Big Ten Announces Players Set To Attend 35th Annual Kickoff Luncheon
July 19, 2006
The Big Ten Conference office announced the list of student-athletes scheduled to appear at the 2006 Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon today, a group that features 17 players who have earned All-Big Ten accolades in their careers. The annual event, which also features all 11 head coaches, is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 2, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, beginning at 10 a.m. with the player and coach autograph and photo session. The luncheon is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. with Mark Jones of ABC Sports and ESPN serving as the master of ceremonies.
Four second-team All-Big Ten picks will also be present - Michigan offensive lineman Jake Long and defensive end LaMarr Woodley, Ohio State defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock and Purdue wide receiver Dorien Bryant. Long is a candidate for the Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy after earning second-team All-Big Ten accolades as a sophomore in 2004. Woodley was also a second-team honoree in 2004 before leading the team in tackles for loss and sacks as a junior last season. Pitcock was a second-team All-Conference selection last season after helping the Buckeyes lead the Big Ten in scoring, rushing, passing and total defense in 2005. Bryant was named second-team All-Big Ten last year after leading the conference and ranking eighth nationally by hauling in 7.3 catches per game.
Seven of the attendees have also earned honorable-mention All-Big Ten laurels in the last two seasons in Illinois running back Pierre Thomas, Iowa defensive back Marcus Paschal, Michigan State quarterback Drew Stanton, Northwestern wide receiver Shaun Herbert, Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith, Purdue defensive end Anthony Spencer and Wisconsin linebacker Mark Zalewski. A complete list of players scheduled to attend the Kickoff Luncheon follows.
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 35 years - Archie Griffin, Desmond Howard, Eddie George, Charles Woodson and Ron Dayne. In all, over 630 of the conference's finest players, more than 50 head coaches and 36,500 supporters have made the Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon a yearly stop in their preseason college football schedule.
Tickets are still available for the Kickoff Luncheon. For ticket information, visit the conference website at www.bigten.org, or call the Big Ten office at 847-696-1010.