Igwenagu Selected To Play In 87th East-West Shrine Game

Emil Igwenagu becomes the first UMass player selected to the East-West Shrine Game since Steve Baylark in 2006.

Emil Igwenagu becomes the first UMass player selected to the East-West Shrine Game since Steve Baylark in 2006.

Jan. 16, 2012

AMHERST, Mass. - After posting a standout senior campaign, UMass tight end Emil Igwenagu has been selected to play in the 87th Annual East-West Shrine Game becoming the first Minuteman to earn the honor since Steve Baylark in 2006. The East-West Shrine Game will be played on Jan. 21 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., kicking off at 4 PM and televised live on the NFL Network.

Igwenagu, a Colonial Athletic Association First-Team All-Conference pick, served as the Minutemen's co-captain for the second consecutive year. The halfback/tight end combo hauled in a career-high 38 receptions for 375 yards and three touchdowns. He also added a rushing touchdown for the year.

At Old Dominion, Igwenagu led a huge UMass comeback effort with a career-high 10 catches for 85 yards and a touchdown. He followed that up with a four-catch, 99-yard performance against Central Connecticut.

In the classroom, Igwenagu was equally impressive earning the UMass Male Fall Scholar-Athlete Award as a kinesiology major.

Igwenagu joins an elite list of football greats, such as John Elway, Tom Brady, Brett Favre, and 62 NFL Hall of Famers, who have played in the East-West Shrine Game along with 52 players currently on active NFL rosters.

"The East-West Shrine Game has always fielded players among college football's best," said East-West Shrine Game Executive Director Harold Richardson. "With all 32 NFL teams represented by GMs, coaches and scouts during game week, our players have the terrific opportunity to showcase their talents and get their first glimpse of life in the NFL ... `Just Like on Sunday.'"

While the teams are divided by East and West, the players come together for the beneficiary of the event, Shriners Hospitals for Children®, an international pediatric specialty health care system.



"We hope our supporters all over the country will come out and enjoy this exciting game," said Douglas E. Maxwell, president and CEO of Shriners Hospitals for Children. "Our health care system depends on the generosity of our supporters, and this game is one of our signature events benefitting Shriners Hospitals for Children."

The East-West Shrine Game tickets are on sale now through all Ticketmaster outlets. Fans can purchase tickets for the January 21, 2012 game online at,, or by phone at 727-342-5777.


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