Two Illini Linemen Grab All-Big Ten Honors

Ray Redziniak helped to produce the highest scoring offense in school history.
Ray Redziniak helped to produce the highest scoring offense in school history.

Nov. 30, 1999

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The Big Ten Conference announced today that members of the Bowl-bound Illinois team have received All-Big Ten recognition.

On the Big Ten coaches' team, eight Illini players were named to the squad, the most representation in the Ron Turner era. Heading the list of Orange and Blue honorees were juniors Ray Redziniak and Marques Sullivan, who became Turner's first all-conference second-team selections. Robert Holcombe was the last Illinois player to make the league's second team in 1996. Honorable mention picks included sophomores Kurt Kittner and Steve Fitts and seniors Neil Rackers, Rameel Conner, Tony Francis and Danny Clark.

Starting all 11 games, Redziniak and Sullivan helped to produce the second-highest scoring offense in school history. Getting protection from the junior linemen, Kittner tied a single-season record with 22 touchdown passes and earned Big Ten Offensive Player-of-the-Week honors twice this season.

Clark is an All-Big Ten honorable mention pick for the third consecutive year. Ranking sixth at Illinois with 381 tackles, Clark led the team this year in total tackles with 115 and tackles for a loss with 11. The senior will represent Illinois in the 2000 Hula Bowl Maui All-Star Football Classic.

The coaches named Wisconsin's Ron Dayne as the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year while Courtney Brown of Penn State earned Defensive Player of the Year honors. Brown also was selected as Defensive Lineman of the Year and Wisconsin's Chris McIntosh garnered Offensive Lineman of the Year honors. Quarterback Brooks Bollinger of Wisconsin was tabbed Freshman of the Year.

On the media team, Illinois was without a player on the first two teams. Kittner, Redziniak, Sullivan, Francis, Clark, Rackers and Fitts were honorable mention selections. The media agreed with the coaches on Dayne as Offensive Player of the Year, Brown as Defensive Player of the Year and Bollinger as Freshman of the Year. Minnesota's Glen Mason was honored as the Dave McClain Big Ten Coach of the Year.