Duke's Vernon, UNC's Williams accept invites to play in Senior Bowl
Posted January 2, 2013
Updated January 3, 2013
Duke’s Conner Vernon and North Carolina's Sylvester Williams accepted invitations Wednesday to play in the 64th annual Senior Bowl. The game is set for 4 p.m. (ET) on January 26 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala., and will be televised live by the NFL Network.
In 48 career games at Duke, Vernon caught 283 passes for 3,749 yards and 21 touchdowns and established ACC records for career pass receptions, career receiving yardage, most consecutive games with at least one pass reception (48), most seasons with 50-plus receptions (4) and most seasons with 70-plus receptions (3). On the NCAA’s career charts, he ranks 23rd for career catches and 24th for career receiving yards.
The Miami, Fla., native posted 85 receptions for 1,074 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior captain in 2012 as the Blue Devils played in a bowl game for the first time since 1994. The 85 catches set a Duke single-season record and matched the fifth-highest single-season total in ACC history.
Vernon will become the 21st player from Duke to play in the Senior Bowl and first Blue Devil since Chris Combs participated in the game following the 1999 season.
Williams is a two-year starter at defensive tackle for North Carolina. After virtually not playing football in high school and spending a year working in a parts factory, he willed his way to Coffeyville Community College and became a legitimate FBS recruit. He signed with the Tar Heels and has started 25 consecutive games for two different coaching staffs.
The Jefferson City, Mo., native registered 42 total tackles, 13.5 tackles for a loss, 6 sacks and 6 hurries and was recently named 1st team All-ACC during the 2012 season.
North Carolina State quarterback Mike Glennon accepted an invitation December 13 and will also play in the Senior Bowl.