Former Appalachian State University wide receiver Tony Washington (High Point, N.C./T.W. Andrews) has accepted an invitation to play in this week’s NFLPA Collegiate Bowl at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. The prestigious all-star game is set for Saturday at 6 p.m. ET and will air live on ESPN2. Washington will suit up for the American team, coached by former Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals head coach Dennis Green, and be the second Mountaineer in the three-year history of the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl to participate in the game. Defensive back Demetrius McCray tallied an interception, a forced fumble, a pass break-up and a game-high-tying five solo tackles to help lead his National team to a 34-0 win over the American squad in last year’s contest. McCray went on to be selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the seventh round of the 2013 NFL Draft.


Washington’s invite comes after an impressive senior season in which he led the Southern Conference with 939 receiving yards, en route to first-team all-conference recognition. He finished his career ranked eighth in school history with 139 receptions and ninth with 1,837 receiving yards. He is also Appalachian’s all-time leader in kickoff-return yardage (1,289) and average (23.4 yards per return).


Despite being in only its third year of existence, the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl has already become one of college football’s premier postseason all-star games. Last season, peak television ratings for the ESPN2 broadcast of the second-annual NFLPA Collegiate Bowl surpassed the East-West Shrine game and bested the Senior Bowl in overall impressions. More importantly, the game and the week of practice leading up to the contest are attended by nearly 100 professional football scouts.


Washington is the second Mountaineer to participate in an all-star game this postseason. On Dec. 21, quarterback Jamal Londry-Jackson (Atlanta, Ga./North Atlanta) played in the FCS Senior Scout Bowl in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where he helped lead his South squad to a 16-13 win over the North.


Washington and Londry-Jackson are the ninth and 10th Mountaineers to participate in postseason all-star games in the last four years. Daniel Kilgore (currently a member of the San Francisco 49ers), Mark LeGree and D.J. Smith (Carolina Panthers) all played in the 2011 Texas vs. The Nation All-Star Classic, Brian Quick (St. Louis Rams) participated in the 2012 Senior Bowl, Travaris Cadet (New Orleans Saints) and DeAndre Presley (Carolina Panthers) played in the 2012 Battle of Florida and Jeremy Kimbrough (Washington Redskins) joined McCray in postseason action last year as a participant in the Raycom College Football All-Star Classic.



Photo Courtesy: Tony Washington, ASU Athletics