Football looks for starting quarterback

By Eddie Garcia

The football team began their summer training and conditioning sessions for the 2017 season and have already showed a high a level of competitiveness.

Head Coach Rod Carey said the team seems to have picked things up quickly after the spring game Aril 22, which Carey said was one of the best practices the team had since he took over as head coach before the 2013 Orange Bowl.

Questions still remain at the quarterback position, as three Huskies continue to compete for the starting role. Redshirt junior quarterback Ryan Graham, redshirt sophomore quarterback Daniel Santacaterina and redshirt freshman quarterback Marcus Childers have been the lead candidates for the position thus far as Carey said it has been highly competitive among all three players.

“You know, you got two guys that have been playing a lot of football with us in Ryan Graham and Daniel Santacaterina,” Carey said . “They really got in control of it heading into spring ball, but then Marcus Childers got his way into the picture and I think by the end of spring, it was really a three-person battle instead of a two-person battle.”

Carey said all three quarterbacks have some growing to do but, overall, have pushed each other and have gotten better as a group.

“They moved the needle forward, all three of them did,” Carey said.

The Huskies did not have much luck at the quarterback position last season as they lost both their first and second-string quarterbacks in seniors at the time,Drew Hare and Anthony Maddie, to season ending injuries.

Last season, NIU had four total quarterbacks throw at least 38 passes each, which means depth is something the Huskies have relied heavily on.

Graham and Santacaterina return this season to compete for the lead role after averaging 97.1 yards in seven games for Graham and 120.3 yards per game in a brief three game stretch for Santacaterina.

The Huskies look to improve on a 5-7 record in 2016 as they begin their 2017 season with in a non-conference game against Boston College 8:30 p.m. Sept. 1 at Huskie Stadium.

“This is probably the biggest game as far as name recognition and everything that we have coming to DeKalb since [Maryland in 2003],” Carey said . “We have been pretty successful at Huskie Stadium but have not had the ability to get someone to come here. So to have this, and to have it be the opener, I think it’s great for the community, great for our university and our guys are certainly excited about it.”