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Furman's Gary Wilkins To Play In Medal Of Honor Bowl Saturday

Gary Wilkins
Gary Wilkins

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Furman All-Southern Conference defensive end Gary Wilkins will play in the 2015 Medal of Honor Bowl this Saturday at Johnson Hagood Stadium in Charleston, S.C.

Kickoff for the game, which will be televised nationally by NBC Sports Network, is set at 2:30 p.m.

Wilkins, a 6-foot-2, 243-pound standout, recently capped his Furman career by earning Sports Network's third team All-America honors.

A team co-captain in 2014, he tallied 77 tackles in 2014, including eight sacks and 17.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage — both team highs that also rank fifth and sixth, respectively, in Furman history.  In addition, he returned an interception 19 yards for a touchdown in a 25-20 win over Mercer, earned a pair of Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Week scrolls, and was named the league's defensive player of the month for September.

In a 48-game career that featured 41 starts and netted two consensus first team All-SoCon tabs, the Covington, Ga., native compiled 294 tackles, 37.5 tackles for-loss, including 15.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries, two interceptions, and scored three touchdowns.  He completed his Paladin tenure ranked fifth on Furman's career sacks ledger and sixth in tackles for-loss.

As a junior he keyed a mid-season turnaround with a 98-yard interception return for a touchdown in Furman's 27-10 victory over Appalachian State, helping launch an impressive run that netted the Paladins a share of the 2013 SoCon regular season championship and automatic berth into the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs — the program's first since 2006.

Listed on Saturday's game roster as an outside linebacker, a position he played for the purple and white as a freshman and sophomore, Wilkins will play for the National Team, which will battle the American Team featuring defensive backs coach Bobby Johnson, the former Paladin and Vanderbilt head coach and member of Furman's Athletic Hall of Fame.

Wilkins is the 26th Furman player to participate in post-season bowl play.

The 2nd Annual Medal of Honor Bowl is a premier all-star game that features the nation's top draft-eligible college football players as projected for the NFL Draft. The contest honors the Medal of Honor recipients and the game's beneficiaries, the Medal of Honor Museum Foundation, disabled veterans and wounded warriors.

Hunter Reid, Furman Sports Information