Two Lions to play in Shrine Game

The NFL draft stock seems to be high for two seniors from Arkansas-Pine Bluff — with the potential of being higher.

Defensive end Brandon Thurmond and offensive left tackle Terron Armstead have accepted invitations to play in the 88th East-West Shrine Game, which will be held Saturday at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. They are two of only three players from the state in this year’s game, joining Arkansas punter Dylan Breeding.

According to the latest rosters on the Shrine Game’s website, Armstead and Thurmond won’t play on the same team. Thurmond was assigned to the West team, and Armstead is on the East roster along with Breeding.

The two Golden Lions are coming off a 10-2 SWAC championship season in which they already racked up numerous honors.

Thurmond was named the conference’s defensive player of the year and earned a national defensive player of the year honor by the radio show “From the Press Box to Press Row.” The nation’s leader in sacks this season with 17.5, Thurmond also was selected a second-team FCS All-American by The Sports Network.

Armstead was a second-team All-SWAC offensive lineman, helping protect first-team All-SWAC quarterback Ben Anderson and opening holes for an offense that averaged 200.2 rushing yards per game.

The East-West Shrine Game, which benefits Shriners Hospitals for Children, has produced 62 Hall of Famers and 52 players currently on active NFL rosters.

The game will kick off at 3 p.m. Central and will air on NFL Network.