Three South Carolina football players have accepted invitations to play in postseason all-star games.
Brandon Shell and Gerald Dixon Jr. will participate in the East-West Shrine Game, while Brandon Wilds will play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.
Shell, a 6-6, 328-pound offensive tackle from Goose Creek, was a four-year starter for the Gamecocks. He moved to the left tackle position to protect the quarterback’s blind side for his final season after playing primarily at right tackle throughout his collegiate career. The fifth-year senior and team captain played in 52 games, tying for the sixth-highest total in school history, while making 47 consecutive starts, the second-highest mark at South Carolina. Shell earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology.
Dixon Jr., a 6-3, 327-pound defensive tackle from Rock Hill, started all 12 games for the Gamecocks in 2015 and 24 of the last 25 games over the past two seasons. He registered 28 tackles in his senior season, including a pair of tackles for loss. He finished his career with 84 tackles. Dixon Jr. owns a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies.
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The 91st East-West Shrine Game will be held at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on January 23. The game will be televised on the NFL Network beginning at 4 p.m. ET. Created by the Shriners in 1925, the East-West Shrine Game was the nation’s first college all-star football game. The game is driven by the desire to support Shriners Hospitals for Children in its mission to help children in need of expert medical care. More than 1 million children have benefited from Shriners Hospitals’ unique way of providing hope and healing, regardless of the families’ ability to pay for services.
Wilds, a 6-2, 220-pounder from Blythewood, S.C., was the Gamecocks’ leading rusher in 2015 with 123 carries for 567 yards and three touchdowns in nine games. He also caught 17 passes out of the backfield for 142 yards. He finished his Carolina career ranked 20th on the all-time rushing list with 1,844 yards on 379 carries. He logged three 100-yard rushing games in 2015 and had seven in his career. Wilds will earn his bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies.
The fifth-annual NFLPA Collegiate Bowl is scheduled for a 6 p.m. ET kickoff and will air nationally on ESPN2 on January 23from StubHub Center on the campus of California State University Dominguez Hills. In addition, American and National team practices on January 20 and 21 will be televised live on ESPNU.