UM Linebacker Jordan Trip Selected for East-West Shrine Game

By DAVE GUFFEY for Go Griz.com

The University of Montana’s Jordan Tripp has added another honor to his illustrious football resume, as he has accepted an offer to play in the Annual East-West Shrine Game, which is Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Kick-off for the East-West Shrine Game is at 2:00 p.m. (Mountain); it is televised on the NFL Network.

The East-West Shrine Game is the longest-running college all-star game in the country.  The inaugural game was played in 1925.  It has featured some of the greatest college players in history, including the likes of Tom Brady, Dick Butkus, John Elway, Brett Favre, Gale Sayers, and Walter Payton, just to name a few.

Jordan Tripp (2)The players invited hope to showcase their talents and skill in the East-West Shrine Game in front of the several NFL scouts who will be inattendance.

“I am extremely excited to play in the East-West Shrine Game,” said Tripp via a phone interview today (Thursday, Dec. 12).  “It will be an honor to represent the University of Montana, and all of the coaches here who have all helped me be a better player.

“That being said, I am excited to go to work in preparation for that next step; whatever that next step may be – the (NFL) combine or pro day, or a bowl game,” he said.  “My main goal is just to make myself a better player and in turn just represent the University of Montana and the Big Sky Conference to the best of my ability.”

This past season the 6-3 ½, 237-pound senior was second on the team with 100 tackles, and he  tied for the team lead with three interceptions.  He was a first team All-Big Sky and All-America selection for the second straight season in 2013.

Tripp has served as the Grizzlies’ co-captain on defense the past two seasons.  He was recently awarded UM’s Pat Norwood Award, which goes to the team’s “Most Inspirational Player”.

A finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award (FCS “Defensive Player of the Year”), he leaves Montana ranked fourth in career tackles with 336.  A rare five-time letterman, Tripp played in 52 career games and started in 38.  He set a UM record with 10 career fumble recoveries.

He is involved in numerous community events, and was Montana’s nominee for the American Football Coaches Association’s annual “Good Works Team,” for his constant participation in charitable and civic events.

Tripp, a third generation Griz football player (dad Bryan played in 1989-90 and grandad Gene played in 1963-64), is the 11th player in Grizzly history to participate in the East-West Shrine Game. He is the first defensive player in school history to be selected for the game.  (Stan Renning played guard on offense and linebacker on defense, and was selected to play in the 1958 East-West Shrine Game, but he was unable to play because of an injury).

The first UM player to represent the Grizzlies in the storied all-star game was quarterback “Wild” Bill Kelly in 1926.  Kelly, from Missoula, was elected to the National Football Hall of Fame in 1969, and he is the only UM player to receive that honor.

The last Grizzly player to play in the East-West Shrine Game was offensive lineman Chase Raynock, who participated in 1999.  (A complete list is included below in this release).

Since 1925, the East-West Shrine Game has played an important role in raising awareness of the amazing work done by the Shriners Hospital for Children.  The 20 health care facilities and one in both Mexico and Canada, provide advanced care for children with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate.

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