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Football practice notes: Weekend of April 8

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Posted: Sunday, April 10, 2011 9:53 pm

  • Without Devon Butler in as the starting middle linebacker, NIU head coach Dave Doeren gave two underclassmen the chance to step in.

"[Mike Hellams was] a little bit ‘deer in the headlights,' but you could tell he was excited to be out there," Doeren said. "It was good to see Cameron Stingily getting some reps today too."

Hellams primarily worked the first team defense, while Stingily was slotted in the middle of the second team defense.

  • Huskie defensive end Daniel Green nabbed a Jordan Lynch pass and ran it back for a touchdown during a third-down conversion drill. Green's turnover caused an eruption of cheering and dancing from his fellow NIU defensive teammates.
  • Wide receiver Martel Moore hauled in a touchdown pass in the corner of the endzone from quarterback Chandler Harnish during a redzone exercise. It has become common for Moore to make at least one attention-grabbing catch in practice, as he's headlined a young and rising group of Huskie receivers.

"I thought Martel had a really good day," Doeren said. "Anthony Johnson made some terrific catches."

Willie Clark had a corner-endzone touchdown snare of his own from Harnish as well.

  • A blocking drill that featured the NIU running backs and linebackers was both entertaining and highly competitive. On multiple occasions, when a linebacker blew past a back, it was followed by a group dance that featured Dougie and Superman moves. Even Huskie linebacker coach Tom Matukewicz got in on the act with his own rendition.

"Like coach Doeren says all the time, you got to play with swagger," said linebacker Jordan Delegal. "To have an identity on this defense, you have to know what you're doing, and then you have to play with some swagger."

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