It seemed like just another team meeting in the McCareins Room at the Yordon Center Saturday, August 16. Take a look at behind the scenes footage of the Huskies unveiling of their new uniforms on August 16, pranking the team before revealing them.
NIU rallied for a 30-27 victory over Iowa Saturday.
2015 • Featured in all 14 games as NIU’s top reserve linebacker. • Finished with 42 total tackles, 26 solo. • Had a career-high 4.5 tackles for loss. • Tallied 11 multi-tackle games, including 10 straight to begin the season. • Had four or more tackles in seven games. • Started the season with five tackles, two TFLs and a sack in the victory over UNLV (9-5), earning NIU Defensive Player of the Week. • Posted a career-high seven tackles in the win over Eastern Michigan (10-24) with six solo stops and a TFL. • Also had TFLs in wins over Murray State (9-12) and Buffalo (11-11). • Made four stops in key games at Ohio State (9-19) and Toledo (11-3).
2014 • Appeared in all 14 games with one start. • Earned his only start of the season at middle linebacker in the MAC Championship Game victory over Bowling Green (12-5). • Finished 10th on the team with 37 tackles, including 26 solo stops. • Had a career-high six tackles and recovered a fumble in the MAC West clinching win at Western Michigan (11-28). • Also recovered a fumble at Ball State (11-5). • Made at least one tackle in 13 games with 10 multi-tackle contests. • Tallied 1.5 tackles for loss, with a solo TFL vs. Kent State (10-4). • Big special teams contributor, earning NIU Special Teams Player of the Week three times for his performances in the Central Michigan (10-11), Eastern Michigan (10-25) and Western Michigan (11-28) games. 2013 • True freshman appeared in 11 games and started two at outside linebacker. • Made 42 tackles, including 27 solo stops, on the season. • Also broke up three passes and recorded three tackles for loss. • Made three tackles in his first career appearance at Purdue (9-28). • Posted five tackles in four consecutive weeks beginning at Kent State (10-5). • Collected his first career sack versus Western Michigan (11-26). • Made a key stop late in the Ball State game to stymie a drive.
High School • Two-time all-state and three-time all-area and all-conference honoree. • Awarded the team's MVP award as a junior and senior. • Selected to the Max Emfinger All-American Bowl following the 2012 campaign. • Posted prep career totals of 375 tackles, 16 forced fumbles, 13 pass breakups, seven interceptions, four blocked kicks and two fumble recoveries in three seasons. • Named the Player of the Year in the West Suburban Conference's Silver Division while playing running back and linebacker. • Gained 1,002 yards and scored 25 touchdowns on 150 carries as a senior. • Added 150 tackles, eight forced fumbles, four passes defensed, two interceptions, two blocked kicks and a fumble recovery as a linebacker in 2012. • Named the Silver Division's Defensive Player of the Year in 2011 with 125 tackles, five forced fumbles and four interceptions. • Ran 120 times for 998 yards and 18 touchdowns. • Rushed for 925 yards and 20 touchdowns, while adding 100 tackles, three forced fumbles and an interception on defense in 2010.
Personal • Born Nov. 11, 1994, in Chicago, Ill. • Son of Rodney and Doris Payton. • Engineering management major.
PAYTON'S SINGLE GAME CAREER HIGHS Tackles: 7, vs. Eastern Michigan, 10-24-15 TFL: 2, vs. UNLV, 9-5-15 Sacks: 1, twice, last vs. UNLV, 9-5-15 Forced Fumbles: 1, at Kent State, 10-5-13 Fumble Recoveries: 1, twice, last at Western Michigan, 11-28-14