Jan. 6, 2012
With the 2012 GoDaddy.com Bowl now under 48 hours away, the 19 seniors of the Northern Illinois University football team reached another milestone Friday in Mobile, Ala. They turned in their final practice as Huskies, an hour workout under another beautiful sunny day. It's a good thing for center Scott Wedige the temps were so warm because his teammates hit him with a cold Gatorade bath at the end of practice. The NIU underclassmen showed their appreciation to the veterans as each position group carried their seniors off the practice field.
The players on the offensive side of the ball decided to mix things up for their final practice of the season and it was immediately evident. At first glance it had looked like Chandler Harnish had put on about 100 pounds. It turned out that the NIU signal caller had swapped jerseys with right tackle Keith Otis. A closer inspection of the field saw that the entire offensive unit had pulled the switcheroo. Trevor Olson donned the No. 25 of Jasmin Hopkins, while Nathan Palmer and Wedige exchanged uniforms.
Just before practice, NIU participated in the main event of the day, the Mayor's Luncheon at the Mobile Convention Center. The Huskies were joined by Arkansas State, local dignitaries, and guests, including former NIU head coach Joe Novak. Everyone was treated by performances from both bands and had the opportunity to listen to the keynote speaker, former NFL great Cris Carter.
Tomorrow, the Huskies will attend a luncheon at the U.S.S. Alabama after touring the vessel. Then it's off to Ladd-Peebles Stadium for the team's final walk through.