Six Texas universities will be represented in this year’s East-West Shrine Bowl

The East-West Shrine Bowl, the nation’s oldest college football all-star game, will have strong representation from the State of Texas in the game’s first year at Ford Center at The Star in Frisco. The 99th East-West Shrine Bowl will be played February 1 at 7:00 p.m. and televised on the NFL Network. 

Six Texas universities will have players in this year’s game: Houston, SMU, Texas, Texas A&M, TCU, and Texas Tech. The Longhorns and the Horned Frogs are tied with the most players participating (three) among schools in the Lone Star State; Texas Tech will have two players on the roster. 

The Longhorns include running back Jonathan Brooks, tight end JT Sanders, and safety Ryan Watts. Sanders and Watts are from the North Texas area (Denton and Little Elm, respectively) while Brooks is from Hallettsville, Texas.

Brooks, the highest-rated running back in the draft according to Pro Football Focus, finished the 2023 season with 1,139 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns. He was a Doak Walker Award semifinalist. Sanders, the school’s record holder for receptions by a tight end, was an All-Big 12 First Team selection in 2023 after snagging 45 catches for 682 yards. He is the only Texas tight end in program history with multiple 100-yard receiving games. Watts, a 6-foot-3 defensive back, finished his senior season with 38 total tackles and three pass break ups. 

TCU has two offensive linemen and one safety on this year’s roster: Willis Patrick (OG), Andrew Coker (OT), and Mark Perry (S). 

Patrick, a former Mansfield Tiger, left a lasting impression after one season at TCU. Patrick was an AP Second-Team All-Big 12 selection after playing 978 snaps in 2023, the most by a Horned Frog on either side of the ball. Originally from Katy, Texas, Coker played in 48 career games for TCU. Safety Mark Perry played in 27 games for the Frogs, racking up 142 total tackles, including 9.5 for loss. He also tallied six pass breakups and one forced fumble at TCU.

The Texas Tech secondary will be on the field together once again as safeties Tyler Owens and Dadrion Taylor-Demerson are on the East-West Shrine Bowl roster. Owens, a graduate of Plano East Senior High School, is coming off a season with 38 total tackles. Taylor-Demerson was top-10 in the Big 12 with four interceptions in 2023. He finished his career with 224 total tackles, 10 interceptions, 33 passes defended, two forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries. 

Texas A&M’s Edgerrin Cooper is one of the most decorated players in this year’s game. Cooper earned First Team All-America honors from the Walter Camp Football Foundation, Associated Press, and AFCA to become a Consensus All-American. The Aggie linebacker recorded 17 tackles for loss and eight sacks in 2023. Cooper also finished the year with two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. 

Defensive tackle Jordan Miller is the lone representative from SMU in this year’s Shrine Bowl. Miller had 26 tackles, four for loss, and 0.5 sacks for the Mustangs in 2023. 

The Houston Cougars will send defensive lineman David Ugwoegbu, originally from Katy, Texas, to Frisco for the Shrine Bowl. The former Oklahoma Sooner played one season at Houston, totaling 41 tackles, six for loss, and 2.5 sacks.

Additionally, Frisco native Trey Taylor will return home to play in America’s oldest college football all-star game. Taylor, a safety from the Air Force Academy, was named the 2023 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award winner and is the first Air Force Falcon to be named first-team All-America by the AFCA since 2010. 


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