Football: February 2012 Archives

A DAY IN THE LIFE

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Chandler Harnish passing.jpgFormer NIU quarterback Chandler Harnish is in Indianapolis for the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine. He is doing a daily diary for his hometown paper, the News Sentinel. 

Judging by the first entry in his diary, Harnish had an eventful first day for the NFL hopeful. Day Two brought more testing, and interviews with teams and media alike. Comcast SportsNet Chicago was down in Indy covering the Combine and caught up with Chandler.


HARNISH STILL REPRESENTING

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Former (tear) NIU quarterback Chandler Harnish is still representing Northern Illinois, most recently on Monday at Halas Hall when he accepted the Mental Toughness Award from the Chicago Chapter of the National Football Foundation.  Harnish and Northwestern QB Dan Persa - who roomed together at the East-West Shrine Game in January - earned the award for the perseverance and excellence displayed throughout their college careers.

Harnish was introduced by NIU Head Coach Dave Doeren at the standing room only awards ceremony which was attended by a "who's who" of Chicago football, including fellow head coaches Pat Fitzgerald of Northwestern and Tim Beckman of Illinois (formerly of the NIU vanquished Toledo Rockets), Chicago Bears Chairman George McCaskey and members of the McCaskey family, including matriarch Virginia Halas McCaskey, and Big Ten Conference Commissioner Jim Delaney. The NFF Chicago Chapter also presented awards to six deserving high school football student-athletes and recognized the NAIA Championship won by St. Xavier in 2011.  Harnish's parents Ron and LeeAnn were in attendance to support the NFL hopeful.

Harnish's awards acceptance speech was the centerpiece of Fred Mitchell's recap of the event for the Chicago Tribune, where you can also see his entire speech. 

Following the ceremony, the NIU contingent, representatives of other schools and special guests attended a dinner with the NFF Chicago Board members at Del Rio Restaurant in Highwood.

Harnish traveled to Indiana on Tuesday and reports to Indianapolis for the NFL Combine on Wednesday. Return to "Huskie Happenings" on Thursday for more on Harnish's combine plans.   




FOOTBALL SPRING PREVIEW

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Defense.jpgWith spring practice set to start in a little over a month and half, Andrea Adelson of ESPN.com put together previews for several non-AQ schools and Northern Illinois was one of them. Adelson, talks about some key need areas for the Huskies, mostly on the offensive side of the ball, and the look of the Huskie defense in 2012.

GETTING TO KNOW THE NEW OC

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NIU head coach Dave Doeren announced the hiring of Mike Dunbar as the Huskies' new offensive coordinator yesterday. A 35-year coaching veteran, Dunbar brings a wealth of experience with him to NIU. Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune posted this story on Dunbar in today's paper, while Scott Powers of ESPNChicago.com had this post on the hire on his blog. Paul Myerberg of presnapread.com broke down the hire in greater detail in his blog post today.

PREPPING FOR HIS FUTURE

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Chandler Harnish passing.jpgWhile his Huskie career maybe over, things haven't slowed down for Chandler Harnish. The 2011 Vern Smith Leadership Award winner is preparing for the biggest job interview of his life as he is set to participate in the 2012 NFL Combine in Indianapolis Feb. 22-28. The Chicago Tribune's Fred Mitchell caught up with Harnish and discussed his pro potential in this story.

Before heading to Indianapolis, Harnish will be collecting some more hardware. This weekend, Harnish will travel to Columbus, Ohio to accept the 2011 Male Athlete of the Year Award from the Touchdown Club of Columbus. The second Huskie to win that award, Harnish was the TCC's 2010 MAC Player of the Year. He will then be at Halas Hall, Feb. 20 to receive the Mental Toughness Award from the National Football Foundation Chicago Metro Chapter.

BREAKING DOWN THE 2012 MAC QB's

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Lynch-Jordan-GoDaddy.com.jpgMany around the Mid-American Conference know the rich quarterback history in the league. This past season, Huskie fans were fortunate to watch the top QB in the MAC week in and week out in Chandler Harnish, the 2011 Vern Smith Leadership Award winner.

Next season, 12 of the league's 14 signal callers from 2011 will be under center in 2012. One of those "new guys" will be Jordan Lynch. Like Harnish, Lynch is a dual threat quarterback equally dangerous with his arm or legs. Paul Myerberg of presnapread.com posted this story handicapping the quarterback race in 2012.