Texas Tech senior center Dawson Deaton and senior defensive back DaMarcus Fields have accepted invitations to play in the 97th annual East-West Shrine Bowl, game organizers announced Thursday afternoon.
This is the second-consecutive season a Red Raider has appeared in the bowl as Zech McPhearson was selected in 2020. McPhearson was able to meet with NFL executives through a virtual training sessions, a move that could have paid dividends for the eventual fourth-round selection, after the game was canceled due to COVID-19 protocols.
The East-West Shrine Bowl will move to Las Vegas this year for its weeklong activities, which includes practices and meetings from representatives from all 32 NFL teams. The game, itself, will kick off from Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders, during primetime Feb. 3 with television coverage provided on NFL Network.
The selections cap a pair of storied career as Red Raiders for Deaton and Fields, who have led Tech back to a bowl game this season for the first time since 2017. Deaton, who still has a season of eligibility remaining, has already declared he will pursue the NFL Draft immediately following the completion of the 2021 football season.
For Deaton, he has started in 34 games during his Red Raider career, including 10-of-12 so far this season. Deaton was tabbed to the All-Big 12 second team earlier today, marking the second-consecutive season he has earned the honor. He is the first Red Raider offensive lineman to garner All-Big 12 first or second team accolades in back-to-back seasons since Le'Raven Clark did so over the course of the 2014-15 campaigns.
Fields, meanwhile, established himself as one of the top cover corners in the Big 12 the past five seasons as the senior leads the Red Raiders with 48 starts over his career, including 10 this year. Fields has totaled 221 tackles and four interceptions over his career to go along with 44 passes defended, 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 over the coming weeks. Deaton and Fields will learn Tech's postseason fate Sunday when bowl selections are announced.