From the where are they now file, I received this note from former Huskie center McAllister Collins Saturday afternoon. Collins, who played for the Huskies from 1997-2000, was a first team All-Mid-American Conference selection in 2000 and he was teammates with Huskie greats Justin McCariens, Ryan Diem and Thomas Hammock.
Collins, who is attending the prestigious Royal Military Academy - Sandhurst, met up with another former Huskie last week - Chad Spann. Spann, who had just signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week, was on the trip to London where the Buccaneers faced off against the Chicago Bears. It was a reunion of sorts as the two had met before Spann had attended Northern Illinois.
My name is McAllister Collins and I will ALWAYS be a proud
Huskie! Upon departing from NIU I enjoyed a brief stint in the
National Football League which was followed by continued work within
the sports industry. A couple years ago, I decided to "answer
the call" and am now a Military Intelligence (Branch Detail - FIeld
Artillery) Officer in the United States Army. I was selected
(from hundreds of potential candidates) and am now attending the Royal
Military Academy - Sandhurst (RMAS). RMAS is essentially the "West
Point" for the British Army, except it is the sole commissioning source
of British Army Officers. As I am sure you are aware, in The United
States, we also have ROTC and Officer Candidate School (OCS).
Since I am one of only 10 Americans who have ever attended
Sandhurst in the Academy's long, proud history, the administrators here
try their best to get me involved in anything occurring closeby that is
of American origin. As such, we attended practice with the Tampa Bay
Buccaneers on Thursday (October 20) in preparation for their matchup
against the Chicago Bears this Sunday at Wembley Stadium in London.
You can only imagine the joy I felt in my heart when I saw NIU's very
own, Chad Spann, walking off of the practice field. I actually met
Chad back in his hometown years prior during a mentoring program run by
a service organization in which I am a former member. I introduced
myself to him all those years ago when he mentioned that his goal was
to attend Northern Illinois University and play football. As a former
Huskie football player myself ('97-'00, DT, OT, C), I became somewhat
of an advisor for Chad and his family. Who would have thought that
over five years later, Chad and I would meet again in one of the most
I have attached a photo of Chad and myself. It's always great to see and meet new (and old) Huskies all over the world.
2LT McAllister Collins, Field Artillery
NIU Football - 1997-2000
By the way, of course I'm rooting for the Bears!!!!