Nevada senior quarterback Jeff Rowe achieved a first for the Wolf Pack football team in his last game in the collegiate ranks.
The 6-foot 5-inch athlete from Reno's McQueen High School earned the offensive most valuable player award after leading his West team to a 21-3 victory Jan. 20 in the 82nd East-West Shrine Game in Houston. Rowe is believed to be the only player in Nevada's more-than-a-century-old football history to be selected as a top player in an All-Star game.
The 22-year-old threw two touchdown passes on consecutive possessions in beating the East team, including the second-longest scoring pass in Shrine Game history. The final touchdown pass, which Rowe threw for 79 yards to Fresno State's Paul Williams in the second quarter, was the last scoring play for either team in the game. The record for the longest touchdown pass in Shrine Game annals was for 80 yards.
During his one quarter of play, Rowe completed four of nine passes for 115 yards. In his final game leading Nevada, a 21-20 loss in the Dec. 31 MPC Computers Bowl against the Miami Hurricanes, Rowe completed 20 of 31 passes for 192 yards and a touchdown.
Rowe's performance drew praise from Dan Reeves, a participant in an NFL-record nine Super Bowls and the head coach of the West.
"I thought he did a great job," Reeves told the Associated Press after the game. "He was taking all of his keys and he read the defense real well."
His play in front of NFL scouts undoubtedly helped Rowe as he prepared for the pro scouting combine, a national invitational camp for top collegiate football players, Feb. 21-27, 2007, in Indianapolis. The NFL draft is April 28-29.
Rowe earned his bachelor's degree in general studies from the University of Nevada, Reno in December 2006.