Mays remains big part of defense


Boomer Mays, a redshirt Senior from Lawrence, Kansas, tackles a Murray State player. The Huskies held Murray State to 2.6 yards per rush in their 57-26 win over the Racers.

By Thomas Hiley III

Senior middle linebacker Boomer Mays has remained a productive piece of NIU’s defense in his three and a half years with the team. Mays played in all 14 games in 2014, compiling 75 tackles, good for fifth on the team.

Though his numbers were a bit of a dip from the 2013 season, he never failed to make big plays and helped lead the Huskies to an 11-3 record, garnering a second team All-MAC honor in the process.

Through seven games this year, Mays has 49 tackles, second on the team only to senior safety Marlon Moore, and is tied with junior linebacker Jamaal Payton for third on the team in tackles-for-loss with three.

Q: How did it feel to get that win against Ball State a couple weeks ago?

A: If felt good to get back on track for our season goals. It was hard because of the [losing] streak, but getting out of it and getting back into it is cool.

Q: How do you think the team has played overall this season?

A: We played pretty well, but we got to be strong in all phases, four quarters of the game. We just got to play collectively throughout the whole game.

Q: Is it too early to count the Huskies out of the MAC race?

A: I don’t think so. One game at a time.

Q: What’s the strongest part of the defense?

A: Obviously it starts at the line, but it’s like a puzzle; everybody has to do their part, and when you do that everything goes together.

Q: What’s one thing you feel you or the team have learned midway through the season?

A: Fight through adversity. We are learning that pretty well.

Q: How has coach [Rod] Carey prepared you?

A: We have a motto: One day at a time one, one step a time. Whatever you’re doing at that moment, that’s most important and you have to do that to the best of your ability for as long as it takes, and you keep building on it.

Q: What are some of your hobbies outside of football?

A: One thing that I have started doing the past year is reading a lot, like journals — reading up on a lot about entrepreneurship.

Q: If you could have one superpower what would it be?

A: I’d like to fly — get around a little quicker — save some gas money.

The Huskies’ defense is allowing 25 points-per-game through seven games ths season.

They will face off against Eastern Michigan at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday at Huskie Stadium.