(TAMPA, FL) At 6 feet tall and 207 pounds, Trent Steelman is a force both on and off the football field. As the only Army player to ever rush and pass for 2,000 yards, this Black Lion Award recipient and East-West Shrine Game® alumni, is eager to bring his game to the next level after signing a four-year contract with the Baltimore Ravens.
“I have been playing football since I was 7 years-old,” said Steelman. “Ever since I picked up the game, it has been a goal of mine to play at both the collegiate and professional levels.” According to East-West Shrine Game Executive Director Harold Richardson, a former NFL coach, “Steelman is the player coaches desire to secure on their team. His excellent ball handling skills, refined footwork, and ability to play multiple positions makes him a valuable asset to have on the roster.”
Named as the “player to watch” for the Davey O’ Brien Award, which honors the nation’s top quarterback, Steelman’s dedication also extends to the U.S. military. As a member of the United States Army, the Bowling Green, Ky., native takes pride in demonstrating his patriotism on the football gridiron. “Having the honor to salute on the field is a privilege that many do not have the opportunity to do,” said Steelman. “This simple action symbolizes everything the United States military has done for my development — not only as a player but also as a leader in the military.” While he will be able to participate with the Baltimore Ravens during his off-time from the military, Steelman is still required to serve a minimum of two years with the United States Army – a duty he is honored to perform.
Reflecting on his time with Army football, Steelman credited the East-West Shrine Game with providing the platform where NFL scouts were able to see his ability to play at the next level. “If it wasn’t for the East-West Shrine Game, I would have never had the opportunity to pursue my goals,” said Steelman. Along with participating in the all-star game, which has been a staple in college football since 1925, Steelman said he will never forget visiting Shriners Hospitals for Children® — Tampa. “Visiting the hospital was a very humbling experience,” said Steelman.
“Those kids have more courage and tenacity than any football player I know; and that, I will never forget.”
Through football and his time spent in the military, the newly signed Raven hopes to inspire or encourage others. “As an athlete, you do not realize how many lives you have the opportunity to impact,” said Steelman. “My ultimate goal is to play the game to my fullest potential and have the ability to inspire one person to achieve their dreams.”
The East-West Shrine Game extends its best wishes to Steelman as he embarks on this new journey with the Baltimore Ravens. Steelman is now among the nearly 280 East-West Shrine Game alumni currently on NFL rosters. The East-West Shrine Game staff, volunteers and coaches are eager to watch each of them fulfill their dreams, one touchdown at a time.
The 2014 East-West Shrine Game kicks off on Saturday, January 18 at 4 p.m. EST, at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. To learn more about the event order tickets, visit shrinegame.com or call 813-281-8642.
More about the East-West Shrine Game’s Connection with the U.S. Military Academies:
The East-West Shrine Game has a storied history of inviting collegiate military athletes to join its rosters. Legendary military players such as Roger Staubach, Josh McNary and the late Pat Tillman have all vied for victory during East-West Shrine Game. To honor players that exemplify courage, tenacity and character, the Pat Tillman Award was created to honor a player’s leadership both on and off the football field. In 2013, Keith Pough, linebacker from Howard University, was honored with the award.
About the East-West Shrine Game
The East-West Shrine Game is the longest-running college all-star football game in the country and features some of the highest-rated players in the projected NFL draft ranking. While teams are divided by the East and West, the players come together for the beneficiary of the event, Shriners Hospitals for Children. To learn more about the game and to find out how you can become a supporter, visit shrinegame.com.