University Park, Pa. — Penn State record holders Jeremy Boone (Mechanicsburg) and Andrew Quarless (Uniondale, N.Y.) have accepted an invitation to play in the 85th East-West Shrine Game on Saturday, Jan. 23.
The contest will be played at the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando, Fla., the site of Penn State's 19-17 win over LSU in the Capital One Bowl on New Year's Day. The East-West Shrine Game will begin at 3 p.m. ET and be televised by ESPN2.
Several other Penn State seniors are likely to play in other all-star games, which will be announced later this month.
Former NFL head coach Romeo Crennel will coach the East squad and Marty Schottenheimer will coach the West. Among the other Big Ten players joining Boone and Quarless in the game are Northwestern quarterback Mike Kafka, Wisconsin defensive lineman O'Brien Schofield and Iowa offensive lineman Kyle Calloway.
Boone, Quarless and all the players will kick off game week on Sunday, Jan. 17 by visiting Tampa's Shriners Hospital for Children. Every year since the game's inception in 1925, the East-West Shrine Game has been played to raise funds for the 22 Shriners Hospitals for Children, an international health care system dedicated to providing expert specialty care without financial obligation to patients or their families..
A three-year starter at punter, Boone finished his outstanding career as Penn State's career punting leader, with an average of 43.12 yards, eclipsing the record of 43.0 set by George Reynolds (1980-83). Boone also ended the 2009 season with an average of 43.3 yards to tie Ralph Giacomarro (1980) for the second-best season mark ever behind Giacomarro's 43.6 average in 1981. Boone punted 53 times during the 2009 season, with a long of 66 yards and 21 punts inside the 20.
The former Mechanicsburg High School standout owns three of the Top 20 longest punts in school history (70, 68 and 66 yards). Boone led the Big Ten in punting in 2007 and '08, was selected all-conference twice and named ESPN Academic All-District in 2008 and '09. He graduated last May.
A tight end, Quarless capped his superb senior season in the big win over LSU by making a career-best and Penn State bowl record eight receptions for 88 yards. The eight grabs gave him 41 for the season, breaking the school record for catches in a season by a tight end, which had been 38 by Tony Stewart in 2000. The former Uniondale High School standout was third on the team with 41 receptions for 536 yards (13.1) and three touchdowns, including a career-long 60-yard score in the win at Michigan.
Quarless started every game this past season and made 31 career starts. He made 87 career catches for 1,146 yards and eight touchdowns. Quarless earned his degree in December.
Penn State (11-2) was No. 9 in the final AP poll, earning its 23rd Top 10 finish in Joe Paterno's 44 seasons as head coach. The Nittany Lions are 51-13 (79.7) since the start of the 2005 season, tied for the nation's No. 7 winning percentage over that span (with West Virginia). Penn State has won 53 of its last 66 games overall, dating to the final two contests of the 2004 season.
The Nittany Lions return 13 starters for the 2010 season, (7 offense, 5 defense, 1 specialist), as well as 11 players that have starting experience. Penn State opens the season Sept. 4 vs. Youngstown State in Beaver Stadium and visits 2009 national champion Alabama on Sept. 11