Keena Earns East-West Shrine Game Invite

Dec. 21, 2016

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida - Senior punter Eric Keena, All-Conference first-team selection by Conference USA coaches, accepted an invite to the 92nd East-West Shrine Game, the game’s executive director Harold Richardson announced this week. The game is scheduled for Saturday, January 21 at 2 p.m. CT from Tropicana Field and will be broadcast live on NFL Network. The East-West Shrine Game is the longest running college all-star game in the country and was created by the Shriners in 1925.

Keena (Keller, Texas) is one of the best punters in the country, and finished the regular season averaging 43.8 yards per punt this season on 69 attempts. He had a season-long of 68, while placing 20 inside the opponent’s 20 yard-line and has 21 punts of 50-plus yards. Keena was on the Ray Guy Award watch list and ranks 11th nationally among active punters with a 44.2 yards per punt over his career. Keena is also an impact player for the Mean Green on kickoffs, booming 32 touchbacks on 54 kickoffs.

As part of game week, players will make a visit to the local Shriners Hospital for Children to meet the patients and gain a greater understanding of the importance of the game. The teams will also practice each day, Monday, Jan. 16 through Thursday, Jan. 19 in front of over 300 National Football League scouts.

The Mean Green, in their first year under rookie head coach Seth Littrell, made one of the biggest turnarounds in the nation, going from 1-11 in 2015 to 5-7 in 2016. The Mean Green are slated to oppose Army in the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl on Tuesday, December 27, 2016 at 11 a.m. at the Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas.

Bowl-game tickets are on sale now through the North Texas Ticket Office, and ticket information is available at

For more information on the East-West Shrine Game, head to



North Texas Mean Green