NIU football breakdown: wide receivers

By Eli Gehn

DeKALB | The wide receiver position for the NIU football team is stacked with of plenty playmakers.

The only player who isn’t returning is Landon Cox, who is on the Cincinnati Bengals roster.

The Huskies’ receivers are expected to be the deepest set in the whole MAC and they give quarterback Chandler Harnish a lot of weapons to look at down the field.

Here are this year’s group of wide receivers:

Martel Moore:

Moore played in all 14 games last season, starting in 11. He was second on the team in receptions with 40, and also had 525 receiving yards and four touchdowns. During spring and fall practices, Moore has shown he can really catch the ball. NIU will hope this extends into the regular season.

Outlook: Moore will be one of many targets for Harnish this season and will look to take on a bigger role in the offense in 2011.

Nathan Palmer:

“Napalm”was NIU’s big-play wide receiver last season; he had a team-high nine receptions of over 25 yards. He was second on the team with six touchdowns, while also accumulating 532 receiving yards.

Outlook: Palmer hopes to bring even more big plays this season and will look to end his NIU career with a bang.

Willie Clark:

Clark, last year’s NIU Wide Receiver of the Year, as picked by his coaches, leads all returning receivers from last year with 42 grabs for 602 yards and seven touchdowns despite only starting three games. His frame allows him to be a matchup problem for opposing cornerbacks – he’s listed at 6-1, 210 pounds.

Outlook: Clark was a familiar target for Harnish last season, and the relationship between the two will look to build on their success from last year in the 2011 campaign.

Other receivers: Also look for receivers Anthony Johnson and Perez Ashford to complete the rotation for NIU’s wideouts this year. Former quarterback DeMarcus Grady has been switched to the wideout position and will also get some playing time. It is easily the deepest talent of receivers the Huskies have seen in quite a while. Others receivers to watch for include Da’Ron Brown, Mack Tracey, and Jamison Wells.