Taylor Among Big Ten Legends at Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon
ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference announced today that College Football Hall of Fame inductees Aaron Taylor of Nebraska and Dana Howard of Illinois will be in attendance at the 2018 Big Ten Football Kickoff Luncheon. The former standouts will be available for autographs and take part in a group interview at the 47th annual event, which will be held on Tuesday, July 24, at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile.
The action kicks off at 10 a.m. CT with an opportunity to get autographs from Howard, Taylor and all 14 coaches. Around 10:50 a.m. CT, fans can get group pictures of the Hall of Fame inductees, all 14 coaches and all 42 students in attendance. The luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. CT and will feature highlight videos, group interviews with coaches, students and Hall of Famers and much more, including door prizes highlighted by a free trip to the 2018 Big Ten Football Championship Game and the 2019 Rose Bowl Game.
Taylor, a center/offensive guard for the Cornhuskers from 1994-1997, became the 18th student from Nebraska to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2018. The only Nebraska standout in history to earn All-America honors at two different positions, Taylor led the Huskers to three undefeated, national championship seasons. The two-time First-Team All-American earned consensus honors as a junior after making the switch to center at the beginning of the season. Taylor then moved back to his preferred position of left guard during his senior season when he claimed unanimous First-Team All-America honors and the 1997 Outland Trophy as the most outstanding interior lineman in the nation. During his collegiate career, Taylor posted 337 career pancake blocks while leading the Huskers to an impressive 49-2 overall record and a perfect 30-0 conference mark in four years.
Howard, an Illinois linebacker from 1991-1994, became the 11th Fighting Illini to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2018. During his collegiate career, he became the first student in school history to earn a major national award when he received the Butkus Award as the best linebacker in the nation in 1994. A two-time First-Team All-American, Howard earned unanimous honors as a senior in 1994. The two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year remains Illinois’ all-time leading tackler with 595 career stops, which was a Big Ten record at the end of his Fighting Illini tenure. A four-time All-Big Ten honoree, Howard earned first-team recognition in his last three seasons after making the second team as a freshman.
The Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon annually attracts some of the most talented names in college sports. The event has drawn legendary coaches as well as each of the conference’s Heisman Trophy winners since 1970. In all, approximately 1,000 of the conference’s finest standouts and 80 head coaches have celebrated the start of a new college football season at the Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon with more than 55,000 supporters. For more information, go to www.bigten.org/KOL.