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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

NIU football breakdown: wide receivers

By Eli Gehn | August 23, 2011

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...

Nathan Palmer (middle), like many student-athletes, has had to leave old rooting allegiances behind after becoming a Huskie.

Root, root, root for the Huskies

By Andrew Singer | April 14, 2011

Deep in the closet of every NIU athlete, behind all the Huskie swag, is an article of clothing that represents their love for a school that doesn't rock the Cardinal and Black. While it may be hard to believe, student-athletes are not forbidden by coaches...

Social media privacy is tight for NIU athletes

By Andrew Singer | February 22, 2011

DeKALB | Social media forums like Facebook and Twitter have revolutionized the way college students make fools of themselves. Tweet-induced insanity has made it difficult to believe there are people out there that actually care about what they put on...

Jake Coffman lines up at the start of a play earlier this season. The Huskies are getting ready to battle Miami (OH) in the MAC Championship game in Detroit.

Huskies battle for the MAC Championship

By Chris Dertz | December 2, 2010

Every man that has walked out the Yordon Center doors into Huskie Stadium over the past four years has been waiting for this. Every hand that has touched that Huskie statue, and every cleat to dig into that FieldTurf has been waiting for this. But while...

Always a way to a favorable call

By Andrew Singer | October 26, 2010

Screaming at an official after a bad call can make a player or coach feel better at the time, but it won't in the long run. Most coaches and players will attest to how important it is to establish a solid rapport with the officials early on in the game....

Landon Cox leads a young receiving group for the Huskies to look toward this year.

NIU offensive breakdown

By Chris Dertz | August 29, 2010


Phil Horvath is gone and so are the quarterback controversies of last year, as this is clearly Dan Nicholson's team.

The junior from Brother Rice high school has two years experience under his belt, including a 2005 season in which he took over for an injured Horvath and led the team to three straight victories.

Last year, Nicholson played in seven games and threw for 658 yards and five touchdowns but with six interceptions.

Grade: B-

He has experience but this is the year he needs to show what he's made of.


The running back position has always been a point of pride at NIU.Every few years, one star leaves and another emerges.

This year, Coach Novak will take a running back-by-committee approach to start off the season to see who can replace Garrett Wolfe.

Junior Montell Clanton has been named the starter for the opener against Iowa but

Justin Anderson will see significant time and true freshman Chad Spann figures to see some action.

Clanton is coming off an season-ending injury last year and will have to prove he can stay healthy. Anderson has the strength and speed but like the rest of the backs, but is unproven, having only 25 carries last season. Spann turned heads in camp but is probably a year or two away.

Grade: C-

The potential is there, it just needs to be displayed. Under Wolfe, the Huskies lost four fumbles, the second lowest total in D 1-A. This group also needs to prove they can hang onto the ball.


Doug Free is gone and the offensive line is a huge concern heading into this season.

However, three starters from last year return in center Eddie Adamski, right guard Jason Onyebuagu, and the lone senior of the unit, left tackle Chris Acevedo. Junior Jon Brost is expected to start at right tackle and has the most career starts of the group.

Tim Mayerbock is expected to get the start at left guard. The redshirt sophomore played in the last 10 games of 2006 but is the most inexperienced of the group.

Grade: C-

Very talented group but young. The lack of experience may contribute to them getting worn out too soon, setting up for quite an interesting fourth quarter.


This looks to be a strong point for NIU this season. Junior's Britt Davis and Marcus Perez both started and were the leading receivers from a year ago.

Everyone is still waiting for Davis to break-out and reach his full potential. Junior Matt Simon played in all 13 games last year and was the third-leading receiver.

Junior Greg Turner has impressed former Huskie and current wide receivers coach P.J. Fleck as more of a possession-type of receiver. Also, Freshman Landon Cox will also look to make an immediate impact.

Grade: B-

Talented and fast. Younger guys need to step up and help out Davis, Perez and Simon to solidify the corps.