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January 12, 1999

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.– University of Virginia football players Aaron Brooks and Wali Rainer will play for the East squad in the 74th annual East-West Shrine Bowl at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, Calif., this Saturday (Jan. 16). The game is scheduled to begin at 4:00 p.m. (EST) and will be televised nationally by ESPN.

Brooks, a native of Newport News, Va., proved to be one of the most dangerous quarterbacks in the country this season with his running ability and strong arm. He started the final 23 games of his career, the longest streak by a Virginia quarterback in at least 30 years, and guided the Cavaliers to 16 wins the last two seasons. He finished in the top three in virtually every statistical category during his career. He is tied for second in school history with 33 touchdown passes and is third in yards passing (5118), attempts (651), completions (357) and total offense (5665 yards). He also owns the school record with six 300-yard passing games in a career. He led the Atlantic Coast Conference in passing as a junior in 1997 in his first season as a starter.

Brooks is expected to share the quarterbacking duties for the East squad with Joe Germaine from Ohio State.

Rainer, a Charlotte, N.C., native, was a three-year starter at middle linebacker for the Cavaliers. One of the most underrated players in the ACC throughout his career, he led Virginia in tackles for the second year in a row this season with 134. He is sixth in school history with 347 career tackles and holds the school record for most sacks by a linebacker with 16. He had two interceptions during the 1998 season, including one he returned 38 yards for a touchdown against Wake Forest, and another in the Peach Bowl against Georgia. He led the team in tackles in four of the last five regular-season games and in the Peach Bowl.

Other linebackers listed on the East roster are JoJuan Armour of Miami (O), Jay Foreman from Nebraska, C.J. McLain of Arkansas and Michigans Sam Sword.

Quaterback Mike Groh and wide receiver Patrick Jeffers are the most recent Cavaliers to play in the East-West Shrine Game. They appeared in the 1996 game. Former Cavalier defensive back Keith Lyle was named the Outstanding Defensive Player in the 1994 contest.

Virginia posted a 9-3 record in 1998 and finished 18th in the final Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN polls. The Cavaliers extended their ACC-record streak to 12 consecutive seasons with at least seven wins. Virginia joins Florida State, Michigan and Nebraska as the nations only teams to win seven or more games in each of the last 12 seasons.

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