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Aug. 10, 2009

Huskie Happenings


By Joe Summins | Posted at 10:10 am on Friday, August 7, 2009

The Huskies held their first practice of the 2009 season Thursday night under the lights at Huskie Stadium. Brandon Bice shared his thoughts on NIU's first practice.



By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 8:46 am on Friday, August 7, 2009

There's been a lot of talk about Huskie baseball signee Jamison Wells, who was also a standout football player in high school. The speculation has been he'll join the NIU football team, which is still to be determined. As John Sahly points out in this story, Wells can not play this year. This is because a scholarship player in any sport that hits the football field counts against football's 85 scholarship limit, which the Huskies are currently at. In short, this means that Wells can practice, but can not play this year.


John Sahly wrote up a little feature on Brandon Bice, who wants to be a dentist.


By Donna Turner | Posted at 4:20 pm on Thursday, August 6, 2009

The team has checked in, equipment has been fitted and issued, paperwork has been signed and the first of an almost endless series of meetings have started.  That must mean it's time for some football!

After nearly two days of preparation, the 2009 Huskies hit the field together for the first time tonight, albeit in helmets and shorts.  At this point, Northern Illinois will have 104 players in training camp (the NCAA limit is 105), with the remainder of the team set to arrive August 24 once school starts.

NIU will practice in the evening tonight and Friday, but beginning Saturday, nearly every practice will take place in the morning. In another departure from "the old days" when two-a-days were the bane of every players' existence, the team will work twice in a day only four times this August.  Instead, more time will be spent lifting and meeting, meeting and meeting. 

NIU Head Coach Jerry Kill also takes advantage of this time to bring in guest speakers, from around the university, the region and the country, to speak to the team on all types of topics.  From kids with cancer to accomplished leaders of the community, the Huskies soak up the "intangibles" like leadership, responsibility and character-building while learning the Xs and Os

On Friday, the team will go through the annual photo day with nearly 30 players getting a chance to don the official uniform for the very first time as they take a series of photos, culminating with the team shot, taken on the West grass of Huskie Stadium.  It's also a chance for the local media to have access to the players and staff for the first time this season, so look for more Huskie coverage.

Unlike most NCAA FBS teams, Northern Illinois holds open practices with both the general public and the media invited to watch the full workouts. NIU will have 16 days to work before classes start and then have a full two weeks before the season opener at Wisconsin.

Check later tonight (practice wraps up around 9 p.m. so the report will not be in until late) for an update on the first day of practice and keep coming back for our daily reports from Huskie Camp 2009!   


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:31 am on Thursday, August 6, 2009

The latest from the Daily Chronicle in the way of touring Huskie athletics facilities: an in-depth look at Huskie Stadium, which has been the home to Huskie football since 1965.


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:27 am on Thursday, August 6, 2009

What a treat it is to have a great event like the Solheim Cup invade Rich Harvest Farms, the home of Huskie men's and women's golf.  Unlike the Ryder Cup, the Americans have a historical decisive advantage in this event. Read all about it in this story!


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:22 am on Thursday, August 6, 2009

Want the skinny on what to expect from the Daily Chronicle as preseason football camp starts?  John Sahly has it in his latest blog. Blogs, videos and in-depth stories, OH MY! We'll have daily reports from practice, too ... stay tuned to Huskie Happenings and!


By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 9:06 am on Thursday, August 6, 2009

Former NIU wideout Britt Davis is being referred to as the "secret" wide receiver at the New York Jets' camps. Here's a story detailing Davis' performance so far by M.A. Mehta of The New Jersey Star-Ledger.


By Donna Turner | Posted at 10:04 pm on Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Our heartiest "Congratulations," to NIU Director of Sports Performance Eric Klein and his wife, Allison, who welcomed their first child, daughter Taegan Temple Klein, on Monday.   Taegan was born at 4:26 p.m. on August 3 as she checked in at 7 lb. 12 oz and 21 inches.  Unlike her dad, Taegan came home with a full head of hair.

Taegan's timing was pretty good.  She arrived home from the hospital on Wednesday, just hours before the first team meeting of the season and will no doubt see her first Huskie game within her first couple months of life!   And if Coach Klein is a little sleep-deprived at those early-morning football workouts, I'm sure the players won't mind.  

A new little Huskie in the family, now that's a real happening.  

360º Virtual Tours Launch

By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 3:26 pm am on Wednesday, August 5, 2009

You can now check out Northern Illinois' first-class facilities in a whole new way. Visit our brand new 360º Virtual Tours to see Huskie Stadium, Ralph McKinzie Field, the Yordon Center, and the NIU Soccer and Track & Field Complex like you've never seen them before.


By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 9:47 am on Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Many of you caught NIU quarterback Chandler Harnish on Chicago Tribune Live, Monday. Here's a quick video of the sophomore hanging out in the city, waiting for his close-up.


By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 9:23 am on Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Associated Press assembled this feature on Larry English's relationship with Shawne Merriman in the early day's of training camp. Here's a quick excerpt:

"It's my job to keep pushing and keep pushing and keep pushing," Merriman said. "He was asking what I see, and I would say something about it. As a player, that is hard to do sometimes -- you don't notice it, but you notice it on the film. But before we get to the film, if I see something I'll say, `OK, you are turning your shoulders here, or you're taking off like this.' It's just what I see out there.

"But the work ethic is there and the want-to-make-a-play is there. So everything else, you are just going to learn by being in this league."


By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 9:10 am on Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It's hard to believe that just three years ago, where the Yordon Center now stands was, well... nothing. A vintage track used more for parking cars and tailgaiting than running meets. And it's hard to believe how difficult it is to get used to the building. But the thing that's hardest to believe is that YOU built it. Northern Illinois alumni, fans, former athletes and former students, together, built it from the ground up.

John Sahly has this little inside tour of the facility in today's Daily Chronicle, starting with the Jeffrey A. Eckmann Football Locker Room. For a tour that's a little more visual, we present to you a 360 Tour of the locker room, just a taste of what's to come very shortly to


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 4:44 pm on Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Adam Caparell from had THIS PREVIEW of the Mid-American Conference teams on the national governing body's official website. What has become increasingly interesting is the divided opinions on the Huskie defense in 2009. Some publications have picked NIU to be dominant on the defensive side of the ball, while others predict the Huskies to have a "feeling of starting from scratch."  That's why they play the games!


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 4:35 pm on Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Northern Illinois is still finalizing its non-conference schedule, but another one of NIU's opponents released its 2009-10 slate Tuesday. The Huskies will host North Dakota at the Convocation Center on Jan. 2. The Fighting Sioux will embark on their first season as Great West Conference members. 


By Joe Summins | Posted at 9:45 am on Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Thanks to the impact it made on junior linebacker Alex Kube, NIU head football coach Jerry Kill has the Huskie football team reading Tony Dungy's book, "Uncommon: Finding your path to significance." James Nokes of the DeKalb Daily Chronicle caught up with Kube who discussed the impact it had on his life.


By Joe Summins | Posted at 9:55 am on Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Northern Illinois University's football team held it annual Chicago Media Day yesterday at Harry Caray's. Head coach Jerry Kill and a few members the Huskie football team met with members of the Chicago media including Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune who filed this story on the Huskies upcoming 2009 season.


By Joe Summins | Posted at 10:02 am on Tuesday, August 4, 2009

In addition to its coverage of Chicago Media Day, the Chicago Tribune has a story on its website today from MAC Media Day. Jack McCarthy sat down with Chandler Harnish in Detroit and talked to the sophomore QB about NIU's summer workout program.


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 4:34 pm on Monday, August 3, 2009

The Detroit News is reporting that the new title sponsor for the Motor City Bowl could be Little Caesars.  The Detroit-area based national pizza chain is owned by Mike Illitch, the owner of both the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings.  The Mid-American Conference signed a four-year deal with the Motor City Bowl earlier this year that begins in 2010.  


By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 3:52 pm on Monday, August 3, 2009

Former NIU running back A.J. Harris (you'll remember that when he went down with injury, a certain Garrett Wolfe stepped in) has signed with the Canadian Football League's B.C. Lions. Harris spent last year in the CFL with the Edmonton Eskimos, totalling 557 yards on 97 carries, and catching 37 passes for 422 yards. You can check out the BC Lions' story here.


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:22 am on Monday, August 3, 2009

Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish will be a guest on "Chicago Tribune Live" on Comcast SportsNet Monday evening.  The show begins at 5:30 p.m., so make sure to tune in! 


By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 8:26 am on Monday, August 3, 2009

The Huskies are on their way! U2? C'mon! Poor 1980's pop culture references aside, today is Chicago Media Day for NIU Football. The event usually generates some great bits of Huskie coverage on your local Chicago TV stations, and in the papers, so keep your eyes peeled.

Q & A.D.

By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 8:26 am on Monday, August 3, 2009

The Reno Gazette-Journal posted a question and answer session with former Northern Illinois Athletic Director, and 2009 NIU Athletics Hall of Fame inductee Cary Groth. The first few questions are Huskie-related, then the interview digresses into some Nevada chat, before returning to some interesting BCS talk.


By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 8:17 am on Monday, August 3, 2009

Larry English signed with the San Diego Chargers over the weekend, which means the NFL rookie is now in camp. Scott Bair of the North County Times has this story about English's first day on the job.


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 11:12 am on Sunday, August 2, 2009

Some great coverage from John Sahly and Jon Styf of the DeKalb Daily Chronicle in conjunction with last Friday's MAC Media Day festivities in Detroit.  Read HERE how Chandler Harnish and company have been working on both the offensive and defensive schemes all summer.  In this preseason poll summary by Sahly, find out how MAC teams aren't shying away from tough non-conference competition, and continue to collide with Big Ten Conference foes to prepare for the league slate. Finally, make sure to catch this "state of the union" by new MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher, which includes discussion on bowl partnerships, mid-week games on the ESPN family of networks and the challenges that the current economic state presents. 


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 11:06 am on Sunday, August 2, 2009

College Football News provided this ranking system for 10 individual and team units heading into the Mid-American Conference football season. The Huskies are ranked first on both the offensive line, defensive line, in their linebackers and defensively as a whole.  


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:51 am on Saturday, August 1, 2009

Larry English is ready to take the field.  The all-time sacks and tackles-for-loss leader at Northern Illinois agreed to a five-year deal with the San Diego Chargers late Friday, and will join his teammates Saturday for training camp. English was the 13th first-round selection to agree to terms.  

Event Calendar
Wednesday, May 25 vs Toledo
Thursday, May 26 vs MAC Tournament
Women's Track
Thursday, May 26 vs NCAA West Preliminary Round
Friday, May 27 vs MAC Tournament
Men's Golf
Friday, May 27 vs NCAA Championship
Women's Track
Friday, May 27 vs NCAA West Preliminary Round
Saturday, May 28 vs MAC Tournament
Men's Golf
Saturday, May 28 vs NCAA Championship
Women's Track
Saturday, May 28 vs NCAA West Preliminary Round
Sunday, May 29 vs MAC Tournament
Men's Golf
Sunday, May 29 vs NCAA Championship
Men's Golf
Monday, May 30 vs NCAA Championship
Men's Golf
Tuesday, May 31 vs NCAA Championship
Men's Golf
Wednesday, June 1 vs NCAA Championship

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