be his last. It could be the last for McClellan, Spillman and, yes, the elder statesman Mr. Moss. Out of the hundreds of thousands of football players, less than 2,000 play in the NFL in any given year, and only about 100 get the chance to be on a Super Bowl roster.
It's tougher for undrafted free agents such as Brown, Spillman and McClellan.
"It's tougher than anything is," Brown said. "It's nothing I didn't expect, knowing it was going to be hard, [but] it's a lot tougher than you can even assume it to be.
"You just got to stay at work, keep your head up and control what you can - with the effort part, taking care of little things as far as being on time, knowing what you're doing, being ready when your opportunities present [themselves], and everything else will take care of itself."
The next opportunity: Super Bowl XLVII.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130 or dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.