Football sets offseason goals for spring practice schedule

Pro Day will take place Wednesday to market Huskie football players to scouts


Courtesy NIU Athletics

Head coach Thomas Hammock addresses the team during Spring football practice.

By Jordan Radloff and Michael Stoll

DeKALB— The NIU football team kicked off spring practice Wednesday. The Huskies have set high goals for the offseason after claiming the Mid-American Conference and will focus on certain areas of training in their roster prior to the Fall 2022 season.

“I think they have confidence,” head football coach Thomas Hammock said in a March 22 press conference. “I think they have an understanding of what we want to do on offense, defense and special teams. They can go out and execute. We have 95 guys on the roster this spring which is a lot more than normal. We were an extremely young football team last year, these guys have made strides in the weight room, they have made strides in conditioning, and they have an opportunity this spring to establish their roles for next season.”

NIU recently hired Samford University defensive coordinator Nick Benedetto as the team’s newest assistant coach on the defensive staff. Building up a strong defense is a core area the team will focus on.

“We want to improve on defense,” Hammock said. “I think that’s a big thing we want to work on. Our staff has been working tremendously hard to put our players in a good position to be successful and I feel like they’re going against an offense that’s pretty dynamic and we should get a good litmus test at where we are defensively. We want to figure out who our playmakers are.”

The Huskies have acquired key talent in past seasons and will continue to focus on recruitment to stay in the hunt for the MAC.

“We’ve done a good job recruiting specialists,” Hammock said. “We’ve tried to stay a year ahead. Our philosophy is to take one before you need one, and we feel like Tom Fully is a young man that’s been developing behind Matt Fearance and Isaac Hatfield as a long snapper and then obviously John Richardson are guys that give us quality players.”

The team will invite NFL scouts to check out members of the team during spring practice at a Pro Day event Wednesday. It will take place at 10 a.m. in the Chessick Center.