Keith Wenning, a senior quarterback on Ball State’s 2013 football team that tallied a 10-3 record and played in the GoDaddy Bowl, has been selected to play for the West Team at the East-West Shrine Game.
In addition, former Ball State record-setting running back Bernie Parmalee will serve as an assistant coach for the West Team, which is coached by Romeo Crennel.
The game will take place Sat., Jan. 18, at 4 p.m., at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., and will air on the NFL Network. Tropicana Field is the site of the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl, which Wenning led the Cardinals into after the 2012 season.
The East-West Shrine Game is the longest running college all-star game in the country. A staple in college football since 1925, the game has consistently proven to be a launch pad for players seeking professional careers in the National Football League. More than 100 players from the 88th East-West Shrine Game signed with professional football teams in 2013. On average, more than 275 East-West Shrine Game alumni are on NFL rosters each year.
In addition to serving as one of the NFL’s primary sources for eligible players, the game benefits Shriners Hospitals for Children, and helps support its mission of providing expert care to children in need, conducting innovative research and offering educational opportunities to medical professionals. East-West Shrine Game activities include a visit to a Shriners Hospital, which gives the players the opportunity to witness firsthand the true purpose of the game.
Wenning, who was named to the All-Mid-American Conference Second Team after the 2013 season, was one of 10 semifinalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which goes to the nation’s top collegiate quarterback. Wenning was the only quarterback in the Football Bowl Subdivision to throw for 299 yards or more in 10 regular season games in 2013. He completed 319-of-498 passes for 4,148 yards with 35 touchdowns and only seven interceptions in 2013. Wenning became the first Ball State quarterback to top 4,000 passing yards in a season and his 4,148 yards ranked sixth in the country and third in MAC history. Wenning finished his career as Ball State’s record holder and ranked third in the MAC in career pass completions (1,034) and attempts (1,642), fourth in career passing yards (11,402) and fourth in career passing touchdowns (92).
Wenning is the seventh Ball State student-athlete to ever appear in the East-West Shrine Game and the first since Reggie Hodges competed as a punter in the 2004 contest.
Parmalee was a running back for the Cardinals from 1987-90 and was named the MAC Freshman of the Year in his initial campaign. He played in the NFL from 1992-2000 for the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets. Parmalee has coached for the Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs plus was a tight ends coach at Notre Dame.