Richie Leone Accepts East-West Shrine Game Invitation
Dec. 17, 2013
HOUSTON – Houston senior punter Richie Leone accepted an invitation Tuesday to play in the East-West Shrine Game, which will be held Jan. 18 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. The game will kick off at 4 p.m. EST and air on the NFL Network.
The East-West Shrine Game is the longest running college all-star game in the country. A staple in college football since 1925, the game has consistently proven to be a launch pad for players seeking professional careers in the NFL. More than 100 players from the 88th East-West Shrine Game signed with professional football teams in 2013. On average, more than 275 East-West Shrine Game alumni are on NFL rosters each year.
A Ray Guy Award semifinalist for the third straight year, Leone took home second-team American Athletic Conference honors by placing 52.4 percent of his punts inside his opponents’ 20-yard line and 22.2 percent inside the 10, both league bests.
Leone finished the regular season with an average of 43.1 yards per punt on 63 punts including 14 over 50 yards and four over 60. Just three of Leone’s 63 punts resulted in a touchback with opponents calling for a fair catch 14 times. With Leone’s leg, the Houston punt team ranks third nationally and leads The American with a net punting average of 41.3 yards per punt.
Just the third four-year starting punter at Houston, Leone ranks second in the program with a career average of 43.0 yards per punt. He has 8,994 career yards on 209 punts and trails just the 43.5 average set by Chase Turner from 2007-09. He owns the UH record for career punts over 50 yards with 52.
Leone also has 238 kickoffs in his career with an average kick of 63.5 yards and 73 resulting in touchbacks.
In addition to serving as one of the NFL’s primary sources for eligible players, the East-West Shrine Game benefits Shriners Hospitals for Children, and helps support its mission of providing expert care to children in need, conducting innovative research and offering educational opportunities to medical professionals. East-West Shrine Game activities include a visit to a Shriners Hospital, which gives the players the opportunity to witness firsthand the true purpose of the game.
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