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Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | | (218) 726-8830

July 27, 2011
Cheryl Reitan | Interim director | UMD Public Relations and Marketing | 218 726-8996 |
Robert Nygaard | Sports Promotion/Information Director | UMD Athletics | 218 726-819 |

UMD Bulldog Signs NFL Contract

Isacc OdimIssac Odim
Running back Isaac Odim, the first three-time All-American in the 79-year history of University of Minnesota Duluth football, announced on July 26, 2011 that he has signed a free agent contract with the National Football League (NFL) San Diego Chargers.

Odim arrived on the UMD campus in 2008 and exited the program last fall as the proud owner of 17 school, single-game, single-season, and career records. He is the first Bulldog to sign with the NFL since outside linebacker Russ Rabe did so as a free agent with the New Orleans Saints in April 2005.

When Odim was originally looking for colleges, he sought a university with a strong engineering program and a Division II football team. "I just wanted to play," Odim said. "I didn't want to go to a National College Athletic Association Division I school and sit on the bench until my senior year. I wanted play right away."

He also said that the main difference between Division I and Division II football is the focus on academics. "In Division II football, the coaches really stress the importance of doing well in the classroom," Odim said.

After meeting with the coaches at UMD, he decided to attend because he liked the team and the academic environment. The coaches also guided Odim in his professional career as a running back. "The coaches helped me find an agent," Odim said. "They also sent game film to NFL teams and provided me with places to run and workout."

He also entered the mechanical engineering program because of his avid interest in science. "I like solving problems. I had a knack for physics and, coming out of high school, I had narrowed it down to engineering or sports medicine," Odim said. "I ended up going for engineering."

Throughout his college career, he was awarded the BendTec Scholarship and the L. Alden Kendall Alumni Scholarship. He was also named the Outstanding Senior Male Athlete for 2010-11 and became a member of the NFF Honor Society. He was named the National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete, giving him $18,000 toward grad school, and the NCAA Post-Graduate Scholar, giving him $7,500 toward grad school.

For more information, see earlier post about Isaac Odim

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UMD External Affairs Team
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Cheryl Reitan, Associate Director of External Affairs, 218-726-8996,
Betty Greene, Associate Administrator, 218-726-6140,
Brett Groehler, Director of Photography, 218-726-7115,
Charlene Aaseng, Graphic & Multimedia Designer, 218-726-6858,
Kathleen McQuillan-Hofmann, Communication Associate, 218-726-7111,
Lori Melton, Communication Associate, 218-726-8830,
Joel Youngblom, Web Development & Content Manager, 218-726-8798,

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