By Doug Halberstadt
Rockford resident Derek Dimke is headed for the National Football League. The 2008 Rockford Boylan Catholic High School alum and soon-to-be 2012 graduate with a degree in finance from the University of Illinois has accepted a free-agent offer from the Detroit Lions. Dimke is finishing up his final week of classes in Champaign, Ill., prior to final exams.
Instead of cramming for those finals this weekend, he’ll be in the Motor City trying to further impress the coaching staff with his strong leg and kicking accuracy at the Lions’ mini camp. After the mini camp, he’ll return to the U of I to close out his senior year.
Following is a look at Dimke’s awards and honors:
• Honorable Mention All-Big Ten by coaches and media in 2011
• Second Team All-Big Ten by coaches in 2010
• Honorable Mention All-Big Ten by media in 2010
• Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week, Sept. 26, 2011
• Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week, Oct. 11, 2010
• Lou Groza Award Preseason Watch List, 2011
• Lou Groza Award Semifinalist, 2010
• Led Big Ten and sixth in the nation in field goals made, 2010
• Finished career as most accurate kicker in school history
Following are details regarding Dimke’s career at the U of I:
2011 — Senior: Honorable Mention All-Big Ten selection by both the coaches and media … Finished career as Illinois’ all-time leader in field goal accuracy, hitting 39 of 46 field goals (.848), and PAT accuracy, hitting all 89 of his extra-point attempts, the most in school history without a miss … Led the team with 64 points in 2011 and finished career sixth an all-time U of I scoring list with 206 points … Shared the team’s Outstanding Special Teams Award with Jay Prosch … Scored 8 points, making two of three field goals and two of two PATs in Illinois’ win over UCLA in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl … Had 5 points on a 42-yard field goal and two of two PATs against Wisconsin … Made his only FG attempt and was three of three on PATs against Northwestern … Had 11 points on three of three field goals and two of two PATs against Western Michigan to earn Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week honors … Made his only field goal attempt and had one tackle against Arizona State … Converted all eight of his PAT attempts against South Dakota State, a career-high and equaling the second-most in U of I history … Had 9 points on a perfect two of two field goals and three of three PATs against Arkansas State … Handled kickoff duties all season, booting 16 touchbacks on 57 kicks … Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
FG Made: Four at Penn State, Oct. 9, 2010
FG Attempts: Four, twice (last at Michigan, Nov. 6, 2010)
PAT Made: Eight vs. South Dakota State, Sept. 10, 2011
PAT Attempts: Eight vs. South Dakota State, Sept. 10, 2011
Points: 15, twice (last at Michigan, Nov. 6, 2010)
Long Field Goal: 52 vs. Missouri, Sept. 4, 2010
Kickoffs: Nine, four times (last vs. South Dakota State, Sept. 10, 2011)
Yards: 568 vs. South Dakota State, Sept. 10, 2011
Average: 70.0 vs. Northern Illinois, Sept. 18, 2010
Touchbacks: Six vs. Northern Illinois, Sept. 18, 2010
Tackles: 1, 11 times (last vs. Indiana, Oct. 8, 2011)
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the May 2-8, 2012, issue