Thirty-Three Players Scheduled to Attend 37th Annual Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon
July 9, 2008
Park Ridge, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference announced today the 33 student-athletes scheduled to attend the 2008 Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon, held Friday, July 25, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. The annual event, which also features all 11 conference head coaches, begins at 10 a.m. CT with the players and coaches autograph and photo session for fans attending the luncheon. The luncheon is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. CT with Brent Musburger of ABC and ESPN serving as the master of ceremonies.
The list of student-athletes scheduled to attend includes four All-Americans and 20 All-Big Ten selections from the 2007 season, at least 16 players on national awards watch lists for the upcoming campaign, the Big Ten’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year and a former Freshman of the Year honoree.
The list of attendees is highlighted by four players who earned All-America accolades last season, including Indiana’s Austin Starr, Ohio State’s duo of Malcolm Jenkins and James Laurinaitis and Wisconsin’s Travis Beckum. All four standouts were first-team All-Big Ten selections in 2007. Laurinaitis was honored as the 2007 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and also took home the Butkus Award, honoring the nation’s top linebacker. Now entering his senior season, Laurinaitis is a two-time consensus All-American and also won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, awarded to the nation’s top defensive player, as a sophomore.
Also scheduled to attend from last year’s All-Conference first team are Iowa defensive tackle Mitch King, Ohio State quarterback Todd Boeckman and Penn State center A.Q. Shipley. Rounding out the list of 2007 All-Big Ten members set to be in attendance at the Kickoff Luncheon are Illinois’ Ryan McDonald and Juice Williams, Iowa’s Matt Kroul and Seth Olsen, Michigan’s Tim Jamison and Morgan Trent, Michigan State’s Brian Hoyer and Javon Ringer, Northwestern’s C.J. Bachér and 2005 Big Ten Freshman of the Year Tyrell Sutton, Penn State’s Josh Gaines and Purdue’s Anthony Heygood and Curtis Painter.
Of the players set to attend, at least 16 have appeared on preseason watch lists for several different national awards. Illinois’ McDonald and Brit Miller, Iowa’s King and Kroul, Michigan State’s Hoyer and Ringer, Northwestern’s Bachér and Sutton, Ohio State’s Boeckman, Jenkins and Laurinaitis, Penn State’s Shipley and Derrick Williams, Purdue’s Heygood and Painter and Wisconsin’s Beckum have combined for 30 total appearances on eight national awards lists announced as of July 1 for the upcoming season.
Rounding out the list of student-athletes scheduled to appear at the Kickoff Luncheon are Indiana’s Greg Brown and Marcus Thigpen, Michigan’s Mike Massey, Michigan State’s Justin Kershaw, Minnesota’s Steve Davis, Eric Decker and Adam Weber, Northwestern’s Eric Peterman, Purdue’s Greg Orton and Wisconsin’s Jason Chapman and Andy Kemp. The complete list of attendees can be found below.
The Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon annually draws some of the most interesting and talented names in college sports. The list of former Kickoff Luncheon attendees includes coaching legends like Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes, along with each of the Big Ten's Heisman Trophy winners in the last 37 years - Archie Griffin, Desmond Howard, Eddie George, Charles Woodson, Ron Dayne and the conference’s most recent winner, Troy Smith. In all, almost 700 of the conference's finest players, more than 50 head coaches and nearly 40,000 supporters have made the Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon a yearly stop in their preseason college football schedules.
PLAYERS ATTENDING 2008 BIG TEN KICKOFF LUNCHEON
* Indicates 2007 All-Big Ten selection