LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech Seniors Center Dawson deaton and senior defensive back DaMarcus Fields have accepted invitations to play in the 97th annual East-West Shrine Bowl, game organizers said Thursday afternoon.
This is the second season in a row that a Red Raider has appeared in the bowl as Zech McPhearson was selected in 2020. McPhearson was able to meet with NFL officials in virtual training sessions, a move that could have paid off for the eventual fourth-round selection, after the game was canceled due to COVID protocols -19.
The East-West Shrine Bowl will be relocating to Las Vegas this year for its week-long activities, which will include practices and meetings of representatives from all 32 NFL teams. The game itself kicks off at Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders, during prime time on February 3 with television coverage provided on NFL Network.
The selections crown a pair of legendary careers as Red Raiders for Deaton and Fields, which brought Tech back to a bowl game this season for the first time since 2017. Deaton, who still has one season of eligibility, has previously said that he would. continue the NFL Draft immediately after the end of the 2021 football season.
For Deaton, he started in 34 games during his Red Raider career, including 10 of 12 so far this season. Deaton was inducted into the All-Big squad 12 seconds earlier today, marking the second straight season he has earned the honor. He’s the first Red Raiders offensive lineman to win All-Big 12 accolades in either first or second team in consecutive seasons since Le’Raven Clark did so in the 2014-15 campaigns.
Fields, meanwhile, has established himself as one of the Big 12’s best corners over the past five seasons as the senior leads the Red Raiders with 48 starts in his career, including 10 this year. Fields has totaled 221 tackles and four interceptions in his career to go along with 44 defended passes, the most for any Red Raider since 2000 and the second-highest total among active FBS players.
Additional All-Star game selections will be announced in the coming weeks. Deaton and Fields will learn of Tech’s fate in the playoffs on Sunday when the bowl selections are announced.