Kent State alums Antonio Gates and James Harrison were honored for their performances this season by being selected as starters for the American Football Conference (AFC) squad for the 2011 National Football League (NFL) Pro Bowl in Hawaii on January 30, 2011.
Gates, a tight end for the San Diego Chargers, was selected to his seventh consecutive Pro Bowl despite missing five games with a torn right plantar fascia that occurred during a Week 6 game at St. Louis. He finished the season with a team-high 782 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns while totaling 50 receptions.
Harrison, a linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was named a starter for the fourth consecutive season. His team-leading 11 sacks in 2010 enabled him to become the first player in Steelers history to record at least 10 sacks in three straight seasons. His six forced fumbles is also tops on the squad. Harrison currently ranks fourth on the Steelers with 96 tackles. He has recorded a pair of interceptions. His penchant for the big hit has resulted in him being fined more than $100,000 this season for helmet-to-helmet tackles.