Appalachian State’s all-time leading rusher Marcus Cox (Dacula, Ga.) has accepted an invitation to the 92nd East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 21 in St. Petersburg, Fla. at Tropicana Field. The game will be televised on NFL Network.
Cox recently capped one of the great careers in Appalachian State history, becoming the Mountaineers’ career rushing leader, surpassing 5,000 yards for his career, and reaching 1,000 yards for his fourth consecutive season, all over the Mountaineers’ final four games.
Cox led the Sun Belt in yards per carry (6.4) and rushing yards per game (112.8) as a senior, earning Second Team All-Sun Belt honors despite missing four games. He went over 5,000 yards for his career in the second quarter of the Camellia Bowl. His 5,103 yards are 16th in FBS history, while his 29 career 100-yard rushing games are also an App State record. Cox finished his career as the NCAA’s No. 2 active career leader in rushing yards and No. 3 in all-purpose yards.
Cox picked up 21 yards on his final few carries of the season to help App run out the clock on a 31-28 win over Toledo in the Camellia Bowl. The yardage pushed him over 1,000 for the season, making him one of fewer than 10 players in FBS history to go over 1,000 yards in a season, four times.
App State claimed the 2016 Sun Belt Championship and capped back-to-back 10-win seasons with a second straight Camellia Bowl win.
ABOUT THE SHRINE GAME
The East-West Shrine Game is a proven starting point for athletes seeking careers in the NFL. Many of professional football’s most recognized and decorated players, including Tom Brady, Brett Favre and John Elway, all played in East-West Shrine Games.
More than 90 players from last year’s game signed with professional teams this spring, and more than 70 made final NFL rosters. On average, more than 265 East-West Shrine Game alumni are on NFL rosters each year. Since the game’s inception, 72 former players have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and more than 200 have been named to the College Football Hall of Fame. An invitation to take part in the annual East-West Shrine Game is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the best collegiate football all-stars in the country to showcase their talents in front of top representatives from NFL teams. A strong performance in the game can greatly impact a player’s chances of a career in the NFL.
The players are selected based on their potential to make an NFL roster. A consensus of the 32 NFL teams is taken into consideration to field two teams of players who meet this criterion. The general divide used to assign East and West teams is the Mississippi River; however, exceptions are made to ensure that the best 100 players are selected for the game, regardless of location.