Ex Northern Illinois D-Line stalwart Trent Clemen signs with AF2 Quad City Steamwheelers



June 20, 2002


DeKALB, IL --- For former Northern Illinois University defensive end Trent Clemen, that often desired shot at the next level of football meant an 80-mile journey from his hometown in Dubuque to the Quad Cities.

Clemen (Dubuque, IA / Wahlert) became the third Huskie alum to play in the Arena FootballLeague2 this summer by signing a standard free agent contact with the Quad City Steamwheelers, team public relations director Ron Oelke announced Thursday (June 20).

The 6-foot-4, 252-pound Clemen joins the Steamwheelers in time to play in Saturday’s (June 22) AF2 contest against the Tennessee Valley Vipers at 7:30 p.m. (CST) in Huntsville, AL. According to Oelke, the former Northern Illinois 2001 quint-captain would likely double as a fullback-linebacker for head coach Rich Ingold’s Quad City franchise.

Best of all, the Steamwheelers stand 6-4 to date this season, rank second in the AF2 National Conference Midwest Division standings, and come off back-to-back Arena Cup championships in 2000 and 2001. The AF2 club plays its home games at The Mark of the Quad Cities in Moline, IL.

“That’s certainly great news for Trent---to have this opportunity to play some professional ball fairly close to home,” said Huskie head man Joe Novak upon hearing the news. “Trent’s a hard-nosed kid, a strong work ethic type who really deserves a chance like this. I thought he certainly had a productive senior year for us on our defensive line.”

Indeed, Clemen did lead the Northern Illinois D-linemen in four statistical categories last autumn---(1) overall stops with 80, (2) quarterback sacks with six for 37 yards in losses, (3) tackles for loss with eight for 40 yards, and (4) pass deflections with four. During 2001, he finished No. 37 in Mid-American Conference tackles and wound up fourth among the league’s D-line types in that category.

A four-season letterman for the Huskies and Novak (1998-2001), he started 11 times as a senior at left end and played 653 snaps on the 6-5 MAC West Division co-champions. Clemen tied for third in team QB hurries-pressures with six and finished fifth in overall team tackles in 2001. Last fall, No. 53 duplicated his single-game career-high with 11 stops apiece vs. Kent State and Central Michigan.

Career-wise, Clemen completed his Northern Illinois playing days with a string of 33 consecutive starts in 44 appearances, plus added 201 tackles and 2,044 snaps. As a prep gridder at Wahlert High School in Dubuque, he won Honorable Mention USA Today All-America and First-Team Des Moines Register Elite All-State honors on the 7-3 city champions in 1997 as a senior.

Clemen joins two other former Northern Illinois performers in kicker Kent Baker (Norfolk Nighthawks) and lineman Rasche Hill (Peoria Pirates) on 2002 AF2 rosters.

(For further information, please contact Mike Korcek) -30-



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