Hare needs to lead team, not just stats


Redshirt sophomore Drew Hare plays in the 2014 Marathon MAC Championship game against the Bowling Green Falcons on Dec. 5 in Detroit. Hare is the third NIU quarterback to win the MAC Championship in the past four seasons.

By Chris Loggins

When 2013 Heisman finalist Jordan Lynch left NIU after the 2013-14 season, he not only left very big shoes to fill, but he left a legacy that can be extremely tough to replace.

Huskie fans will forever remember the immaculate run from Lynch, the former quarterback who had a great four-year run. Chosen to take over the reigns in the 2014-15 was Drew Hare, who we knew little about and had seen little from. There was no doubt the pressure was on, and Hare stepped up big time.

In Hare’s first season as a full-time starter, he threw for more than 2,000 yards, completing almost 60 percent of his passes. He tossed 18 touchdowns with only two interceptions, and ended the season with a 136.3 pass efficiency rating. Hare also managed to run for 900 yards, averaging 5.7 yards per carry with eight touchdowns on the year.

Expectations among Huskie fans remain high, but so does Hare’s ceiling for improvement. Seasons have continuously ended with disappointing defeats.

If Hare wishes to dismiss the pressure of succeeding Lynch, the way to do so will be by ridding the team of another disappointing end to a season, not by competing with Lynch in the stat line. He’s already proven his worth as a starting quarterback, and there should be no questions regarding his skill level; however he should strictly be judged by how far he can take his team.

Hare will again test his fortunes when the season kicks off Sept. 5 in a nationally televised game against UNLV on CBS.