ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- University of Delaware senior nose tackle Bilal Nichols, who recently finished off an outstanding football career with the Blue Hens as a three-time all-conference selection in football, has been selected to take part in the 93rd East-West Shrine Bowl all-star game.

Nichols, a 6-4, 290 lb. native of Newark, Del. (Hodgson Vo-Tech High School), will take part in one of the most prestigious post-season all-star games in college football.

The game will be played on Jan. 20, 2018 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. at 3 p.m. The game will be televised live on NFL Network and broadcast live on the East-West Shrine Game Radio Network.

Nichols will become the sixth Blue Hen football standout to appear in the game, joining defensive tackle Dennis Johnson (1972), cornerback Sidney Haugabrook (2004), tight end Ben Patrick (2006), quarterback Pat Devlin (2010), and defensive tackle Zach Kerr (2013). Kerr is now a member of the NFL’s Denver Broncos.

A four-year standout, Nichols played in 44 career games with 21 starts and recorded 104 tackles (50 solo), 10.5 sacks, 16.5 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, two interceptions, and 10 pass breakups.

After earning third team All-Colonial Athletic Association honors as a sophomore in 2015, he earned second team honors in 2016, and first team recognition this season when he recorded 56 tackles, including 5.5 sacks, and intercepted a pass.

Nichols joins an elite list of football greats, such as Tom Brady, John Elway, Brett Favre, and 74 NFL Hall of Famers, who have played in the East-West Shrine Game, in addition to more than 265 East-West Shrine Game alumni on NFL rosters each year. A strong performance at the East-West Shrine Game can greatly impact a player’s chances of a career in the NFL.

More than 100 players from last year’s game signed with professional teams this spring, and more than 70 made final NFL rosters.

"The most important element of East-West Shrine Game has always been supporting Shriners Hospitals for Children," said East-West Shrine Game Executive Director Harold Richardson. "But during game week, it also affords our players an unmatched opportunity to showcase their talents and get their first taste of a potential career in the NFL."

While the teams are divided by East and West, the players come together for the beneficiary of the event, Shriners Hospitals for Children®, an international pediatric specialty health care system that treats children in orthopaedics, spinal cord injuries, cleft lift and palate, and burns, regardless of the families’ ability to pay.

East-West Shrine Game tickets will be available for purchase beginning December 1 through all tickets.com outlets. Game tickets are $15 general admission seating.

MEDIA INFORMATION: Contact Scott Selheimer | selheime@udel.edu | Office: 302-831-8007 | Cell: 302-562-5129