April 7, 2012
DEKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois University football team marked the halfway point of its 2012 Spring Practice with a spirited scrimmage under ideal conditions at Huskie Stadium Saturday afternoon.
The Huskies worked on several different situations during the seventh of 15 practices scheduled for Northern Illinois this spring. Second year head coach Dave Doeren was pleased with what he saw from his squad. Both sides of the ball had their moments Saturday.
"The defensive line got some good penetration on our quarterback at times. I was happy, for the most part, with the tackling," Doeren said. "Overall, it was a pretty good day. The offense started fast. I was happy with that because that was a big emphasis for us."
Three storylines that have been prevalent throughout spring ball have been who will take over at quarterback with the graduation of Chandler Harnish, the development of offensive line and the return of Devon Butler to the practice field.
Doeren named Redshirt junior Jordan Lynch (Chicago, Ill./Mt. Carmel) the Huskies starting quarterback prior to the start of spring ball and he has not disappointed. Lynch, who saw time in all but one game for the Huskies last season, has impressed the Huskie head coach with not only his physical ability, but his leadership skills as well.
"I just like the swag he has," Doeren said of Lynch. "He's talking to the guys the right way. He's bouncing around. I really like that about him. The plays and mistakes are going to improve with repetition."
Lynch's understudy, Matt McIntosh (Evansville, Ind./Reitz), has made progress this spring as well.
Walking the Line
Senior Logan Pegram (Silver Lake, Kan./Silver Lake) is the lone returning starter on the Huskie offensive line. While the other 12 Huskie offensive linemen lack experience, they don't lack talent. The coaches are spending this spring identifying who will fill the four remaining starting spots.
Devon Butler returned to the practice field and his starting middle linebacker job after missing the entire 2011 season due to a gunshot wound from an off-campus shooting. Butler hasn't missed a step, even picking off a pass during a scrimmage. He reached a personal milestone this past Thursday, April 5, the one year anniversary of the shooting.
NIU returns to the practice field Monday at 3:25 p.m. The Huskies wrap up spring practice April 21 with their annual Spring Game at 1:30 p.m. at Huskie Stadium.