Aug. 6, 2009
DEKALB, Ill. - The 2009 edition of the Northern Illinois Huskies took the field at Huskie Stadium for the first time Thursday night as second-year head coach Jerry Kill put 104 players through a two-and-a-half hour workout.
The Huskies' camp roster includes 37 "new" players for 2009 and another 17 who have never played in a game for NIU. The inexperience of those 54 players left Kill knowing that the Huskies have a lot of work to do before their Sept. 5 season opener at Wisconsin.
"We have to get at least 990 percent better [before we go to Wisconsin]," Kill said. "Shoot, we didn't even have shoulder pads on today. We have to get better every day. We don't have time to take any days off. Overall, we got a chance today to practice with a lot of kids. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better."
With so many young players on the 2009 roster, Kill and his staff spent the last four periods of Monday's practice working with only the newcomers after the veterans were allowed to stretch and remain on the sidelines.
"We have a lot of youth - that is what I saw today," Kill said. "We've got a lot of youngsters out there running around. That's why we took the last four or five periods today and worked the younger guys. We have so many new faces, this is a young football team."
Kill was pleased with the work ethic and spirit the entire team showed in its first workout of the year, which was conducted in helmets and shorts in line with NCAA regulations.
"We had great enthusiasm tonight, probably too much," he said. "We've got a lot of kids that have great athletic ability and they just have to learn what to do."
The Huskies will hold their annual DeKalb Media and Photo Day Friday afternoon before taking the field again Friday night for the second practice of the season. For a complete practice schedule, click here.
Tickets for the 2009 Northern Illinois season are on sale now at the value price of just $90 for all six games. Discounts are available for NIU Faculty and Staff, NIU Alumni Association and Varsity Club members and senior citizens. A three-game "mini-plan" and single game tickets are also on sale. Tickets can be ordered at www.niuhuskies.com, by calling 815-752-6800 or in person at the Athletics Ticket Office in the NIU Convocation Center.
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