ST. GEORGE – Dixie State University senior Joe Don Duncan has been invited to play in a pair of prestigious postseason games – the 2014 East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 18, in St. Petersburg, Fla., and the 2014 Reese’s Senior Bowl on Jan. 25, in Mobile, Ala.
Duncan becomes the first Red Storm player in program history to be selected to the prominent all-star games. Both games are considered springboards for players wanting to play at the next level, including the National Football League. As of the release date, Duncan is the only Division II player to receive an invite for the Senior Bowl game.
“It is a great honor for Joe Don to be invited to play in the Senior Bowl and East/West Shrine Game,” DSU head coach Scott Brumfield said. “When you look at the significance of these invitations, it puts Joe Don on an elite level, competing against the best of the best representing the best programs in the nation.”
“He is not only a great football player, but also a tremendous individual.”
This season, Duncan shattered his own school receiving records. The tight end corralled a team-high 71 grabs for 1,045 yards with 13 touchdowns. He bested his single-season TD mark in game number seven on the year and became the first Dixie State receiver to eclipse reach the 1,000-yard barrier with 120 yards in the Storm’s win at SFU. Duncan recorded five games over 100 yards to lead all GNAC receivers.
“It’s unbelievable,” Duncan said. “You hope after the season that the invitations come. With two great choices, I couldn’t be more excited.”
The East-West Shrine Game is played for the benefit of Shriners Hospitals for Children, a network of 23 facilities which provide world-renown care in orthopedics, burns and spinal cord injuries for children, regardless of the family’s ability to pay.
The Reese’s Senior Bowl saw 94 players picked in the NFL Draft, including three of the top five picks and 10 in the first round. Nearly one-third of all NFL rosters are composed of former Senior Bowl alumni, so it is truly a showcase for prospects aspiring to play professional football.
Duncan said he will officially choose which game(s) to attend soon.