Hardy Selected Big Ten Offensive POY, Four Additional Hoosiers Honored

    Go Hoosiers! Junior wide receiver James Hardy earned <i></i> Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year honors.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Junior wide receiver James Hardy earned Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year honors.
    Go Hoosiers!

    Nov. 28, 2007

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana junior wide receiver James Hardy earned Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year honors from, the organization announced Wednesday. Sophomore quarterback Kellen Lewis and sophomore defensive end Greg Middleton collected first team honors, while senior cornerback Tracy Porter and junior kicker Austin Starr found spots on the second team.

    A first team All-Big Ten selection, Biletnikoff Award semifinalist and the team's most valuable player, Hardy shattered career and single-season receiving marks in 2007. Hardy is the Hoosiers' all-time receiving leader in touchdowns (36), yards (2,690) and receptions (186). He is the only wide receiver in Indiana history to surpass 2,500 career yards, 175 career receptions and 35 career touchdowns.

    The Fort Wayne, Ind., native completed the 2007 regular season with 1,075 yards, 16 touchdowns (second nationally), 74 receptions, 89.6 yards per game and 14.5 yards per grab. Hardy set new single-season school records in touchdowns and receptions while finishing second in yards and becoming just the fourth Hoosier to reach the 1,000-yard mark. He caught a TD grab in 11 of 12 games, which is a school record, and finished tied for third on the Big Ten's single-season list with his 16 TDs.

    Hardy's 14-career 100-yard games and 10 multi-TD games are each school records, and he was the lone wide receiver in the country to record a touchdown in each of his first eight games this season. His nine-game touchdown streak (dating back to the 2006 finale) set a new school record. Hardy held the previous record of six along with Jade Butcher (1967-69). He opened the 2005 season with a scoring grab in each of the first six games as well and is the only receiver in school history to collect a scoring strike in six straight games on two separate occasions.



    Lewis, a second team All-Big Ten honoree, threw for 216 yards against Purdue to set a new school record with 2,839 yards passing on the year. He also moved into second place on IU's single-season attempts list with 399. The Jacksonville, Fla., native furthered his school record in total offense, advancing to 3,492 yards this year. That total is the 11th highest in Big Ten history. Lewis set single-season records in passing touchdowns (26), total touchdowns by a quarterback (34) and completions (243) as well.

    He is also moving up the career charts this season. Lewis joined Antwaan Randle El (1998-01) as the only quarterbacks in school history with 5,000 career passing yards (5,060 - fifth all-time), 400 career completions (433 - third), 700 career attempts (745 - fourth), 40 career passing touchdowns (40 - second) and 6,000 career total yards of offense (6,154 - fourth).

    Middleton, who was selected as a finalist for the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award, became the first IU defensive lineman since Adewale Ogunleye in 1997 to earn first team All-Big Ten honors. With his 2.5 sacks against Purdue on November 17, Middleton set a new single-season school record with 16 and currently leads the nation. He eclipsed the previous mark of 14 set by Van Waiters back in 1987. The total also tied for fourth place in a Big Ten single season.

    Additionally, Middleton finished the regular season with 17 tackles for loss (tied for sixth in an IU single season), which is the most since Ogunleye collected the same total in 1997. He anchored a defense that set a new school record with 42 sacks this season and ranked in the top five nationally all year.

    One of three finalists for the Lou Groza Award, Starr gave the Hoosiers their first victory in the Old Oaken Bucket Game since 2001 when he connected on the game-winning field goal from 49 yards out with 30 seconds remaining. The kick gave Indiana a 27-24 victory and sent the crowd of 50,741 fans - the first sellout at Memorial Stadium for the Bucket Game since 1989 - into a frenzy. Starr also added a 42-yarder in the second quarter and hit all three of his extra-point attempts.

    The Logansport, Ind., native matched his career long, picked up the third game-winning kick of his career and his first of the season. He finished the game hitting two field goals to set a new school record with his 19th field goal of the season, topping former NFL great Pete Stoyanovich's 17 in 1988. He also extended his school record by making his 15th attempt in a row in the first half before missing a 42-yarder in the fourth quarter.

    Starr tied Stoyanovich's record for single-season extra points with his 45th of the year. He finished the season a perfect 45-for-45, as Stoyanovich did back in 1988. Starr also moved up the single-season points list, finishing the regular season with 102, good for fourth place. He has hit 19-of-21 field goals this regular season (a school record 90.5 percent) and has nailed 10-of-11 from 40-plus yards (90.9).

    A team captain and All-Big Ten selection, Porter etched his name into the Hoosier record book this season. Porter finished the regular season with a team-high six interceptions. He is tied for third on IU's single-season list with his career-high six picks and is the first Hoosier since Mark Sutor in 1982 to reach the six-interception mark. Tim Wilbur holds the Indiana record with eight picks back in 1979.

    Wilbur (1978-82) also leads Porter by three for the school's career interceptions lead. The Port Allen, La., native does hold the top spot on the career interception return yardage list with 413 yards, breaking Wilbur's mark of 360.


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