Joe Summins: April 2011 Archives

NIU FOOTBALL'S PHOTO DAY

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Palmer's Sign.jpgToday was photo day for NIU's seniors and newcomers for the upcoming 2011 season. It's the day their coat and tie head shots were taken. As you can see in this photo gallery, many of them had fun with it.

2011 SPRING GAME COVERAGE

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Chandler Harnish.jpgDidn't make it to Northern Illinois University's 2011 Spring Game? Don't worry, we and the local media have you covered.

Kudos to Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune. The Trib's veteran reporter posted three videos in addition to his spring recap/preview of the upcoming 2011 season. Mitchell posted videos of Chandler Harnish talking about the team's progress this spring, Dave Doeren's assessment of his first spring practice and Tommy Davis' thoughts on his teammate Devon Butler.

Ryan Wood of the Daily Chronicle analyzed how the four major position battles that went on in camp fared Saturday. Wood also broke down the progress of the offense this spring as well. Jay Taft of the Rockford Register Star, who turned in this outstanding piece on NIU head coach Dave Doeren early last week, filed this report on NIU's Spring Game.

ESPN.com's Andrea Adelson included a recap of the Huskies' scrimmage in her blog post this morning.

On a side note, there was an NFL star in the stands Saturday taking in the Huskies' final practice of the spring. New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs was watching his cousin, Tevor Jacobs, a running back for NIU being put through his paces.

NIU PROFITS FROM BOWL GAME

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Humanitarian Bowl.jpgLooks like Northern Illinois University had another victory at the 2010 uDrove Humanitarian Bowl. In addition to its 40-17 victory over Fresno State, NIU made a profit. The Daily Chronicle's Ryan Wood broke down the numbers in this story.

ON THE MOVE, AGAIN

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Bell-Cameron.jpgCameron Bell is no stranger to changing positions. He started his collegiate career as a linebacker at Iowa State before transferring to Northern Illinois and moving to tailback. In the closing weeks of spring ball, Bell is on the move again. With injuries and lack of depth at the tight end position, he stepped up and made the move to tight end in an effort to help the football team. Ryan Wood of the Daily Chronicle writes that it has been a steep learning curve the last few weeks but the coaches know he's talented enough to make the transition.
 

RUNNING BACK RACE TIGHT

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One of the positions that has seen the stiffest competition so far this spring has been running back. The battle to replace 2010 Vern Smith Leadership Award winner Chad Spann and become the next Huskie in a long line of successful backs has been fun to watch. Three talented players with three very different styles have been vying for the starting role, returners Jas Hopkins and Akeem Daniels and newcomer Jamal Womble. Andrea Adelson of ESPN.com caught up with Jas and Jamal and filed this post on ESPN's College Football Blog.

PERFORMING ON THE FIELD AND IN THE CLASSROOM

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Alexandra Wulbecker.jpgAlexandra Wulbecker is having a solid season for the Northern Illinois University softball team. She is batting .344 with 31 hits, including three home runs and six doubles. Wulbecker is third on the team RBIs with 18 and has scored 13runs for the Mid-American Conference West Division leading Huskies (18-19, 8-3). John Leusch of the Daily Herald filed this feature story on the sophomore in yesterday's paper.

Also included in the story, at the bottom of the page is a recap of Michelle Caporusso's performance at the Loyola Invitational last week.

HUSKIE HELMET DESIGN GETS SOME LOVE

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NIU Helmet.jpgWith Arizona State redesigning its helmet and uniform, the College Football Roundtable at Rivals.com debated who has the best helmet design. Unfortunately, NIU's helmet wasn't picked, however it did get some praise from one member of the roundtable.

Mike Huguenin's answer:
I'm going off the board, so to speak, with my pick: Wyoming. A cowboy on a bucking horse, waving his cowboy hat, shown from the side. I think it's fantastic. And because it's a white helmet with a brown logo, it pops. I also really like Texas', UCLA's, Northern Illinois', SMU's, Iowa's and Michigan's, but Wyoming's is my favorite.

SPRING PRACTICE ROUNDUP

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Northern Illinois University's Jordan Lynch has made great progress during spring practice this season under the guidance of new offensive coordinator Matt Canada and starting quarterback Chandler Harnish. Ryan Wood of the Daily Chronicle spoke with Lynch to talk about the progress of the Huskies' backup QB in this feature.

A quarterback last season, DeMarcus Grady made the move to wide receiver this spring. He's quickly discovering how the other half lives. As a quarterback, Grady confesses he was guilty of not understanding how challenging it is to play the wide receiver position in this feature story by Wood.

Wood also sat down with Canada and defensive coordinator Jay Nieman last week for a Q&A session with both coaches. Canada discussed the feeling out process and how quickly the offense picked up the new system during spring. In Nieman's Q&A, he talked about the evaluation period early in camp and some of the position battles currently in progress.


ONE ON ONE WITH DAVE DOEREN

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Andrew Singer sat down with first-year Huskie head man Dave Doeren and got his take on why the head football coach position at Northern Illinois was so important to him. He also talks to Doeren about his road to being a head coach and his goals for the Northern Illinois football program in this Q&A.

NIU TIGHT ENDS TO PLAY KEY ROLE IN 2011

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Schepler-Jason.jpgMany Huskie fans know how important the tight end has been to the success of the NIU football team through the years. NIU head coach Dave Doeren knows the tight end position could be a real asset to the Huskie offense. Three-year starter Jason Schepler feels the Huskie tight ends will be a factor in the NIU offense this season writes Jay Taft of the Rockford Register Star.

CORNERING THE MARKET

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Melvin-Rashaan.jpgOne position hit hard by graduation was Northern Illinois University's secondary. Tommy Davis, who started all 14 games for NIU at free safety, is the lone returning starter in the group. What the Huskies lack in experience, they make up for in athleticism writes Ryan Wood of the Daily Chronicle.

At over six-feet tall, Rashaan Melvin, Dominique Ware and Jimmy Ward bring size to the cornerback position the Huskies did not have last year. New cornerback's coach Richard McNutt has been happy with what he's seen from his charges so far through spring ball.
 

DANIELS DOING WELL THIS SPRING

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Akeem DanielsNorthern Illinois University running back Akeem Daniels, who had a couple electrifying plays last year, has had a pretty solid spring camp. Daniels is more comfortable this year having made the move from wide receiver to running back. He had another good day yesterday, as Ryan Wood of the Daily Chronicle writes in yesterday's blog.

GOODEN ON THE AIR

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NIU women's volleyball head coach Ray Gooden will serve as an analyst for the Ohio State-Penn State for the BigTen Network. The match starts at 4 p.m. Central Time. It might be tough for Gooden to be objective as the Huskie head man is an Ohio State grad.

NIU HAS A DOG IN THE RACE

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Do you want to know why there is no playoff in Division I college football? This article is a perfect example. The day before the Final Four, Darren Everson of the Wall Street Journal is talking college football. Everson filled out a bracket, substituting the basketball teams with football teams, and guess which one of the teams is in his Final Four. That's right--your Northern Illinois Huskies!

NCAA Football Bracket.jpgEverson compared NIU to Butler, which is high praise considering the Bulldogs are making their second-straight Final Four appearance. The Huskies navigated a tough bracket, knocking off Notre Dame, Standford, LSU and Wisconsin, all without their head coach and offensive and defensive coordinators! (As you recall, former NIU head coach Jerry Kill left for Minnesota right after the MAC Championship and took Matt Limegrover and Tracey Claeys with him.)

The Huskies will take on Air Force in the first semifinal game of the day. NIU was the highest seed coming out of the Mid-American Conference and the only MAC team to advance past the first round. Toledo and Temple, No. 16 seeds, and Miami a 10 seed, were all bounced in the first round.

So, as I watch the rest of the tournament, I will be pulling for Butler to win it all.

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