SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Former Slippery Rock University football standouts Quindell Dean and Tony Papley were included on a list of players recently announced by Dennis Wilson, president of the USA Football Network and the Metropolitan New York Football Writers Association, as participants in Monday’s USA Football Bowl all-star game.
The game will be played Monday at Metropolitan Stadium in Hoover, Ala.
The all-star game invitations were the latest additions to a treasure chest of honors received by Dean and Papley.
Dean earned a second-team All-America citation from Beyond Sports Network as well as second-team Daktronics All-Super Region 1, third-team Don Hansen Football Gazette all-region and first-team Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference-Western Division honors.
A 6-foot-1, 235-pound strongside linebacker from Uniontown, Dean was the No. 2 tackler on last fall’s Rock squad with 76 total takedowns (43 solo, 33 assisted). Dean ranked ninth in the PSAC in tackles for loss with a team-high 14.5 for -47 yards.
Dean also intercepted two passes, one of which he returned for a touchdown in the NCAA Division II first-round national playoff game at Winston-Salem State, batted down six passes and recorded two quarterback hurries.
Dean ended the regular season ranked 24th on SRU's career tackles list with 239, 18th in career solo tackles with 125 and 14th in career tackles for loss with 32 for -155 yards.
A fourth-year member of The Rock program after being redshirted as a true freshman at Division I Toledo, Dean recorded nine career quarterback sacks, one shy of being included in the school's top 25 in that category.
Like Dean, Papley earned first-team All-PSAC-West honors last fall. Papley also garnered a third-team Don Hansen Football Gazette All-Super Region 1 citation.
A 6-foot-1, 260-pound nose tackle and native of Slippery Rock, Papley recorded 65 total tackles (25 solo, 40 assisted), including 12 tackles for loss (-29 yards) and two quarterback sacks (-11 yards).
Papley also intercepted one pass, broke up two others, recorded three quarterback hurries and recovered a fumble in his final collegiate campaign.
Dean and Papley were key components of a Rock defense that finished the 2013 season ranked fourth nationally in pass defense efficiency, fifth in third-down conversion and 25th in rushing defense.
The all-star game participants were part of an 18-man senior class that led The Rock to a 9-3 final record, the PSAC West championship, a conference runner-up finish and SRU’s first NCAA Division II national playoff berth since 1999.
As sophomores in 2011, Dean and Papley helped The Rock record an 8-3 record, win the PSAC West title for the first time since 2000 and claim conference runner-up honors. The duo was part of a defensive unit that ranked third nationally in rushing defense, fourth in total defense, ninth in pass defense efficiency, 10th in interceptions and 11th in third-down conversion.
In 2012, The Rock defense ranked 10th nationally in third-down conversion and 25th in pass defense efficiency.
About the USA Football Bowl:
The USA Football Bowl started in 1995 as the Division III Senior All-Star Classic and later became known as the Aztec Bowl for 10 years and was played in Mexico, Wilson said. In 2010, the event absorbed the Division II Cactus Bowl. NAIA, NCCAA and USCAA senior All-Americans were awarded to the game’s talent pool in 2011, followed in 2012 by the addition of FCS seniors. FBS seniors joined the talent pool for the first time in 2014.
With the announcements in November 2013 of the demise of the Texas vs. The Nation, Casino del Sol and Raycomm Bowl all-star games, the USA Football Bowl, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, is one of four remaining post-season senior all-star games recognized by the national broadcast and print media, football writers' associations and professional football franchises, according to Wilson.
The other universally recognized senior all-star games are the East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Fla., which will be held for the 89th time; the third annual NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in Carson, Calif. and the 46th Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
The USA Football Bowl will draw top players from all four levels of NCAA competition (Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II and Division III), as well as players from NAIA, National Christian College Athletic Association and United States Collegiate Athletic Association programs, according to Wilson.
The game will be included in five days of activities that will also feature an awards banquet Sunday and a USA Professional Football Leagues Testing Combine that will be conducted Tuesday by NFL, CFL and AFL coaches and scouts, Wilson said.
The USA Football Bowl will have a live online radio broadcast on the National Gridiron Network and a tape-delayed national television broadcast, Wilson said. Typically, the game is aired two days later on ESPNU and/or the NFL Channel, according to Wilson.
Each of the teams in this year’s USA Football Bowl game will have 66 players, according to Wilson.