Joe Summins: December 2011 Archives

PHIL STEELE'S ALL-MAC TEAM ANNOUNCED

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Pat Schiller Blitzes for a sack.jpgThe Northern Illinois University football team saw 12 Huskies named to Phil Steele's 2011 Postseason All-MAC Team. NIU had four first teamers, three on offense and one special teams. 2011 Vern Smith Award winner Chandler Harnish, center Scott Wedige, left tackle Trevor Olson and kick returner Tommylee Lewis earned first team honors.

Running back Jasmin Hopkins, defensive linemen Sean Progar and Ron Newcomb, linebacker Pat Schiller and kicker Mathew Sims were all second-team honorees. Northern Illinois also had three third-team selections; wide receiver Nathan Palmer, offensive lineman Joe Pawlak and defensive back Jimmie Ward.

NIU had nine All-MAC selections as voted on by the league's coaches. Eight of the 12 Huskies on Phil Steele's All-MAC team garnered accolades from league coaches. Lewis, Newcomb, Pawlak and Schiller were earning All-MAC honors for the first time this season.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES

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Doeren 5.jpgIt has been just over since Dave Doeren was announced as Northern Illinois University's 21st head football coach. What a difference a year makes. Doeren has led NIU to its first Mid-American Conference championship since 1983 and a berth in the 2012 GoDaddy.com Bowl. Ryan Wood of the Daily Chronicle visited with Doeren after yesterday's practice to get his thought's on his first season as a head coach in this Q&A.

NIU IN THE NFL UPDATE

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Just how good was the Northern Illinois University secondary last year? Two former starters from last season's squad, safety Tracy Wilson and cornerback Chris Smith, are playing in the National Football League.

Wilson, as you read here on Huskie Happenings a few weeks ago, was elevated from to the Jets active roster from the practice squad. He has seen action in two games, making three tackles on the season. Wilson made one tackle, an assist, against Washington and made a solo and assisted tackle this weekend against Kansas City.

Smith, who is playing for the St. Louis Rams, saw action in his first NFL game Monday night in Seattle. he made three solo tackles and the Rams fell to the Seahawks, 30-13.

Former NIU running back Chad Spann is still in the league as well. The former Vern Smith Leadership Award winner, who started the year with Indianapolis, then was picked up by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is now on the Steelers practice squad.

GOOD ADVICE FROM DODD

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Harnish-Chandler-2010-002.jpgThe Huskies appearance in the GoDaddy.com Bowl continues to get positive reviews. While the bowl itself was ranked No. 33 out of 35 by CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd, he did tell fans across the nation that that this would be the last time they could see NIU quarterback Chandler Harnish.

WEDIGE HONORED

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KU-Line of Scrimmage.jpgVarious organizations and media outlets are starting to release their All-America teams. As expected, most of them are littered with big names from big schools. CBSSports.com thought pretty highly of NIU's Scott Wedige, naming the senior center second-team All-American. Wedige is the only Mid-American Conference player on either first or second team. The CBSSports.com All-America Teams were selected by the staff, writers and bloggers.

Wedige is the first Huskie to be named to an All-America team since Larry English in 2008. English was a third team selection by Phil Steele and an honorable mention by Pro Football Weekly.

BOWL BREAKDOWNS

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GoDaddy.jpgMatt Hinton of Yahoo! Sports gave this break down of some of the best and worst bowl match ups. The GoDaddy.com Bowl got some love as one of the best bowl games on the slate this year.