BLOOMSDALE, Mo. — Kory Faulkner, a Bloomsdale resident and Southern Illinois quarterback, will play one more football game after accepting an invitation to compete in the inaugural Medal of Honor Bowl on Saturday, January 11.
The all-star college game is set for 1 p.m. Ste. Genevieve time at the Citadel's Johnson Hagood Stadium in Charleston, South Carolina.
Faulkner, who just graduated from SIU in Carbondale Saturday, December 14, decided to play in the bowl contest just hours before signing with an agent as he prepares for a possible professional football career.
According to its website and Facebook page, the all-star event expects to have around 200 NFL scouts, coaches and general managers in attendance when practices begin Monday, January 6. The game will feature the nation's top draft-eligible college football players as projected for the NFL Draft with a total of 92 players participating in the game divided equally into 46 per team.
The 2009 SGHS graduate is one of five collegiate quarterbacks invited to play in the Medal of Honor Bowl as he will join TCU's quarterback Casey Pachall, Ohio's Tyler Tettleton, Catawba's Danny O'Brien and Troy's Cory Robinson.
Pachall is one of the top quarterbacks for the 2014 NFL Draft, while Tettleton is a Davey O'Brien Award candidate.
Danny O'Brien is a former QB at Maryland and Wisconsin before playing for Division II Catawba. He was named the Atlantic Coast Conference freshman of the year while at Maryland.
The top running back selected so far is Tennessee's 1,000-yard rusher Raijon Neal.
Faulkner, a fifth-year senior, had a bittersweet 2013 season suffering two key injuries, playing nine of the team's 12 games while leading the Missouri Valley Football Conference in numerous categories.
He finished with 1997 yards and 18 touchdowns passing, and 237 yards
Faulkner suffered an injury to his non-throwing shoulder in Week 3 in a 31-10 home win against Charleston (South Carolina) and left the game. He returned the following week to lead the Salukis over Southeast Missouri State, 36-19, in the first-ever football game at the new Busch Stadium III, home of Major League Baseball's St. Louis Cardinals.
A few weeks later, after leading two upsets over No. 4 South Dakota State (27-24) and No. 7 Northern Iowa (27-24 OT) in consecutive weeks, Faulkner suffered what then appeared to be a season-ending injury when he broke his pointer-finger on his throwing hand against defending national champion North Dakota State after the finger got caught in a lineman's facemask.
Early in that game, Faulkner had the No. 1 NDSU on the ropes with a 10-0 lead before the injury — the Salukis lost 31-10. Faulkner missed the next three conference games due to that injury — ending a school-record string of 27 straight starts for a QB — which kept him out of the running for All-MVFC and All-American honors.
However, he returned a week earlier than expected to enter the regular-season finale after halftime and led the 31-9 road win at Indiana State. The NCAA postseason committee, however, did not extend a playoff invitation to the Salukis.
Despite the injury, Faulkner finished in the top four of three major categories in the MVFC. He ended first in average yards passed per game (221.9), first in total offensive yards per game (248.2), third in total offensive yards (2,234) and fourth in efficiency rating (141.2).
Before the second injury, he led the MVFC in passing yards and touchdowns thrown, and was 15th in the nation in passing yardage.
Faulkner is a former three-sport all-conference player at Ste. Genevieve High, where he is the football program's all-time leading passer (3,899 yards passing in a season; 8,636 in prep career), as well as the all-time leading scorer and rebounder in basketball.
He was selected all-state in both sports and all-conference in both as well as golf during his high school tenure.
Faulkner, the last QB to take SGHS to the final four as sophomore, also was named one of the Old Spice Red Zone top-50 national players of the year, an award he was twice nominated for his sophomore and senior seasons.
The Medal of Honor Bowl will honor the 78 living Medal of Honor recipients and the game’s beneficiaries, the Medal of Honor Museum Foundation and the Wounded Warrior Project.