the study of the kicking components within sports

Monday, April 23, 2012

Draft Preview: Derek Dimke

Among the kickers eligible for this year's NFL draft, or signing as an undrafted free agent thereafter, is Illinois' Derek Dimke. He ranks in the top five in many of the various draft rankings.

Excerpts from Dimke's profile page on the Fighting Illini's website:

2011 Senior Season
  • selected All-Big Ten Honorable Mention
  • Illinois career leader in field goal and extra point accuracy
  • Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week...Was a perfect 3-for-3 on his field goal attempts in Illinois’ three-point win over Western Michigan...Converted on attempts from 39, 35 and 21, with the final kick giving the Illini the game-winning points 
2010 Junior Season
  • Second-team All-Big Ten selection by coaches and honorable mention by media
  • Phil Steele's first-team All-Big Ten
  • Lou Groza Award semifinalist
  • Handled kickoff duties for the Illini for the third season, averaging 62.0 yards on 79 kickoffs, including 22 touchbacks
  • Went 3-for-3 in field goals and PATs in Texas Bowl win over Baylor, breaking the UI record for field goals made in a bowl game
  • Named a Lou Groza Award Star of the week after matching his career high with 15 points on six PATs and three field goals, all over 40 yards, at Michigan
  • Named Big Ten Co-Special Teams Player of the Week on Oct. 11 after becoming the first Illini in four years to hit four field goals in a game, which included his second 50-plus yarder of the season, in win at Penn State
  • Hit a career long 52-yard field goal against Missouri, which tied the sixth-longest FG in school history 
  • Academic All-Big Ten honoree
2009 Sophomore Season
  • took over place kicking duties late in the year
  • Handled kickoff duties all season, averaging 63.3 yards on 53 kickoffs, including 12 touchbacks
  • Took over full-time field goal and extra point duties prior to the Cincinnati game, hitting a perfect 3-of-3 in field goals with kicks of 30, 39 and 48 yards against the Bearcats to earn Big Ten Player of the Week honors
  • Academic All-Big Ten honoree
2008 Freshman Season
  • Took over kickoff duties midway through the season, averaging 61.2 yards in the final six games of the season
High School
  • Rated as one of the top players in the state of Illinois and ranked nationally as the No. 13 placekicker by Scout.com
  • Holds the state playoff record with a 54-yard field goal
  • Earned second-team All-State honors by the Chicago Tribune and special mention by the Champaign News-Gazette

2011: 10 of 12 (83.3%) FGs; 34 of 34 PATs; 64 points
2010: 24 of 29 (82.8%) FGs; 43 of 43 PATs; 115 points
2009: 5 of 5 (100%) FGs; 12 of 12 PATs; 27 points

Prior to the Scouting Combine in February, Dimke discussed his NFL goals:
“My goal starting out wasn’t to use Illinois as a stepping stone to the next level. I was fortunate enough to get on the field. I’ve been surrounded by great role models and great people throughout high school and college....

I want to hopefully be given a chance on a team and make a positive impact on a team’s future. Not too many kickers get drafted. If that were to happen, that would be awesome. If it doesn’t, hopefully a team will give you an opportunity to go to training camp and have some preseason games....

I hope to show teams that I have the ability both mentally and physically to help their team next year. That will pretty much be taking up my time up until the draft and maybe even after the draft.”

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