May 6, 2013
DeKALB, Ill. - Larry English, one of the most decorated defensive players in Mid-American Conference and Northern Illinois history who was a first-round draft choice of the San Diego Chargers in the 2008 National Football League Draft, was back on the NIU campus in April when he was honored as the 2013 Outstanding Young Alumnus by the NIU Alumni Association.
The Outstanding Young Alumnus Award is presented to an individual who has exhibited outstanding accomplishments within 10 years of earning an undergraduate degree from NIU. English, who is in his fifth season as an outside linebacker for the Chargers since being selected with the 16th pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, earned his bachelor's degree from NIU in 2008 in general studies from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
In addition to his full-time job as a professional football player, English is the co-founder and chairman of the board of the Larry English L.E.A.D. Foundation, an organization which provides programming like tutoring, workshops, mentoring and health programs to support the educational, professional and personal development of young student-athletes.
English also supports the American Lung Association, particularly in raising awareness of and treatments for asthma. In 2011, he hosted "An Evening of Champions" and was the honorary chairman of the inaugural "Fight for Air Climb," both benefitting the ALA.
As a member of the Chargers for the past four years, English has made 73 tackles and 8.5 quarterback sacks in 43 games. He played in 14 games last season and made 17 stops.
English, a native of Aurora who attended Marmion High School, remains one of only two Huskies to be named first team All-MAC three times and is a two-time winner of the Vern Smith Leadership Award, presented to the MAC's top player. MAC coaches showed the respect they had for English, the way he played the game and his leadership qualities by presenting him with the Vern Smith Award in 2007 during a year in which the Huskies won just two games. As a senior in 2008, he was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year and garnered third team All-America recognition.
By the end of his career, English set the NIU career records for tackles for loss and quarterback sacks, forced eight fumbles and recovered four. He played in 50 games and started 47 over a five-year span at Northern Illinois, including every game from 2006-08, and led the Huskies to a pair of bowl appearances.
English and his fellow NIU Alumni Association award-winners were selected based on professional and personal achievements as well as involvement in civic, cultural or charitable activities. A private reception honoring the recipients was held at the Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center on Friday, April 19. To read about all of the 2013 honorees, click here.
-- NIU --
Facebook: NIU Huskies