WEST FARGO — West Fargo Sheyenne running back Barika Kpeenu earned an invitation to play in the Blue-Grey All-American bowl, which will be played this winter.

Kpeenu, who verbally committed to play football at North Dakota State in April, was the Eastern Dakota Conference’s leading rusher last season as a junior. He amassed more than 1,200 yards, averaging more than 100 rushing yards per game last fall.

College prospects from around the country are eligible to play in the game if they are nominated and then selected to compete. There are four Blue-Grey All-American Bowls scheduled for this year — 1 p.m. Dec. 14 at AT&T Stadium in Dallas; 1 p.m. Jan. 11, 2021, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta; 1 p.m. Jan. 18, 2021, at AT&T Stadium; and 1 p.m. Jan. 25 at AT&T Stadium.

The three games at AT&T Stadium — Dec. 14, Jan. 18 and Jan. 25 — will be televised on the Impact Football Network. The Jan. 11 game in Atlanta will be broadcast on ESPN3.

Kpeenu was named to the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl watchlist early last week, according to a tweet by Blue-Grey Football. His selection was announced via Twitter on Sept. 12.

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“On a yearly basis, the nation’s best compete in the game," Blue-Grey Football said of its All-American Bowls.

The Sheyenne senior has topped 500 rushing yards in three games for the Mustangs (3-0). Kpeenu has tallied 516 yards on 56 attempts and eight touchdowns in the first three of the season. The Bison football commit is averaging 172 yards per game.

Kpeenu earned Class 3A first-team, all-state honors as a running back last year. He helped the back-to-back EDC champions Mustangs earn their first-ever trip to the Dakota Bowl last season.

“Annually, between August and November, a meeting of the minds takes place as the Blue-Grey Football Selection Committee makes picks for the All-American Bowl,” a post on the Blue-Grey Football website said. “The group is comprised of brand administrators and several NFL veterans (link for one-time professionals), more traditionally being Mark McMillian, George Teague and Arlen Harris.”

West Fargo Sheyenne's Barika Kpeenu is brought down by Fargo North's Jacob Brosius after a big gain on Friday, Sept. 4, at Essentia Health Mustang Stadium. David Samson / The Forum
West Fargo Sheyenne's Barika Kpeenu is brought down by Fargo North's Jacob Brosius after a big gain on Friday, Sept. 4, at Essentia Health Mustang Stadium. David Samson / The Forum