NIUHuskies.com, the official online home for Northern Illinois Athletics, is pleased to announce the launch of a new blog, "Huskie Happenings." The section includes links to a daily newsstand, online chats, feature stories and interviews, game-day and multimedia information, promotions, calendars and much more. We hope this will become your first and last stop everyday for all the information you crave about Huskie Athletics.
LE DRAFT UPDATEBurnes writes, with individual workouts complete and the business end of things wrapping up, it's all over but the waiting.
D.J. P.J. AND THE SATURDAY PRACTICE REPORT
"I can't take anymore Brittany Spears, coach..."
"Toughen up. This is what turns boys into men."
On Saturday morning, the Huskies went through their most extended scrimmage of the spring to date as the team worked for nearly two hours, with most of that time spent in 11-on-11 situations. Music, courtesy of the personal iPod of assistant coach P.J. Fleck and featuring about the widest variety one could imagine (from Britney Spears to classical to pop and country), blared from the P.A. system, officials worked the sidelines and the biggest crowd of onlookers of the spring crowded the sideline.
Both sides of the ball had their moments as the first offense drove the field for a score on their first possession behind QB Chandler Harnish and an offensive line composed of returnees Eddie Adamski, Jason Onyebuagu and Trevor Olson along with 2008 part-time starter Kevin Skatrud and Panan Tense.
The defense responded as the scrimmage progressed with cornerback Kiaree Daniels making a nice break on a ball to pick off a Harnish pass inside and safety David Bryant grabbing another off a tip from cornerback Patrick George. Tracy Wilson recorded a pick-off of a Ryan Morris toss while Mike Krause got his hand on a pass and D.J. Pirkle was just one of the players who earned a sack (without actually tackling the quarterback, of course) on the day.
Injured players Justin Anderson (foot) and Mike Kritikos (leg/ankle) watched from the sidelines - both of them are out for the spring, while several others sat out Saturday's action while recovering from various minor aches and pains. Still, the total is nothing like the 20-plus who missed 2008 spring drills.
"That was good work, we needed that work," said NIU Head Coach Jerry Kill after dismissing the team until Monday so those who wanted could enjoy the holiday weekend with their families. "I'm not disappointed at all. Each side improved in some areas. Sometimes we did well, sometimes we didn't, we've got six practices to go and this gives us plenty to work on."
Kill also commented on two position moves that appear to be working out well so far with Tommy Davis' move from wide receiver to cornerback last week and Victor Jacques switching from fullback to linebacker at the beginning of spring. Both players redshirted last season as true freshmen.
"The move with Victor has helped us out on defense, he's really come on, and moving Tommy Davis to corner is looking like a great move. He's only been over there three days but he looks like a natural corner," Kill said.
NIU will practice Tuesday (7:20 am), Thursday (7:20 am) and Friday night (6:50 pm) this week at Huskie Stadium. Fans are welcome to attend, and hear what's playing then.
SAHLY ON SATURDAY'S SESSION
Saturday was the first full scrimmage of spring practice at Huskie Stadium, on a day when plenty of other Division I programs were playing their spring games. As Sahly writes in this recap, the musical selection, courtesy of wide receivers coach P.J. Fleck's iPod, included a flashback to Joe Esposito's "You're the Best Around." We won't tell you what year that song was written, but for most "Huskie Happenings" visitors, we'll remind you that is was a hit on the "Karate Kid" (1984) soundtrack. "Pain does not exist in this dojo, does it?!?!"
SAHLY'S VIDEO FUN: Eddie Adamski
...To NIU volleyball head coach Ray Gooden and his wife Stephanie, who welcomed their second child, and first son, Donovan Isiah (7 pounds, 8 ounces, 19.5 inches), into the world and Huskie family yesterday. Stephanie and Donovan are doing great. Their oldest daughter one-year-old Gianna Ella, one of the stars of the Convocation Center offices, now has a little brother and coach Gooden finally gets a male in his life that is surrounded by females.