January 13, 2015
DALLAS (SMU) - SMU linebacker Stephon Sanders has been selected to play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, Jan. 17 at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
Sanders, who will play for the National Team, was named to the Butkus Award Watch List in 2014 and finished his SMU career with 230 tackles and 10 sacks. He played in 48 of 50 career games with 40 starts.
A native of Mesquite, Texas, where he graduated from Horn High School, Sanders is a senior majoring in economics and minoring in business administration.
Sanders wore football jersey "23." Prior to the 2009 season, the SMU coaching staff announced that a deserving student-athlete would be chosen to wear the number "23" on his jersey throughout the season to honor Jerry LeVias for his contributions to America, the sport of football and SMU. LeVias was the first African-American to receive an athletic scholarship in the Southwest Conference. LeVias made athletic and academic All-America teams and, in 1966, contributed to the Mustangs' first SWC title in 18 years. He was an All-American in 1968 and was chosen All-SWC in 1966, 1967 and 1968. Sanders earned the honor every season from 2012-2014.
The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl is a premiere post-season all-star game for draft-eligible college players. The week-long schedule provides participants with a first-class professional experience while introducing them to the business of the National Football League. In 2014, more than 140 NFL Scouts, Player Personnel Staff, GMs and Head Coaches attended the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl practices and game. Multiple other professional football leagues had representatives on hand as well.
NFL coaching legends Mike Holmgren and Mike Martz will serve as Head Coaches for the 2015 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. Holmgren will coach the American Team and face Martz's National Team.
The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl practices and game will be broadcast live on the ESPN family of channels. The game, scheduled for a 3 p.m. CT kickoff, will air live on ESPN2. In addition, American and National Team practices on January 14 and 15 will be televised live on ESPNU. The game and practices will also be available via WatchESPN.
Founded in 2012, the annual game gives prospective NFL players the best opportunity to showcase their talents to potential employers and fans. In 2013, scouts from every NFL club and other professional leagues attended the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl's practices and game. Nearly 100 scouts not only watched the live practices and game but also conducted player interviews and reviewed tape. Peak television ratings for the 2013 game surpassed the East-West Shrine game and bested the Senior Bowl in overall impressions. The 2013 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl was ESPN's highest-rated collegiate program on game day.
Participants in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl have the unique opportunity to network with and learn from current and former NFL players. These veterans give players first-hand insight on what it takes to win on and off of the field.