Thursday, January 17, 2013

MBA student to play in college football all-star game

Senior football player and MBA student Trevor Marrongelli will play in the 2013 National Football League Players Association Collegiate Bowl on Saturday. The starting center for the Jayhawks accepted the invitation to play in the all-star game which includes a week of events leading up to the game. It will be played at California State University Dominguez Hills in Carson, Calif.

Marrongelli is one of five Jayhawks chosen to play in the postseason game. Dayne Crist, a quarterback from Canoga Park, Calif.; Toben Opurum, a linebacker from Richardson, Texas; Josh Williams, a defensive end from Stafford, Texas; and Duane Zlatnik, an offensive lineman from Rossville, Kan. join Marrongelli in representing the University of Kansas.

“This game means a lot to me because it is giving me the opportunity to meet many great players who played for great teams across the country,” Marrongelli said.

Marrongelli started the last 24 games, giving him a total of 30 career starts for KU. He was named to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team four times and the CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team twice. He earned his bachelor’s degree in finance and is currently finishing his Master of Business Administration degree and working as a graduate teaching assistant for School of Business lecturer, Lisa Bergeron.

“He goes above and beyond in every aspect of his life,” said Bergeron.

The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl is proof of that because it recruits the country’s best draft-eligible seniors to play. Marrongelli will play alongside teammates Opurum and Crist on the National team, coached by former Kansas City Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil. They will play against the American team and teammates Williams and Zlatnik. The American team is coached by another former Chiefs head coach, Herm Edwards.

“I hope to learn a lot from my mentors about the things that come with being an NFL player as well as growing as a player and a man,” Marrongelli said. “Being exposed to a whole new group of guys and bonding with them was something that was very fun this week because you got the feeling of being a team again. As for the game, I look forward to beating the other team.”

Marrongelli said this game gives him great exposure to NFL scouts and former NFL players. He is entering the NFL draft this year and said if he’s lucky enough to have the opportunity he will play at the professional level.

“The former players,” he said, “have helped identify things that we need to do in order to make it in the NFL and last as a player.”

The college all-stars listened to speeches from former NFL stars like Kansas City running back Priest Holmes. But spending the week in Los Angeles comes with other perks as well.

“We got to go to a comedy show at the Laugh Factory, which was very exciting for me and the rest of the players,” Marrongelli said. “I think the game will be the most exciting, though, because it gives me another opportunity to play the sport I love.”

Two practices, one at 12:30 p.m. and one at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, will be televised on ESPNU and the game will be aired Saturday at 5 p.m. on ESPN2. This is the first time the game will be aired by ESPN.