OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) – Ole Miss football will be well represented in the 94th East-West Shrine Game as two Rebels have accepted invitations to play in the college all-star football game held Jan. 19, at Tropicana Field, in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Jordan Ta’amu and Sean Rawlings will both compete in the nation's oldest college all-star football game, which will kick off at 2 p.m. and be televised live on the NFL Network. The two Rebels participating in the 2019 game bring the program's total to 27 players selected to play in the East-West Shrine Game.
Ta’amu is coming off a record-breaking 2018 campaign that saw the senior from Pearl City, Hawaii, throw for 3,918 yards and 19 touchdowns. Ta’amu leads the SEC and ranks third nationally in passing yards per game (326.5). He finished the season ranked second all-time in both single-season passing yards (3,918) and single-season total yards (4,260).
Ta’amu etched his name into the Ole Miss record books, finishing the 2018 season with nine 300-yard passing games and three games of 400 yards or more; both school records. He also became one of only four quarterbacks in Ole Miss history to throw for 3,000 or more yards in a season.
Rawlings, a Campbell Trophy semifinalist, started 11 games in 2018 and finished his Ole Miss career with 37 starts in 43 appearances. In 420 pass blocks this season, Rawlings only allowed one sack and eight hurries as the Rebels’ primary center.
Rawlings was a key piece in an Ole Miss offensive line that helped block for a Rebel offense that ranks ninth in the FBS in total offense (510.5 ypg). Ole Miss’ 346.4 passing yards per game were the most in school history.
For more than 90 years, some of football's greatest athletes and coaches have contributed to the tradition of the East-West Shrine Game. Players like Gale Sayers, Tom Brady, John Elway, Allan Page, Dick Butkus, Brett Favre, Gino Marchetti and Walter Payton, along with coaches Don Shula, Dick Vermeil, Paul "Bear" Bryant and Jerry Glanville, to name a few, have supported the East-West Shrine Game.
Since 1925, the East-West Shrine Game has benefited Shriners Hospitals for Children and its mission to provide advanced care for children with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate, regardless of the families' ability to pay for services.
Players and coaches visit a local Shriners Hospitals for Children during game week to meet the patients and gain a greater understanding of the importance of the game. During the inspirational and humbling visit, the teams experience a day they will never forget. Whether dancing to music, playing games or simply sharing stories with one another, the instant friendships that form between the patients and players are a testament to our motto of being more than just a game.