Friday, November 22, 2019

 

            


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AHSAA News


Former All-Stars Roman Harper, Wallace Gilberry Returning to Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game

MONTGOMERY – Jamie Lee, Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association, announced Thursday that former National Football League players Roman Harper and Wallace Gilberry will take part in the 2018 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Game festivities in December.
   The 32nd annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic will be played on Monday night, Dec. 17, at Cramton Bowl with a 6:30 p.m., kickoff. Raycom Sports will televise the game live over its affiliate stations in Alabama and Mississippi as well as selected stations in Tennessee and Georgia.
     “We are extremely proud to have Roman Harper and Wallace Gilberry taking part in this year’s Alabama-Mississippi Classic,” Lee said. “Both are alumni of the All-Star Classic and both had outstanding college and NFL careers, which make their participation even more special.”
    Harper, a former Prattville High School and University of Alabama standout, will be the guest speaker at the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star players dinner set for Saturday, Dec. 15. He played eight seasons with the New Orleans Saints and his final two seasons with the Carolina Panthers. He played in the 2009 and 2015 Super Bowls.
    Gilberry, a Baldwin County High School standout who played in the 2003 Alabama-Mississippi Game, will serve as the Alabama All-Star Team honorary captain. He will speak at the banquet set for Sunday, December 16th. Named to the All-SEC Coaches Team in 2007, he spent nine years in the NFL.
    Both will take part in the Alabama-Mississippi Game festivities.
   
WALLACE GILBERRY, Alabama All-Star 2018 Honorary Captain & Banquet Speaker
      Not recruited heavily out of high school and undrafted out of college, Gilberry spent nine seasons in the NFL, playing in 124 games, registering 34 sacks and scoring a touchdown on a 25-yard fumble return against the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012.
      Despite a senior season with 76 tackles and seven sacks, the defensive lineman wasn't recruited by any SEC football program coming out of Baldwin County High School in Bay Minette, but his performance during the Alabama-Mississippi High School All-Star Classic on June 7, 2003, earned him a second look.
       The Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Game as Gilberry tells it, “Changed my life.” Alabama had one scholarship remaining and signed him. He then embarked on an outstanding college career at a defensive end for the Crimson Tide from (2004-2007).
     He became a starter in his sophomore year and played in 50 games during his college tenure with the Crimson Tide. He had 188 tackles with 60.5 stops resulting in minus-223 yards, had 38 quarterback hurries, forced five fumbles and recovered three. He was named to the All-SEC Coaches’ Football Team in 2007
     He was an undrafted free agent in 2008, signing with the New York Giants, was released prior to the season and was picked up by the Kansas City Chiefs. He also had stints with the Tampa Bay Bucs, Detroit Lions and Cincinnati Bengals in the NFL.
    His best year was 2009 when he had 20 tackles, two assists and 4.5 sacks for the Chiefs. While playing for the Bengals in 2012, he scooped up a fumble and ran it into the end one for the first and only touchdown of his career.


ROMAN HARPER, Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Guest Speaker
   
Roman Harper was born and raised in Prattville where he led the Lions to a 9-2 season as a senior in 2000 as the team’s quarterback. He played in the 2001 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Classic at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
    The All-State standout went on to sign with the University of Alabama where he was a four-year letterman and three-year starter in the defensive backfield. He finished his college career with 302 tackles, five interceptions and four fumble recoveries. He had 114 tackles as a sophomore, second on the team, and was named All-SEC (second team) as a junior and All-SEC (first team) as a senior.
    He entered the NFL as a second-round draft pick of the Saints in 2006. He played eight seasons with New Orleans, including the Saints' Super-Bowl winning campaign of 2009. Harper was a Pro Bowl safety that year and repeated that honor the next season. Harper spent 2014 and 2015 with the Carolina Panthers, helping the team win the NFC title and reach the Super Bowl for the 2015 season.
   The two-time Pro Bowl defensive back selection played 11 NFL seasons and started 140 of the 156 games in which he participated. His career totals included 11 interceptions with two returned for touchdowns, 819 tackles and 18 sacks – from his safety position. He helped the Saints win Super Bowl XLIV (SB 44) and also helped the Panthers reach Super Bowl L (SB 50).
   He received the NFL’s prestigious Ed Block Courage Award in 2007.