Rice cornerback Bryce Callahan and wide receiver Jordan Taylor have accepted invitations to play in the 90th East-West Shrine All-Star Game, which will be played on Saturday, January 17, 2015 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Kick-off is at 4 p.m. (EST).
This is the second consecutive year and the four time since 2008 that the Owls will be represented in the annual event. Phillip Gaines participated in last year's game while Cheta Ozougwu (2011) and Jarett Dillard (2009) were other recent Rice selections.
The East-West Shrine Game is a showcase for up-and-coming NFL talent as national media and scouts from every professional team spend the week in St. Petersburg to review the players. More than 100 players from the 89th East-West Shrine Game signed with NFL teams. Any given season there are about 265 East-West alumni on NFL rosters. More than 70 alumni have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, having showcased their talents on the East-West gridiron before launching their professional careers.
"This is the 90th East-West Shrine Game, making it the longest running college all-star game in the country," said Harold Richardson, executive director of the game. "This is our fourth year in Tampa Bay and community support for the game has grown here each year. This is a great family event that supports Shriners Hospitals for Children®."
Callahan has been credited with a career-high 38 tackles this season and is tied for the team lead with seven pass breakups. The second-team, All-Conference USA selection ranks fourth all-time at Rice with 12 career interceptions.
Taylor leads the Owls with 49 receptions for 781 yards this season and is second with six touchdowns. After missing the first three games of the season with an injury and playing sparingly in his season debut, he has piled up 48 catches, 780 yards and all six of his touchdowns in the last eight games. He has topped 100 yards receiving four times and has touchdown catches of 88 (to tie the school record), 61, 41, 31, 29 and 24 yards this season. He is ranked second all-time at Rice with 2,525 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns.
Both players will have one final chance to enhance their careers at Rice as the Owls will face Fresno State in the 13th annual Hawai'i Bowl on Christmas Eve. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. central and ESPN will broadcast the game nationally.