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2011 Senior Bowl Week - Rosters
OL Brandon Fusco - Slippery Rock
Senior Rosters & Coaching Staffs
"Small School" Stars Selected to Under Armour Senior Bowl
Three players from Division II schools will look to shine in the national spotlight this week at the 2011 Under Armour Senior Bowl. Slippery Rock (Pa.) offensive lineman Brandon Fusco, Abilene Christian wide receiver Edmond Gates and Southern Arkansas defensive lineman Cedric Thornton have all officially accepted invitations to the senior showcase event, it was announced today. The 62nd game is scheduled for 3pm (CT) on Saturday, January 29th in Mobile's Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The game and all practices are televised by NFL Network.
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"The Senior Bowl has a long history of affording the opportunity to guys from smaller schools to showcase their talents in front of the top decision makers in the National Football League," Senior Bowl President and CEO Steve Hale said. "All three of these guys are great players and will have no problem competing against players from larger schools here in Mobile next week."
Fusco is the first player from Slippery Rock to earn a Senior Bowl invitation. The offensive center won the Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year Award this year in addition to the Division II Rimington Award, which goes to the nation's best center. He was named to the Associated Press' Little All-America Team and was an AFCA Division II first team All-American. The Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania native was part of an offensive line that helped pave the way for the fifth-leading rusher in Division II this season (Akeem Satterfield).
Gates is the Wildcats' second ever Senior Bowl invitee, joining ACU alum Johnny Perkins ('77 Senior Bowl) on the game's all-time roster. The wide out put up huge numbers in 2010, reeling in 66 catches for 1,182 yards and 13 touchdowns in helping the Wildcats to an 11-0 regular season record. He was just the seventh player in school history to break the 1,000-yard receiving mark and the fifth player to have more than 60 catches. Gates leaves Abilene Christian ranked second in career receiving yards (2,885), third in receptions (158), tied for first in touchdown catches (27) and fourth in scoring (194 points).
Thornton is the first player from Southern Arkansas to be invited to the Senior Bowl. The first team All-Gulf South Conference selection recorded 52 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks from his defensive tackle position this year. He ranked 16th in Division II and first in the GSC in tackles for loss (1.63 per game) and was 15th in the conference in total tackles (6.5 per game). Thornton had a monster junior year for the Muleriders, leading the team in tackles (80), tackles for loss (23), and sacks (8.5).
Fusco will suit up for the North squad next week in Mobile, which will be coached by Marvin Lewis and his Cincinnati Bengals staff. Gates and Thornton meanwhile will play for the South under the direction of Buffalo Bills head coach Chan Gailey and his staff.
Tickets for the 2011 Under Armour Senior Bowl are currently available for purchase at the Senior Bowl ticket office (151 Dauphin Street), online at www.seniorbowl.com or by calling (251) 432-4109.