Poinsettia Bowl teams visit Sea World; Northern Illinois, Utah State set to square off Thursday

Teams visiting San Diego Zoo Wednesday

SAN DIEGO - The Northern Illinois and Utah State football teams visited SeaWorld San Diego on Tuesday, two days before they are due to play in the Poinsettia Bowl.

Following practice at San Diego State, the Utah State team spent four hours at SeaWorld, with coach Matt Wells, guard Jamie Markosian, nose guard AJ Pataiali'i and quarterbacks Chuckie Keeton and Darell Garretson feeding the dolphins and playing catch with them at the Dolphin Encounter.

"It was definitely something that I won't forget," Keeton said. "Being that close to the dolphins was great to begin with, but to be splashed and set up so badly was probably more memorable."

Wells called the visit "a great experience for our players and a good opportunity to expose them to everything it has to offer."

"Being able to play with the dolphins was a fun experience for all of us and it was a lot like a typical football day with some bad passes and even a few dropped passes by the dolphins," Wells said.

Northern Illinois coach Rod Carey said his "players players and families had a blast" during their morning visit to SeaWorld.

The teams are scheduled to visit the San Diego Zoo on Wednesday.

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