July 12, 2013
DEKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois University safety Jimmie Ward added his name to the list of Huskies named to a preseason watch list when the senior was named to the 2013 Jim Thorpe Award Watch List.
Presented to the top defensive back in the country, the Jim Thorpe Award was established in 1986 and is named after one f the greatest all-around athletes in history, Jim Thorpe. The Jim Thorpe Award Watch List is chosen by a screening committee who compile a list of 30-50 players.
A first team All-MAC selection, Ward was the Huskies leading tackler in 2012 with 104 stops, topping his previous career high of 100 in 2011. The Mobile, Ala. native also led the NIU defense with three interceptions, a career high. He made a career-high 14 tackles, including 11 solo stops, against Florida State in the 2013 Orange Bowl.
In addition to his 14 tackles in the Orange Bowl, Ward made double-digit stops in six other games. He made 12 tackles on three separate occasions against Iowa, Central Michigan and Ball State. Ward, a product of Davidson High School, has 225 career tackles and three blocked punts.
One of three MAC players on the list, Ward is joined on the list by Buffalo's Najja Johnson and Dayonne Nunley of Miami (Ohio).
Ward joins teammates Jordan Lynch (Chicago, Ill./Mt. Carmel) and Tommylee Lewis (Riviera Beach, Fla./W.T. Dwyer) and Mathew Sims (Hannibal, Mo./Hannibal) on preseason watch lists. Lynch and Lewis were named to the Hornung Award Watch List, while Lynch was also named to the Maxwell Award Watch List.
Season tickets for Northern Illinois' 2013 home schedule are on sale now. The new Huskieland Plan, which includes a ticket to all five home games (sections A and G) and $50 in Doggie Dollars good for parking and/or concessions, is just $50. All remaining season ticket locations for the 2013 Huskie Stadium home slate are just $100 while NIU Alumni Association members, senior citizens (62+), youth (3-13), NIU Varsity Club (former letterwinners) members and faculty and staff can see every game for just $88. Season tickets are available by calling NIU Athletics at 815-753-1923, or go online to www.NIUHuskies.com/tickets for complete information and order forms.