Manning Among NFL Rebels Returning For Grove Bowl Week

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Eli Manning (AP Photo)
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Eli Manning (AP Photo)
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

April 5, 2012

OXFORD, Miss. – Two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning headlines a group of former Ole Miss Rebels set to take part in an awards ceremony and panel discussion on the National Football League during 2012 Grove Bowl Week festivities.

Joining Manning for the Q&A and slated to be honored is fellow NFL standout Stacy  Andrews and former pros Ronnie  Heard and Tre’  Stallings, who have both gone on to careers in college athletics administration. Heard serves as Assistant Director of Development for the UMAA Foundation, and Stallings is the Assistant Director of Championships for the Southeastern Conference.

Hours before kickoff of the annual BancorpSouth Grove Bowl spring game, "NFL & Beyond" will be held April 21 at 11 a.m. CT on the Grove stage and will be emceed by radio personality Richard Cross. In the event of bad weather, the ceremony will be moved inside Johnson's Commons Ballroom.

"It is extremely exciting to welcome so many outstanding former Rebels back to campus,” said Jamil Northcutt, Ole Miss Assistant Athletics Director. “Over the years, these Grove Stage programs have helped us celebrate the on and off the field accomplishments of our former players.

"I'm really excited about this group this year because not only have these guys played in the NFL and had success, but they are doing some really great things off the field. Most importantly, these guys are my former teammates whom I'm very proud of. I know our fans will enjoy hearing their success stories through the panel discussion.”

Previous Grove Stage ceremonies have featured Manning and Patrick  Willis in 2008, Michael  Oher and Peria  Jerry in 2009, Dexter  McCluster in 2010 and Mike  Wallace and BenJarvus  Green-Ellis last year.

This will mark the first Grove Bowl Week for Hugh Freeze as the Rebels’ head coach, and he said seeing the former players back on campus is a highlight of the spring.

“I love it for our fans and our players to have these great Rebels from the past back on campus,” Freeze said. “With names like Eli Manning, Ole Miss has a great tradition of producing NFL stars, and it’s exciting to have them back for such a special week of events.”

Other events of Grove Bowl Week are the Rebels' Choice Awards on Monday, April 16; the Chucky Mullins Award Banquet on Thursday, April 19; a free concert in The Grove with Gavin DeGraw and special guest Craig Morgan on Friday, April 20 and a weekend baseball series against Arkansas.

The BancorpSouth Grove Bowl is the culmination of the team's spring practices and kicks off at 1 p.m. on April 21 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. CSS will televise the intra-squad scrimmage live.

Sponsored by the M-Club Alumni Chapter, the game benefits the J.W. "Wobble" Davidson Scholarship Fund, which aids the children of former Ole Miss letterwinners.

For more information or for assistance related to a disability, call 662-915-7375.

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