Dec. 1, 2013
FORT COLLINS, Colo.— Two Colorado State seniors will have the chance to compete with the best players in the country when they take part in prestigious postseason all-star games in January 2014.
Center Weston Richburg has accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl and tight end Crockett Gillmore has accepted an invitation to the East-West Shrine Game. The Senior Bowl is scheduled for January 25, 2014 in Mobile, Ala., and the Shrine Game is Jan. 18, 2014 in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Richburg, the anchor of an offensive line that has powered the most productive offense in Colorado State history this season, is the 12th Rams player to be invited to the Senior Bowl and first since Joel Dreessen in 2004.
"This speaks volumes about what both of them have done to invest in themselves and in their teammates on a daily basis," Head Coach Jim McElwain said. "These are also team honors, because none of it would be possible without the team having success. I'm proud of them and excited that they will have a chance to showcase the Rams and this University on a national stage, and show the great things that are happening in Fort Collins."
Behind Richburg and his offensive line-mates, sophomore running back Kapri Bibbs is the nation's leading touchdown scorer with a school-record 28, quarterback Garrett Grayson has eclipsed the school's single-season passing yardage record and the team has gained more yards (5,996) than any team in Rams football history. Colorado State has a 3,000-yard passer and a 1,500-yard rusher in the same season for the first time in school history.
“It’s a huge honor,” Richburg said. “There aren’t too many people who get selected for something like this, so to be one of the guys from Colorado State to be selected for this game is a huge honor. Looking at the players who play in that game every year, it’s something I’ve always dreamed of and I’m excited about the opportunity.”
Gillmore leads all Mountain West tight ends with 43 receptions for 533 yards and 2 touchdowns. He ranks sixth among all NCAA FBS tight ends in receiving yards and seventh among tight ends in receptions. Gillmore also has played a strong role in the Rams’ running game, helping Bibbs to achieve his record-setting accomplishments, which include being the first player in NCAA FBS history to have seven games with three or more touchdowns in the same season.
“Coming into the season, as a senior, you want to do everything to the best of your ability and get invited to something like this,” Gillmore said. “To get that opportunity is great.”
The distinguished list of Rams who have been selected to play in the Senior Bowl includes former All-Pro Joey Porter, who now serves as an undergraduate assistant coach at CSU following a 13-year NFL career.
“I think it says a lot for the University,” Richburg added. “It gets us out there and shows the country that we have really quality players who can compete at the highest level. It’s a great opportunity for us to get CSU’s name out there and really show them what we’re made of.”
Rams in Senior Bowl History:
2004—Joel Dreessen, TE
2002—Cecil Sapp, RB
1999—Clark Haggans, LB
1998—Anthony Cesario, OL
1998—Darran Hall, WR
1998—Joey Porter, DL
1995—Ray Jackson, DB
1983—Terry Nugent, QB
1978—Mark Bell, TE
1976—Keith King, DB
1974—Mark Mullaney, OL
ABOUT THE SENIOR BOWL
The 2014 Senior Bowl will be played on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. Kickoff is 3pm. The Senior Bowl and its practices—around 15 hours of LIVE coverage—will be nationally-televised by NFL Network. The first nationally-televised Senior Bowl was in 1958 by NBC, and the contest has been on national television every year since. Each year, the Senior Bowl rosters feature the nation's top senior collegiate football players and NFL draft prospects on teams representing the North and South. National Football League coaching staffs coach the two Senior Bowl teams each year. In 2013, Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz and his staff coached the South team to a 21-16 victory over the North team, coached by Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen and his staff. The first Senior Bowl was played in Jacksonville, Fla.'s Gator Bowl in 1950, and moved to Mobile's Ladd-Peebles Stadium one year later, where it has remained.
ABOUT THE EAST-WEST SHRINE GAME
The East-West Shrine Game® is the longest running college all-star game in the country. A staple in college football since 1925, the game has consistently proven to be a launch pad for players seeking professional careers in the NFL. More than 100 players from the 88th East-West Shrine Game signed with professional football teams in 2013. On average, more than 275 East-West Shrine Game alumni are on NFL rosters each year.
Since the very first players secured their helmets and laced up their cleats in San Francisco’s Ewing Field nearly 90 years ago at the very first East-West Shrine Game, 71 former East-West Shrine Game alumni have been honored with induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and more than 200 into the College Football Hall of Fame. Many of the NFL’s most recognized and decorated athletes, including Tom Brady, Brett Favre and John Elway, all started on the East-West gridiron.
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