Jan. 26, 2013
For the second consecutive Saturday, the Rice Owls will be represented in college football all star action when tight end Vance McDonald lines up with the South team in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama on Saturday afternoon.
Kickoff for the game is set for 3:00 with national television coverage provided by the NFL Network.
The Senior Bowl is the nation's most unique football game and football's premier pre-draft event, annually featuring the country's best senior collegiate football stars and top NFL draft prospects on teams representing the North and South which are coached by the entire coaching staffs from two National Football League teams. Senior Bowl practices are also attended by over 800 general managers, head coaches, assistant coaches, scouts and other front office personnel from the 32 National Football League teams.
McDonald is the first Owl to play in the Senior Bowl since ND Kalu was named the Defensive MVP of the 1996 game. Other notable Owls who played in the Senior Bowl include 2012 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Tommy Kramer, who was the MVP of the 1976 game; Doak Walker Award winner Trevor Cobb (1993) and future NFL standouts Earl Cooper (1980), Courntey Hall (1989) and Bert Emanuel (1994)
McDonald was a consensus All C-USA selection after catching 36 passes for 458 yards and two touchdowns despite missing three games late in his senior season. He ranks sixth all-time with 119 catches (David Houser is fifth with 152), seventh on the Rice career list with 1,504 receiving yards (Doug Cunningham is sixth with 1,522) and tied for fifth with 15 career touchdown receptions (Eric Henley is fourth with 16, James Casey is third with 17 and Houser is second with 18).
He returned from his midseason injury to catch 16 passes for 184 yards and a touchdown in the last two regular season games, including a career-high nine vs. UTEP as the Owls clinched a berth in the Armed Forces Bowl. Five of McDonald's nine catches in that game came on third down conversions, sustaining all three of the Owls touchdown drives including a pair of conversions in each of the Owls two drives of 90 yards or more in the game.