Lone Star Gridiron

NFL Players Association Game: Texas vs The Nation

(San Antonio, Texas)-Texas Tech Red Raider quarterback Taylor Potts leads a list of 15 collegiate senior football players who this week announced their intent to play in the NFL Players Association Game at San Antonio’s Alamodome on Saturday, February 5, 2011.  Potts, who will play for Team Texas coached by former Dallas Cowboy great Bill Bates, was the offensive MVP of the Valero Alamo Bowl played in January and led the Red Raiders to a thrilling 41-31 victory over Michigan State in front of a capacity crowd at the Alamodome.  This season, Potts threw for 3,357 yards and 31 touchdowns for Texas Tech.

The Team Texas roster will also feature San Antonian and former Judson Rocket tight end Robert Housler who caught 39 passes for 629 yards and four touchdowns for Florida Atlantic this season.  Housler is considered one of the top tight end prospects for the coming NFL draft.

Two Texas Longhorns have committed to the NFLPA Game thus far including defensive end Eddie Jones who finished his career in Austin with 107 tackles (67 solo), 13.5 sacks, 24 tackles for losses, 35 quarterback pressures, two interceptions and two forced fumbles.  Jones also participated in the 2006 US Army All American game in the Alamodome.  Former Longhorn offensive tackle Kyle Hix will also play for Team Texas.

Four more Big 12 players will come to San Antonio in February to participate.  Taylor Potts’ Red Raider teammate linebacker Brian Duncan led Texas Tech with seven sacks and 12 tackles for loss along with 58 total tackles.  He was named to the Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch list this season.  The Lott IMPACT Trophy, named for former San Francisco 49er and Pro Football Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott gives equal weight to personal character as well as athletic performance from a defensive college player.  The NFLPA Game roster will feature at least two Baylor Bears led by running back Jay Finley who rushed for over 1000 yards and 11 touchdowns helping Baylor to a Texas Bowl bid against Illinois, its first Bowl appearance since the 1994 Alamo Bowl in San Antonio.

Baylor punter Derek Epperson has committed to play along with Oklahoma defensive back Jonathan Nelson from Arlington, Texas.

West Texas A&M’s Stephen Burton was one of the receivers rated highest by the NFL scouts this past season.  Burton hauled in 70 passes for 1,021 yards and 11 touchdowns and will play in the Alamodome on February 5 along with wide receiver Edmund Gates from Abilene Christian, another highly rated receiver by the NFL who was just the seventh player in ACU history to have a 1,000 yard receiving season with 1,182 yards on 66 catches and 13 touchdowns.

Other players announcing their commitments to the NFL Players Association Game are SMU wide receiver Aldrick Robinson who will face another NFLPA Game participant Army defensive end Josh McNary in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl.   UT El Paso sends wide receiver Kris Adams to San Antonio along with Stephen F. Austin outside linebacker Jabara Williams. Cornerback Reggie Rembert, who won the NFL Players Association Military Academy Player of the Year award and received Mountain West Conference first team honors playing for the United States Air Force Academy, will feature in the game in San Antonio.

“The NFLPA Game has produced over 400 NFL signees since we first started playing the game in El Paso four years ago,” said Kenny Hansmire, CEO of Overtime Sports Southwest, LLC, which is bringing the game to San Antonio for the first time.  “San Antonio football fans will have a chance to see a game with quality collegiate players from around the country who will very likely be on an NFL roster next season.”

Former Houston Oiler and Atlanta Falcons head coach Jerry Glanville will coach Team Nation against former Cowboy Bill Bates for Team Texas.  The NFL Players Association Game will feature NFL draft-eligible senior college football players with connections to the State of Texas in an all-star game against players from all other states. Over 400 players who have played in the NFL Players Association Game have gone on to sign NFL contracts over the game’s four-year history.  The 2011 event will be the first time the game has been played in San Antonio after spending its first four years in El Paso, Texas.  Kickoff is at 1:00 pm CST on Saturday, February 5, 2011 in San Antonio’s Alamodome.  Tickets are on sale now at the Alamdome box office for as low as $10.  A $25 ticket is also offered which includes a hot dog and soft drink. Tickets are also available at www.ticketmaster.com.   For more information, refer to www.nflpagame.com.
Chris Doelle

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