NIU senior Jimmie Ward has been named to SI.com's Mid-Season All-America team. The Huskies' strong safety from Mobile, Ala. leads the nation with five interceptions, and leads the Huskies in tackles with 50. He has 35 solo stops, two pass break-ups, a tackle for loss and a fumble recovery.
Ward has intercepted a pass in each of NIU's last four games but his biggest pickoff of the year may have been the first one versus Iowa. With 1:24 to play and the game tied at 27-all, Ward jumped an out route, made a one-handed interception (due to the cast on his left hand) and returned the ball 20 yards to the Iowa 30. His play set up a game-winning field goal by the Huskies' Mathew Sims.
Against Purdue, Ward returned an interception on a similar play 62 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. While covering All-America candidate Dri Archer during most of the Kent State game, Ward had an interception in the end zone and recovered a fumble.