Lynch, offensive line, Butler, Clark will have spotlight during spring practices

By Jimmy Johnson

Spring isn’t just the time of the year to enjoy weddings and bunnies: it’s football time.

NIU football will officially begin its spring practices today. Fresh off their first MAC Championship in 28 years, coach Dave Doeren and the Huskies are back to the grind prepping for the 2012 season.

The focus will be on the following Huskies during spring practices:

Jordan Lynch

No more “special formations” for Jordan Lynch; Doeren named him the starting quarterback at Monday’s press conference.

With Chandler Harnish gone, the redshirt junior will direct NIU’s offense.

Opposing teams have only seen a glimmer of his athleticism and running ability. While Lynch can scramble, it’s his arm that’s most dangerous.

Lynch has only attempted 26 passes in his career, but that number won’t stand for long.

The offensive line

Left guard Logan Pegram is the only starting offensive lineman to return for the Huskies.

Much of NIU’s offensive success the past two seasons was the result of consistency and familiarity of its line.

Harnish and Lynch looked comfortable in the pocket often last season, as the starting five were led by 2011 All-MAC members in left tackle Trevor Olson and center Scott Wedige. Doeren and offensive line coach Rod Carey will have to find the players to put around Pegram to hopefully give Lynch enough time in the pocket to pick apart opposing defenses.

Devon Butler/Tyrone Clark

Exit Jordan Delegal and Pat Schiller, enter Devon Butler and Tyrone Clark.

Two seasons ago, Butler and Clark showed flashes of becoming major playmakers on NIU’s defense.

However, both had to sit the year out, as Butler was shot in the back last April and suffered a collapsed lung; while Clark was out due to an unspecified reason.

It’s hard to speculate what condition Butler will be in after sitting the year. He’ll battling with Victor Jacques for the middle linebacker spot. Clark practiced with the team last season, so he’ll be more up to speed entering practices.