Huskie Happenings

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Aug. 17, 2009

SATURDAY'S PRACTICE REPORT

By Joe Summins | Posted at 2:50 pm on Saturday, August 15, 2009

It was a beautiful day at Huskie Stadium for the open scrimmage the Northern Illinois football team conducted Saturday morning. Saturday capped off 10-straight days of practices for the Huskies. NIU is back on the practice field Monday morning for their third of four two-a-day sessions.

 


REPORTING FOR DUTY

http://grfx.cstv.com/schools/niu/graphics/auto/soccer08-14-09.jpg

By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 5:07 pm on Friday, August 14, 2009

The Huskie men's soccer team reported to campus today. No training yet, just photo day, meetings, team expectations, etc. You can read the season preview here to get you ready for the Huskies run at the MAC Championship.


RUNNING BATTLE

By Joe Summins | Posted at 4:55 pm on Friday, August 14, 2009

Check out this video preview of the 2009 running back corps. NIU running backs coach Rob Reeves is excited about the competition at the position this year. Look for a story previewing this year's running backs at www.niuhuskies.com later today.


LOOKING AHEAD AND LOOKING BACK

By Donna Turner | Posted at 2:44 pm on Friday, August 14, 2009

Another national website is out with its MAC preview as CBSports.com has picked the Huskies to finish either third or fourth in the MAC West.  The site also put offensive lineman Jason Onyebuagu and kicker Mike Salerno on its preseason All-MAC team as David Bryant continues to be overlooked by the so-called "experts." 

On that same page, fans will find a link to CBSports.com's All-Decade team for the Mid-American Conference, led by none other than Garrett Wolfe (2004-06), who was chosen as the MAC's Offensive Player of the Decade.  The Huskies also placed running back Michael Turner (2000-03), offensive tackle Doug Free (2003-06) and two-time MAC Vern Smith Leadership Award winner Larry English (2005-08) on the team. Wolfe, currently with the Chicago Bears, earned first team All-MAC honors three times and averaged 160.50 yards per game with 5,186 yards and 84 touchdowns. 

The story on the MAC All-Decade team also includes a quote from former Huskie head coach Joe Novak, who said "I don't think I was ever around a more natural football player in my life than Garrett."


DOG DAYS

By Donna Turner | Posted at 2:28 pm on Friday, August 14, 2009

Huskie coaches and players were feeling the effects of nine straight days on the practice field as they took to Brigham Field Friday morning for the first of two sessions on the day.  The workout focused on individual and position drills with no 11-on-11 work at all during the 1:45 minute practice as Northern Illinois geared up for Saturday morning's full pad scrimmage, which will include officials.

Head Coach Jerry Kill said that Friday afternoon's practice will focus on getting the younger players more work as the coaching staff continues to figure out which members of that group will be able to contribute in 2009.

"It's a process," said Kill. "We have to see who is making plays, who is getting better and who hits the wall.  We know that [the young players] are real strong, but mentally are they strong enough.  Next week will help tell us who starts to fade and who we can count on." 

Asked which players had surprised him with their play this camp, Kill singled out offensive lineman Ed Jackson, a redshirt junior from Belleville, Ill. who was moved to the offensive side of the ball in the spring. 

"Ed Jackson's play has been really surprising," Kill said.  "He's done a good job on the offensive line.  I've been on him pretty hard since the spring but he has really shown us something so far this camp."  

And Kill must have had offense on his mind, because he also mentioned freshmen offensive linemen Jared Volk and Matt Krempel, redshirt frosh Logan Pegram and tight ends Bryan Beckner and Jack Marks on his "pleasant surprises" list. 

Check niuhuskies.com later today for a full report on Friday's practice as well as a look at the 2009 running backs.

 


GET SHORTY

By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 9:15 am on Friday, August 14, 2009

Kishwaukee Country Club in DeKalb, one of the homes of NIU Golf, premiered a new short game facility, recently. James Nokes of the Daily Chronicle chatted with some Huskie golfers and coaches about the new practice area for this story.


GOOD LUCK...

By Donna Turner | Posted at 9:13 am on Friday, August 14, 2009

...to "former" Northern Illinois men's golf coach John Cleary, who has left DeKalb to take a position with the Texas Tech golf program in Lubbock, Texas.  Cleary, who spent seven seasons as the Huskies' men's coach and this year helped lead his team to its best finish at the Mid-American Conference Tournament since the school rejoined the league in 1998, spent his last day at NIU on Wednesday.  The search for a new coach is well underway and could be wrapped up very quickly. 


DOOR TO DOOR

By Donna Turner | Posted at 9:13 am on Friday, August 14, 2009

You've seen the commercials on TV, caught the ads at your local movie theater, and picked up a schedule card, poster or schedule magnet at one of the local businesses, but this week, households throughout DeKalb will have Huskie Football hung on their doorknobs as the Northern Illinois marketing staff is taking to the streets in an effort to get more people to the 2009 games.

NIU expects to distribute 2,500+ door hangers, which include the complete 2009 schedule and ticket information, over the next several weeks.  So if you get an invitation to "Experience It Live!" and already have your tickets, pass it on!


Christian Spears RECOGNIZED BY NAAC

By Brett McWethy | Posted at 8:46 am on Friday, August 14, 2009

Senior Associate Athletics Director Christian Spears, the newest member of NIU's senior staff and executive team, has been named to the Board of Directors for the National Association for Athletics Compliance (NAAC).  He will serve as the organization's third vice president during the 2009-10 calendar year.  Congrats Christian!


PREVIEWING THE DB'S

By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 5:02 pm on Thursday, August 13, 2009

Defensive backs preview today! Check out the sweet highlight at the end of the video with Alan Smith recovering a fumbled snap, then taking it to the house!!

 


SCHEPLER'S HARD WORK PAYING OFF

By Zach Peters | Posted at 10:10 am on Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sycamore, Ill. native Jason Schepler made the NIU football team last season as a walk-on, but the hard working tight end has been rewarded for his dedication and effort with a full scholarship and has an opportunity to grab the starting tight end position this year.  Read Doug Oleson's article in the Midweek that features Schepler's story.


Mike Salerno ON LOU GROZA WATCH LIST

By Zach Peters | Posted at 10:01 am on Thursday, August 13, 2009

Congratulations to Huskie kicker Mike Salerno for being recognized as one of 30 kickers on the Lou Groza Award preseason watch list, which is annually given to the top kicker in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).   Make sure to read Jon Styf's article on Salerno in the DeKalb Daily Chronicle.


FOUR STATELINE HUSKIES FEATURED

By Zach Peters | Posted at 9:47 am on Thursday, August 13, 2009

WIFR sports reporter Mike Curkov attended NIU football practice recently to catch up with four stateline native Huskies as they get ready for the 2009 season.  Watch this video of interviews with Travis Bond (Byron, Ill./Byron), Jake Coffman (German Valley, Ill./Forreston), Ryan Neir (Roscoe, Ill./Hononegah), and Jon Phillips (Dixon, Ill./Dixon).


FIRST FOOTBALL SCRIMMAGE ON SATURDAY

By Zach Peters | Posted at 9:35 am on Thursday, August 13, 2009

The first opportunity to catch a glimpse of the 2009 Huskies is here!  Be sure to be there when the football team hold its first scrimmage on Saturday at Huskie Stadium at 9:50 a.m.  The event is free and open to the public.  Gates will open at 9 a.m.  Fans are encouraged to stand on the sidelines to get an up-close and personal look at this year's squad! 

Also, if you missed yesterday's position by position preview of the tight ends, click here.


COOLING OFF

 

By Joe Summins | Posted at 9:01 pm on Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Three Huskies found a way to beat the heat after Wednesday's second practice.


MORNING SESSION PRACTICE REPORT

By Joe Summins | Posted at 2:12 pm on Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The NIU football team held its first of four two-a-day practices Wednesday morning. The day after practicing in full pads for the first time this camp, the Huskies, who were in shells (helmets and shoulder pads only), worked out for just under two hours at Huskie Stadium. NIU head coach Jerry Kill was pleased with the work turned in by his young team.

The Huskies spent much of the morning working on special teams and individual work. As always, one of the highlights from practice was the 7-on-7 drill. It always fun watching the wide receivers and defensive backs go at it. Both sides held their own pretty well. The offense picked up the pace a little bit towards the end of practice by working on their two-minute drills for a few periods.

The Huskies will be back out on the field at 4:20 p.m.this afternoon. Look for a preview of the tight ends later today in our on-going series of position-by-poisition previews of the 2009 NIU football team.


POSITION-BY-POSITION PREVIEWS

By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 9:18 am on Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Unless you've been buried under a rock, you've noticed that Huskie football camp has started. Now that we're a few days in, NIUHuskies.com has started its position-by-position previews of the 2009 Northern Illinois football team. In case you missed them, here are offensive line and linebackers. Check back later today for tight ends.


KRAUSE'S INJURY PRESENTS AN OPPORTUNITY

By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 9:18 am on Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The disapointing and sad news that NIU nose guard Mike Krause will be out this season with a heart ailment presents opportunities for younger players to step up on the defensive line. John Sahly of the Daily Chronicle wrote about who could try and fill that spot.


MAN BEHIND THE MASK: Larry English

By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 9:08 am on Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Chargers.com put out a cool Q&A with former Huskie defensive end Larry English (have you heard of him?). You can read the story here. Here's an excerpt:

How has the transition been from college football to the NFL?

"It's going good so far.  At the beginning it was a little different, just because the position is a little different from what I did in college, but I've been transitioning smoothly."


2009 NIU VOLLEYBALL IS OFF AND RUNNING

By Zach Peters | Posted at 10:12 am on Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The 2009 preseason has officially begun for the NIU volleyball team as the Huskies held their first practice of the year yesterday evening at Victor E. Court.  The Huskies will have nearly three weeks to prepare for their first match of the season which happens to be at home in the annual NIU Invitational on Friday, August 28th, when NIU will face intrastate rivals Western Illinois and Southern Illinois at 12 p.m. CT and 7 p.m., respectively.


TRIBUNE LOVE FOR WIDEOUTS

By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 8:58 am on Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune gave some love to the Huskie wide receiving crew in this article in today's edition. I'm not coach, but these kids at wideout looked pretty good when I was out at practice yesterday. Personally, the more I watch this team, the more excited I am for the season. I'm at about a 13 on a scale of 1-to-10 right now.


OFFENSIVE LINE PREVIEW

By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 5:26 pm on Monday, August 10, 2009

The Huskie offensive line is really coming along early in Northern Illinois football camp. Check out this story and the video below for an update.

 


SEPARATED AT BIRTH?

By Joe Summins | Posted at 12:02 pm on Monday, August 10, 2009

Channing Tatum, one of the stars of the recently released movie G.I Joe, The Rise of Cobra, was on the cover of the August issue of GQ Magazine. He bears a striking resemblance to the Huskies' defensive end Jake Coffman. However, that's where the similarities end. While Tatum plays a hero of an elite fighting force on the silver screen, Coffman was one in real life. Coffman, who celebrated his 25th birthday yesterday, enlisted in the Marine Corps right out of high school and served two tours in the Middle East.


I DIDN'T READ THIS MUCH IN COLLEGE

By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 9:22 am on Monday, August 10, 2009

Wow there is a lot to catch up on from the weekend. The Huskie football team held practices numbers two, three and four. All that on top of DeKalb Media Day, Friday, which culminated in a boatload of stories. Here's couple:

• Rick Armstrong of the Aurora Beacon News on the growth of NIU quarterbacks.

• The Daily Chronicle's John Sahly on quarterback Chandler Harnish's 2009 swagger.

And in other football related news:

• Matt Trowbridge at the Rockford Register-Star had this feature on Garrett Wolfe at Bears training camp.

• ESPN's Graham Watson gives her "State of the Conference" address on the MAC.


BROWN LEADING THE NEXT GENERATION

By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 9:22 am on Monday, August 10, 2009

Our very own Chris Brown is seeing a ton of success as the Northern Illinois Football Club Director of Coaching. Brown, a former Huskie soccer player, and the club, which adopted NIU's red and black motif, are featured in this Daily Chronicle story.


HAVE A HAPPENING?

By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 9:22 am on Monday, August 10, 2009

Have a Huskie Happening we missed? Let us know by e-mailing us here! We only have so many sets of eyes, but the Huskie Nation sees all!
Event Calendar
Men's Soccer
Friday, Aug 22 at DePauw
Women's Soccer
Friday, Aug 22 at Illinois State
Women's Soccer
Sunday, Aug 24 at Western Illinois
Football
Thursday, Aug 28 vs Presbyterian
Men's Soccer
Friday, Aug 29 vs Hofstra
Women's Soccer
Friday, Aug 29 at Hawai'i
Women's Volleyball
Friday, Aug 29 vs Northwestern
Women's Volleyball
Friday, Aug 29 vs Presbyterian
Women's Cross Country
Friday, Aug 29 vs NIU Night Race
Women's Volleyball
Saturday, Aug 30 vs Presentation
Women's Volleyball
Saturday, Aug 30 vs Colorado
Women's Volleyball
Saturday, Aug 30 vs Colorado
Women's Volleyball
Saturday, Aug 30 vs Northwestern
Men's Soccer
Sunday, Aug 31 vs Quinnipiac
Women's Soccer
Sunday, Aug 31 vs Seattle University