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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

5 Huskies named to All-MAC Teams

Tim Dodge
NIU junior running back Antario Brown (1) fights to break tackles against three Ball State defenders during NIU football’s game on Nov. 7. Brown is among five players on NIU to receive All-MAC honors. (Tim Dodge | Northern Star)

DeKALB – Highlighted by First Team All-MAC honorees, redshirt senior offensive lineman Nolan Potter and junior running back Antario Brown, five Huskies were named to All-MAC teams. 

Senior defensive tackle James Ester and junior cornerback Javaughn Byrd were selected to the Second Team All-MAC while redshirt junior wide receiver Trayvon Rudolph was a Third Team All-MAC honoree.

Potter, a graduating senior, played 51 career games at NIU and was selected to three-straight All-MAC teams. Potter was a Second Team All-MAC selection in the Huskies’ 2021 MAC Championship season and made All-MAC First Team for the first time in 2022. In 2023, he started all 12 games for the Huskies. 

Brown finished the 2023 season with career-highs in carries (187), yards (1,164) and rushing touchdowns (10). Brown also added 12 receptions for 52 yards and 1 receiving touchdown.

Brown’s best performance of the season came against the University of Akron, as he rushed for 280 yards and 4 rushing touchdowns on just 13 carries. Brown’s 280 rushing yards were the second-most rushing yards by any player in an FBS game this season, according to ESPN.  

Ester, another graduating senior, played 48 career games at NIU and was named to his third straight All-MAC team in 2023. Ester was an All-MAC Third Team selection in both 2021 and 2022. 

Ester was named the Huskies’ team MVP in 2022, recording 6 tackles for loss, 2 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. In 2023, Ester set a career high in tackles (48) and sacks (4). 

In 2023, Byrd set career-highs in interceptions (2), passes defended (7) and forced the first fumble of his career. Byrd also recorded 28 tackles and 1 tackle for loss on the season. 

Rudolph, who entered the transfer portal last Tuesday, finished his NIU career with 3,150 all-purpose yards and 12 total touchdowns in 31 career games. 

In 2020, Rudolph was a Freshman All-American and made Second Team All-MAC as a kick returner. In 2021, Rudolph was once again named to the Second Team All-MAC as a kick returner, as well as a wide receiver. 

Rudolph finished the 2023 season with 46 receptions for 499 receiving yards and 2 receiving touchdowns. Rudolph also rushed for 176 yards and 1 touchdown on 20 carries. 

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