dueling cousins

Redshirt senior linebacker Antonio Jones-Davis (left) and redshirt sophomore tailback Jordan Nettles attend a press conference on Wednesday at the Yordon Center.

DeKALB — Redshirt senior linebacker Antonio Jones-Davis said he is looking forward to Saturday’s game because of a special connection. His cousin, Alex Davis, is one of the University of Nebraska’s senior linebackers.

Northern Star reporter James Krause spoke with Antonio about his cousin during an interview for the Northern Star’s Red-Black football podcast.

“Growing up we were always really close,” Antonio said. “I’d see him every weekend, and we’d play basketball or video games. Whenever we go home we get together and train, just like when we were kids.”

The pair has never played on a team together. Antonio is from Vero Beach Florida and an alum of Vero Beach High School, and he was a starter on the team for three years according to MaxPrep’s website. Nebraska linebacker Alex is from Palm Beach Gardens with a degree from Dwyer High School.

“There’s a feeling of competitiveness and excitement to show our skills,” Antonio said. “I’m really proud of him. We both want to dominate when we’re out there.”

The last time the Huskies faced the Nebraska Huskers was in 2017. NIU won 21-17, and the Huskies became the first MAC team to leave Memorial Stadium with a win.

Head Coach Thomas Hammock said what happened in the past isn’t something he thinks about.

“For me, football is week to week, so you don’t spend a lot of time thinking of what happened two years ago,” Hammock said. “[There’s a] different team, different coaches and a different situation.”

Although the Huskers are a Power Five conference team, redshirt sophomore tailback Jordan Nettles said he has a different mindset when facing bigger teams.

“[Playing Big Ten teams] is a good chance for us to prove ourselves,” Nettles said. “We don’t get a lot of respect from schools that are higher divisions than us, and it’s a good way for us to gain some respect.”

The Huskies face off against the Huskers 7 p.m Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska.