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Peoria Signs Blue-Gray All Star
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February 25, 2005 - Peoria, IL-A 2003 Blue Gray All-Star, 2003 Football Gazette All-America First Team, 2003 Sports Network All-American Third Team, 2002-03 Gateway Football Conference First Team, describes only a few of the accolades that Western Illinois Leatherneck Mike O’Brien who has signed to play for the Peoria Rough Riders in their 2005 inaugural UIF season has received.

O’Brien, 6-3, 280 pound defensive lineman from Aledo, Illinois, was a four-year starter for the Leathernecks. The only game he did not start was his very first collegiate game. Mike then proceeded to start 47 consecutive games for the WIU.

Mike’s senior season included career-high marks of 19 tackles for loss (-50 yards), six sacks and 59 total tackles. O’Brien finished his outstanding career at WIU with 193 total tackles, 54 tackles for loss (-194 yards), and 16 quarterback sacks.

O’Brien became just the third player from Western Illinois University to play in the Blue Gray Classic. On O’Brien’s selection to the Blue Gray Classic, WIU head coach Don Patterson said. “Mike epitomizes what a student-athlete should be, and this opportunity is a truly fitting conclusion to an outstanding career.”

The Peoria Rough Riders open up March 17th against the Dayton Warbirds in Dayton Ohio. First home game is Saturday April 16th against the Lexington Horseman. Season Tickets may be purchased by calling the Rough Rider office between the hours of 9-5 Monday through Friday and ask for Rough Rider Ticket Manager Jodi Rathbun.

Remember there are “NO NETS” so plenty of great seats available in the endzone.

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