Belcher, Dedmond and Thomas Headed to Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon
July 14, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana wide receiver Damarlo Belcher, tight end Max Dedmond and linebacker Jeff Thomas will represent the Hoosiers at the 2011 Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon on Friday, July 29, at McCormick Place in Chicago.
The 40th annual event, which features IU head coach Kevin Wilson and the conference's other 11 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 comments from all 12 coaches and a player representative.
Belcher led the Hoosiers with 78 receptions and 832 yards in 2010. His 78 catches rank second on IU's single-season list, one behind James Hardy's top mark of 79 set back in 2007, and his 832 yards put him ninth on the single-season chart. Belcher led the Big Ten in receptions and topped the league in catches per game (6.50). He also ranked fourth in the conference with 69.3 receiving yards per game and added four touchdowns.
The senior out of Fort Wayne, Ind., became the 15th Hoosier to ever reach 100 career receptions and 1,000 career yards last season. He currently sits third on Indiana's career list with 164 catches and sixth with 1,939 yards. Hardy is IU's all-time leader in both categories with 191 receptions and 2,740 yards.
Dedmond, a talented pass-catcher, run blocker and pocket protector, has appeared in 32 career games with 16 career starts in his first three seasons. The Evansville, Ind., native appeared at tight end and fullback in 2010. Dedmond hauled in 18 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown in 2009.
Thomas started in the final eight games at middle linebacker in his first season as a Hoosier in 2010. The senior played in all 12 contests and finished second on the team with 82 tackles, 45 solo stops, 7.5 tackles for loss and two interceptions. Thomas also added one sack, two quarterback hurries and one pass breakup
The Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon annually attracts some of the most interesting and talented names in college sports. The event has drawn legendary coaches as well as each of the conference's Heisman Trophy winners since 1970.
Several of those coaches and players have been honored as namesakes on the Big Ten's 18 new trophies that will be awarded to teams, coaches and student-athletes beginning with the coming season. In all, nearly 800 of the conference's finest players, more than 50 head coaches and over 45,000 supporters have made the Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon a yearly stop in their preseason college football schedules.
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