Football: Who to look out for


NIU and FSU players prepare to battle out another play during the 2013 Orange Bowl game. The Huskies lost, 31-10.

By Brian Earle

Stepping into a championship team can be intimidating, but with players moving on, football will need to look at different personnel to step up.

Last season, former wide receivers Martel Moore and Perez Ashford were big parts of the Huskies’ offense and big targets for quarterback Jordan Lynch. Both of them have moved on to the NFL, creating a hole at the wide receiver position.

The Huskies have junior TommyLee Lewis and senior Jamison Wells returning. They both play well in the slot, but what the Huskies need this season — especially with the departure of Moore — is a big-play, deep-ball threat.

The player I expect to step up and fill that role this season is redshirt sophomore wide receiver Juwan Brescacin.

Despite only recording 11 receptions for 223 yards and no touchdowns last season, I believe he is the wide receiver with the most potential on the Huskies’ roster.

Brescacin stands at 6-foot-4. With his size and athleticism, he should be able to create a lot of mismatches for opposing defenses. If he is able to do that he could have a breakout season and quickly become Lynch’s favorite target.

On the defensive side of the ball the Huskies have a similar situation. Former defensive backs Demetrius Stone and Rashaan Melvin have also moved onto the NFL, creating a gap at defensive back for the Huskies.

The Huskies will be anchored by senior safety Jimmie Ward, who led them with 104 tackles and three interceptions last season.

Ward will not be able to do it all on his own and he will need someone to step up and help him. Seniors Sean Evans and Jhony Faustin will have their opportunities, but sophomore defensive back Marlon Moore needs to step up.

In his freshman season, Moore showed his potential when he recorded two interceptions against Buffalo in his first start as a true freshman. He recorded 39 tackles to go along with those two interceptions on the season.

Moore will have some big shoes to fill as Melvin set the record at NIU with most pass deflections in a single season with 17.