Fordham University senior quarterback John Skelton (El Paso, Texas/Burges) has been selected to appear in the 2010 East-West Shrine Game, it was announced today by East-West Shrine Game officials. Rated one of the top senior quarterback prospects in the nation, he will appear in the 85th edition of “America’s Premier College All-Star Football Game” on January 23, 2010, at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando. He will be just the third player out of the Patriot League to appear in the game, joining Gordie Lockbaum (Holy Cross, 1987) and Adam Bergen (Lehigh, 2004).
Skelton was one of 37 players to accept an invitation to the game, the organization announced on Tuesday. He was selected to the East roster, where Central Michigan’s Dan Lefevour will join Skelton at the quarterback position. Skelton and wide receiver Andre Roberts of The Citadel were the only players from Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) schools that were placed on the initial rosters.
Skelton is wrapping up a record-setting career at Fordham with an outstanding senior season. On the year, he has completed 233 of 364 passes for 2,917 yards and 18 touchdowns. He leads the NCAA FCS in passing yards/game, averaging 324.11/game, and total passing yards (2,917) while ranking second in total offense at 344.11 yards/game. Skelton is also ranked third nationally in completions/game (25.89), tied for 15th in points responsible for (15.33), and 21st in passing efficiency (143.80).
Earlier this year, Skelton completed 43 of 67 passes for 427 yards against Holy Cross on October 31st, all school records. He finished that contest one passing attempt shy of the NCAA FCS record for most pass attempts in a game without an interception, just missing the national mark of 68 set by Marshall’s Tony Petersen against Western Carolina in 1987 (Peterson completed 34). Skelton surpassed his own school record of 420 passing yards in the Holy Cross game, a record he set earlier this year at Cornell, while he broke Matt Georgia’s 1999 records of 36 completions and 65 attempts. Over his career, Skelton has completed 751 career passes for 9,132 yards and 61 touchdowns, surpassing Joe Moorhead’s career completion record of 518 and Kevin Eakin’s career passing yards (6,112) and touchdown marks (45).
“I was at Louisiana Tech with Tim Rattay and Luke McCown, who both went on to play in the NFL, and I think John is right up there with them,” said Fordham head coach Tom Masella. “It’s a much deserved honor for John who is a fantastic quarterback and I’m sure he’ll do well.”
The team rosters, which will be updated regularly as players accept invitations, are posted on the East-West Shrine Game Web site at www.shrinegame.com/rosters.
“This is an outstanding group of players,” said East-West Shrine Game Executive Director Jack Hart. “These young men are high-level players from top schools around the country. We look forward to continuing to receive acceptances from many other quality players to round out our East and West Teams prior to our January 23 date in Orlando.”
The East-West Shrine Game is the longest-running college all-star football game in the country and features some of the highest-rated players in the projected NFL draft ranking. In April 2009, 90 percent of players from the 84th East-West Shrine Game (played on Jan. 17, 2009) were either drafted or signed as free agents by NFL clubs. A total of 307 East-West Shrine Game alumni were on 2009 NFL opening-day rosters.
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. The 85th East-West Shrine Game will kick off at 3 p.m. EST and be televised live on ESNP2.
Shriners Hospitals for Children is a system of 22 hospitals dedicated to providing pediatric specialty care, innovative research and outstanding teaching programs. Children up to age 18 with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate are eligible for care and receive all services in a family-centered environment, without financial obligation to patients or their families.
For more information about the East-West Shrine Game, visit www.shrinegame.com.