ANN ARBOR, Mich.
-- Eight senior members of the University of Michigan football team have been invited to make postseason All-Star bowl appearances following successful 2001 seasons.
Inside linebacker Larry Foote (Detroit, Mich./Pershing HS), wideout Marquise Walker (Syracuse, N.Y./Henninger HS) and special teams kicker Hayden Epstein (Cardiff, Calif./Torrey Pines HS) will play in the Food World Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. The game will be played at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Jan. 26, 2002.
Three other Wolverines will make the trip to Hawaii to participate in the Hula Bowl Maui All-Star Classic. Tight end Bill Seymour (Granger, Ind./Penn HS), linebacker Eric Brackins (Pigeon Forge, Tenn./Gatlinburg-Pittman HS) and offensive lineman Jonathan Goodwin (Columbia, S.C./Lower-Richland HS) will represent Michigan in Maui on Feb. 2, 2002, in the newly renovated War Memorial Stadium. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN at 8 p.m. EST.
Center Kurt Anderson (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South HS) and cornerback Todd Howard (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolinbrook HS) round out Michigan's senior invitees and will take the field on Jan. 26, 2002, for the Gridiron Classic presented by Tyco in Orlando, Fla.
A dominant force for the Wolverines on the defensive side of the ball, Foote was named the Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Year in addition to first-team All-Big Ten selections by both the coaches and media. Foote collected 82 tackles in 2001 to pace the Wolverines, while finishing third nationally with 26 tackles for loss. Foote collected 12 tackles, including a school-record six for loss, against Washington (Sept. 8), garnering Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week Honors for his performance. With 15 tackles against Iowa (Oct. 27) en route to breaking his own school record for tackles for loss with seven, Foote once again won the Defensive Player of the Week honor.
Michigan's most potent offensive force in 2001, Walker established his name in the record books as the Wolverines' all-time leading receiver. Walker set Michigan season records in receptions (86), receiving yards (1,143) and 100-yard receiving games (six) while contributing 11 receiving touchdowns. An All-America, Walker set additional school records for number of career receptions (171) and receptions in a single game (15, twice). He was a consensus All-Big Ten first-team selection and was named the team's Most Valuable Player for his stellar performance this season.
The 2001 recipient of Michigan's Special Teams Award, Epstein spent the past four seasons as Michigan's punter and placekicker. Epstein booted four field goals from further that 50 yards, with his 57-yarder against Michigan State (Nov. 3) being the longest in the history of Michigan football. Epstein ends his career ranked in the top 10 in 17 different kicking categories. He was an All-Big Ten second team placekicker selection by the coaches and was named an All-Big Ten honorable mention by the media for both punting and placekicking.
With 27 receptions, Seymour finished second on the team in receptions. Seymour gained 279 yards, starting in 11 of 12 games this season. A key performer over the past three seasons, Seymour collected 36 career receptions for 377 yards and two touchdowns.
After being sidelined in the season opener, Brackins came on full-force for Michigan at inside linebacker. Starting in nine of the 10 games he played, Brackins finished fifth on the team with 55 tackles, including five tackles for loss and two sacks. A co-captain for the Wolverines in 2001, he was named to both the coaches' and media's All-Big Ten honorable mention lists.
A stalwart on the left side of Michigan's offensive line, Goodwin started 20 of 29 career games as a Wolverine. Goodwin capped his career by being named All-America second team by the Football News and Associated Press, All-America third team by The Sporting News, All-Big Ten first team (media) and All-Big Ten second team (coaches).
Anderson was named Michigan's top offensive lineman and received All-Big Ten honorable mention from the coaches. Named ESPN's Unsung Hero of the Game against Purdue (Oct. 13), Anderson started in all 12 games in 2001 and appeared in 21 career games.
Named All-Big Ten second team by the coaches and honorable mention by the media, Howard leaves Michigan as its all-time leader with 41 pass breakups. Howard finished the season with 41 tackles, including two interceptions and two sacks. In 48 career games, Howard made 151 tackles, five tackles for loss, one sack and eight interceptions. Howard was also a key figure on Michigan special teams, returning 22 kickoffs for an average of 21.3 yards per return this past season.
Contact: David Ablauf, Jim Schneider (734) 763-4423