NIU captured its first MAC football championship since 1983, defeating Ohio, 23-20
Finished his career at NIU with 1,575 receiving yards on 93 receptions for an average of 16.9 yards per catch with 16 receiving touchdowns. Played in 48 games with 20 starts. Has 1,775 career all-purpose yards with 200 rushing yards on 21 carries and one score. Tied for eighth in NIU history with 16 career receiving touchdowns.
2011: Third team All-Mid-American Conference selection by the league's coaches and Phil Steele... Named NIU Wide Receiver of the Year by the NIU coaching staff... Played in all 14 games during the season and started five... Tied for the team lead in catches with 47 and touchdowns with seven... His 695 receiving yards ranked second on the team... Caught at least one pass in 13 games and had 10 multi-catch performances... Posted eight plays of 25 yards or longer to lead all NIU receivers... Gained 30 yards on six carries... Named the Most Valuable Player of the MAC Championship game versus Ohio (12-2) after catching four passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns, including the first touchdown and the equalizer with less than three minutes left in the game... Hauled in a career-best and game-high nine passes for 86 yards at Kansas (9-10)... Tallied a season-high 120 receiving yards on four receptions at Toledo (11-1)... Scored a career-high three touchdowns against the Rockets, including a 71-yard catch-and-run in the second quarter... Grabbed eight passes for 95 yards and a touchdown versus Ball State (11-15)... Scored on a 19-yard reception against Army (9-3)... Gained 89 yards on seven catches against Western Michigan (10-15), including a 58-yard reception to set up an NIU field goal.
2010: Played in all 14 games and started eight at wide receiver. Ranked second on the team with a career-best 532 receiving yards while his 29 catches ranked fourth on the squad. Averaged 18.3 yards per reception to lead the team and 38 receiving yards per game. His six touchdown catches were second-most on the team. NIU's big-play wide receiver with a team-high nine catches that went for 25 yards or more on the year. Caught passes in 13 of 14 games on the season. Collected a career-best five passes for 83 yards, including a nine-yard touchdown grab, at Western Michigan (10-30). Also scored on a two-point conversion in the WMU game. Named the team's Co-Offensive Back of the Week after catching touchdown passes of 37 and 47 yards at Ball State (11-20). Made three catches for 65 yards at Akron (10-2), scoring on a season-long 58-yard touchdown play. Had four catches for 39 yards, including a four-yard touchdown grab versus Temple (10-9). Caught three passes for 34 yards against Buffalo (10-16). Got behind the Illini defense for a 42-yard catch at Illinois (9-18) and was called down on the one-yard line. Scored on a 33-yard play in NIU's win over Toledo (11-9). Rushed for a season-high 23 yards on one carry at Eastern Michigan (11-26). Gained 56 yards off three grabs against Miami (Ohio) in the 2010 MAC Championship game (12-3). Caught two passes for 40 yards versus Fresno State, including a 25-yard reception, in the 2010 Humanitarian Bowl (12-18). His pass attempt in that game fell incomplete.
2009: Appeared in 11 games as a Huskie wide receiver. Started four contests. Caught five passes for 70 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 135 yards on 11 carries. Ranked sixth on the team in total offense. Totaled 205 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving, on the year. Scored on a seven-yard run against Akron (10-31) and also had a 23-yard catch in that game. Led NIU in rushing versus Ball State (11-12) with three carries for a season-high 69 yards, including a 35-yard jaunt. Gained 22 yards on the ground on a reverse versus Ohio (11-21). Caught two passes for 41 yards versus Western Michigan (10-3), including a 33-yard touchdown pass. Made two receptions for 17 yards, including a 15-yard catch, and gained four yards on one carry versus Purdue (9-19).
2008: Appeared in nine games with three starts. Totaled 278 yards on 12 catches with a pair of touchdowns. Ranks first among returning wide receivers in yards per game with 30.9. Made his collegiate debut against Minnesota (8-30), scoring two touchdowns on three catches while totaling a career-high 170 yards, the 13th-highestsingle game receiving mark in school history. Caught a 91-yard touchdown pass from Chandler Harnish to ignite a Huskie comeback in the third quarter of that game. Play stands as the 20th longest scoring play in NIU history, and was the longest play of the season. Caught a 52-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to give NIU a 26-24 lead against the Golden Gophers. Named team offensive skill player of the week after that game. Set a career-best mark with four catches for 78 yards in the Western Michigan game (9-6). Racked-up 26 yards on four grabs at Tennessee (10-4), and was named Huskie skill player of the week. Collected 12 yards on a reverse in the Independence Bowl against Louisiana Tech (12-28).
High School: A first team all-state choice as a senior after picking up honorable mention recognition his junior year. Named to the first team all-conference list as a senior and picked up second team honors in 2005. Listed as one of the top 50 5A players in Indiana. Earned Offensive Player of the Year honors. In his last two seasons, totaled 85 catches for 1,302 yards and 17 touchdowns. Caught 51 passes for 676 yards and six TDs as a senior with 34 catches for 626 yards and nine scores in 2005. Had four pass deflections and three interceptions as a defensive back his senior year. Holds Elkhart Central records for most receiving yards in a game (234) and longest touchdown reception (93). Three-year letterwinner. Also participated in track and basketball at the varsity level for two years.
Personal: Born April 14, 1989 in Elkhart, Ind. Son of Fern and Joe Palmer. Brother Jovone ran track at Vincennes University. Majoring in general studies. Enjoys spending time with children. Aspiring singer has sung the national anthem at Huskie basketball games. Admires Kobe Bryant and Reggie Bush.
PALMER'S CAREER STATISTICS
PALMER'S CAREER GAME HIGHS Catches: 5, at Western Michigan, 10-30-10 Receiving Yards: 170, at Minnesota, 8-30-08 Touchdowns: 2, twice, last at Ball State, 11-20-10 Long Gain: 91, at Minnesota, 8-30-08 Rushing Yards: 69, vs. Ball State, 11-12-09