WASHINGTON, D.C. – The NFL Players Association announced Friday that former Cal placekicker Vincenzo D’Amato has accepted an invitation to play in the 2014 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl presented by Panini on Saturday, Jan. 18 at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. The game featuring 110 talented draft-eligible seniors will kick off at 3 p.m. PT and be televised live on ESPN2 and WatchESPN. Tickets for the third annual contest can be purchased online at collegiatenflpa.com.
“I’m super excited to have the opportunity to play in this game and showcase my talents in front of NFL teams,” D’Amato said.
ESPNU, ESPN3 and WatchESPN will also air live broadcasts from practices on Wednesday, Jan. 15 and Thursday, Jan. 16. Coverage begins each day at 1 p.m. PT.
In addition to television and radio coverage, fans can receive more information online at collegiate.nflpa.cma, as well as via Twitter (@nflpabowl), Facebook (facebook.com/nflpacollegiatebowl) and Instagram (Instagram.com/nflpabowl).
During the week preceding the game participants will receive an in-depth introduction to the union – the primary resource for information on the business of football and how to succeed in the NFL and in post-football careers.
D’Amato’s selection gives Cal a representative in all three major postseason collegiate all-star games with defensive tackle Deandre Coleman having previously accepted invitations to play in the East-West Shrine Game® at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. (Saturday, Jan. 18, 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT) and the Reese’s Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. (Saturday, Jan. 25, 3 p.m. CT/1 p.m. PT.).
13 – Vincenzo D’Amato, PK, 6-1, 205, Sr. (Lake Forest, CA/El Toro HS)
D'Amato connected on a career-high 17 of 20 field goal attempts to tie for second in the Pac-12 and tie for 23rd nationally in ﬁeld goal percentage (85.0%), making all 14 of his attempts from inside 45 yards. He was also tied for third in the Pac-12 and tied for 25th nationally with an average of 1.42 field goals made per contest. D’Amato led the Golden Bears in scoring with a career-high 82 points, adding a career-high 31 extra points on 32 attempts to his field goal numbers. In addition, he had a career-high 20 touchbacks on 57 kickoffs and threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jackson Bouza on a fake field goal to cap Cal’s first drive of the season against Northwestern.
D’Amato earned spots on All-Pac-12 teams selected by the league’s coaches (second team), Athlon (third team) and Phil Steele (third team). He was also an honorable mention Pac-12 All-Academic selection. In addition to his Pac-12 honors in 2013, D’Amato was one of 20 national semifinalists for the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award and one of 30 final candidates for the Senior CLASS Award. He was also a Phil Steele fourth-team Midseason All-American and second-team Midseason All-Pac-12 selection.
D’Amato finished his collegiate career with 212 points, making 40-of-55 field goal attempts (72.7%) with a long of 52 at Washington State during his junior season and 92-of-96 extra-point tries (95.8%). He played in 35 games from 2009-13, including all 24 possible contests over his final two campaigns.
About The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl presented by Panini
The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl is a premiere post-season all-star game for draft-eligible college players. The week-long schedule provides participants with a first-class professional experience while introducing them to the business of the National Football League.
Founded in 2012, the annual game gives prospective NFL players the best opportunity to showcase their talents to potential employers and fans. In 2013, scouts from every NFL club and other professional leagues attended the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl’s practices and game. Nearly 100 scouts not only watched the live practices and game but also conducted player interviews and reviewed tape. Peak television ratings for the 2013 game surpassed the East-West Shrine Game and bested the Senior Bowl in overall impressions. The 2013 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl was ESPN’s highest-rated collegiate program on game day.
Participants in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl have the unique opportunity to network with and learn from current and former NFL players. Under the guidance of National Team head coach Dick Vermeil and American Team head coach Denny Green, pro-football players and coaching legends will work with the game’s future stars, giving them first-hand insight on what it takes to win on and off of the field.