April 23, 2007
DeKALB, Ill. - For the first time in 12 seasons under head coach Joe Novak, four juniors have been elected as team captains for the 2007 Northern Illinois football season, Novak announced Monday. Wide receiver Britt Davis (Broadview, Ill.), defensive end Larry English (Aurora, Ill.), linebacker Tim McCarthy (Neenah, Wisc.) and quarterback Dan Nicholson (Chicago, Ill.) were tabbed by their teammates to serve as permanent team captains for the upcoming campaign.
The captains were selected by vote of the 2007 team following the end of spring football practices Saturday. The election of four juniors marks the first time under Novak that NIU will not have a senior - of which there are only 10 on the 2007 roster - serving as a team captain.
"We always tell our players that this is not a popularity contest and to choose the teammates they respect and the ones who represent what we're about as a program," Novak said. "I'm very pleased with the team's selections. They made four very good choices."
Davis, who attended Riverside-Brookfield High School, led NIU in receiving in 2006 and has set school records for catches by a freshman and by a sophomore in the last two seasons. An honorable mention All-MAC selection in 2006, he enters his junior campaign with 99 career catches for 1,172 yards.
After starting five games in relief of Phil Horvath over the last two seasons, Nicholson enters 2007 atop the Huskie depth chart at quarterback. The Brother Rice product has completed 119-of-210 passes for 1,479 yards and 11 TDs in his NIU career to date.
English was a first team All Mid-American Conference choice in 2006 after tying the school record for sacks in a season with 12 last year. A graduate of Marmion Academy, he is a two-year starter for the Huskies whose career totals include 13 sacks, 23 tackles for loss and 133 tackles.
McCarthy is Northern Illinois' top returning tackler after posting his second straight 100-tackle season in 2006. He finished the season with a career-high 111 stops, and led NIU in interceptions with two.
"I think this shows that we will have strong leadership from our juniors on next year's team," Novak said. "With the size and make up of our senior class, we've been looking for people to step up, and this answers at least some of the questions about who those people will be."
Of the 10 seniors on the 2007 Northern Illinois roster, only four currently own spots in the starting line-up, including kicker Chris Nendick.
The Huskies concluded spring practice sessions Saturday with the annual spring game, and open the 2007 season on Sept. 1 versus Iowa in the "Soldier Field Showdown." Tickets for the game, which will be played at Chicago's historic Soldier Field, are on sale now through the Athletic Ticket Office in the Convocation Center, by calling 815-752-6800 or on-line at www.niuhuskies.com. NIU fans who wish to receive priority seating for the game can join the Huskie Athletic Scholarship Fund (HASF) before May 1 to earn ticket priority.
-- NIU --