OU Trio Chosen for East-West Shrine Game
NORMAN – Tight end Blake Bell, fullback Aaron Ripkowski and guard Adam Shead have each accepted invitations for the 2015 East-West Shrine Game. The trio of Oklahoma seniors will in the all-star contest on Jan. 17 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT with the game airing on NFL Network.
Bell, in his first season at tight end, played in 11 of 12 games during the regular season with seven starts. He caught 15 passes on the year for 213 yards and had four touchdown receptions to rank second on the team. Bell was honored as one of two recipients for Oklahoma’s Bob Kalsu Award, which is given annually to a member of the team who personifies Kalsu’s spirit of leadership, serving as a motivator and role model for his teammates. Bell was also an Academic All-Big 12 Second Team honoree.
Ripkowski played in all 12 games with seven starts at fullback. He caught a career-high seven passes for 38 yards and a touchdown this year and recorded the first six rushing attempts of his career for 13 yards and three touchdowns. Ripkowski was extremely effective in short-yardage situations during the regular season, as 10 of his 13 touches this season resulted in either a touchdown or first down. He was selected as All-Big 12 Second Team by the league’s coaches and All-Big 12 First Team by 247Sports. Ripkowski was the winner of the 2014 Don Key Award, which is presented annually to a senior who exemplifies all-around excellence in the classroom and on the field.
Shead played in all 12 games with 11 starts at left guard. He earned All-Big 12 Second Team honors by the Big 12 coaches and All-Big 12 First Team recognition from 247Sports as he helped anchor an offensive line that averaged 268.6 rushing yards per game during the regular season and allowed and FBS-low 8.0 sacks this year.
Bell, Ripkowski and Shead are not the only Sooners to be selected for a collegiate all-star game this year. Previously, it was announced that cornerback Julian Wilson and defensive end Chuka Ndulue had been selected for the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, while linebacker Geneo Grissom and offensive tackle Daryl Williams were invited to the Senior Bowl.