Making the grade at NIU

By John Dietz

Many students here at NIU know what it’s like to try and balance class attendance, homework, a job, and still have time for a social life.

Some fail, some do well enough to get by, and others are standouts in their class.

Senior offensive tackle Brad Capes stands out not only on the NIU football team but has also balanced his schedule well enough to have graduated last May with a 3.54 grade point average.

How does Capes manage a schedule that includes meetings at 7 a.m., practice from 2 to 6 p.m. and still earn A’s and B’s consistently?

“You really have to concentrate and manage your time really well,” Capes said.

Capes could be the first NIU Academic All-American since 1976. NIU offensive line coach Dave Voth had nothing but praise for Capes.

“Brad’s been great,” said Voth. “He’s ten times the ball player he was last year. … He’s extremely intelligent and understands our schemes. He’s that type of player—very team-oriented. That’s why his teammates voted him one of our tri-captains.”

Capes excels in the classroom but one gets the feeling football is what he really lives for.

Now that the team seems to be on the right track, Capes foresees nothing but more wins for this team.

“This is the most talented team I’ve been on since I’ve been here. Besides the Middle Tennessee State game, we’ve played well all year,” Capes said.

A well-known fact is that linemen don’t get much recognition, but Capes is satisfied with just doing his job well.

“When we run block, we just try and get a big gain,” Capes said. “That’s why it’s so exciting to block for LeShon (Johnson). You give him a little hole and he’s gone.”

Capes also loves to see the students get involved in the action. He was especially pleased with the goalpost fiasco.

“I think it was pretty exciting,” Capes said. “It’s nice to see students get involved and that the students think this is big-time college football.”

The Huskies look like they will continue their success in the games to come.

“Hopefully we can continue the way we played last Saturday. Hopefully we’ll let this carry on week to week,” Capes said. “8-3 would be a great turnaround from last year.”