Northern Star




Northern Star

Northern Illinois University’s student news organization since 1899


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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Former NIU quarterback Rocky Lombardi drops back during passing drills at Thursdays Pro Day inside the Chessick Practice Center. Lombardi worked out in front of scouts from at least 11 NFL teams. (Tim Dodge | Northern Star)

6 former Huskies participate in annual Pro Day

By Zack Rodriguez, Sports Reporter | March 8, 2024

DeKALB – Six former Huskies and five other draft-eligible players worked out in front of NFL scouts ahead of April's 2024 NFL Draft Thursday at the Chessick Practice Center for NIU’s annual Pro Day. Measurements were taken ahead of on-field testing....

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields throws a pass in an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers on Jan. 7. The Bears fanbase is torn between keeping Fields or trading him and selecting quarterback Caleb Williams with the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft. (AP File Photo)

Look Both Ways: the Justin Fields debate

By Zachary Bertram and Zack Rodriguez | February 27, 2024

KEEP JUSTIN By: Zach Bertram, Senior Sports Reporter For the second consecutive year, the Chicago Bears hold the No. 1 pick of the NFL Draft. Despite having the power to draft any college quarterback they’d like, the Bears should stick with current...

Senior defensive tackle James Ester eyes his opponent in an NIU football home game against the University of Tulsa on Sep. 23, 2023. Ester is one of the few NIU football players that have declared the 2024 NFL Draft. (Courtesy of NIU Athletics)

Previewing the 2024 NFL Draft prospects from the MAC

By Eddie Miller, Sports Reporter | February 21, 2024

The 2024 NFL Draft is set for April 25 in Detroit, Michigan when 257 prospects will be drafted. Only two players from the MAC were invited to the NFL Combine – none from NIU – but one Huskie has the potential to make the pros.  The NFL Combine...

COLUMN: Bears should draft Johnson Jr. or Carter at ninth

By Eddie Miller, Sports Reporter | April 6, 2023

DeKALB – With the 2023 NFL Draft a few weeks away, general manager Ryan Poles and the Chicago Bears currently hold the ninth overall pick. At the start of the NFL offseason, Chicago held the first overall pick before trading it to the Carolina Panthers. The...

Two Huskies declare for 2023 NFL Draft

Two Huskies declare for 2023 NFL Draft

By Skyler Kisellus, Sports Reporter | November 30, 2022

DeKALB – The first two players from NIU football’s 2022 squad have announced their intentions to go pro after senior wide receiver Shemar Thornton and redshirt senior defensive end Michael Kennedy declared for the 2023 NFL Draft on Tuesday via social...

Dallas Cowboys draft Ken Bishop in 7th round

By Frank Gogola | May 10, 2014

Former NIU Huskies defensive tackle Ken Bishop was draft 251st overall by the Dallas Cowboys in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft May 10.At 6-foot, 301 pounds, Bishop is the second Huskie taken in the 2014 NFL Draft, joining strong safety Jimmie...

Lynch signs with Chicago Bears as undrafted free agent

By Frank Gogola | May 10, 2014

Jordan Lynch, former NIU Huskies quarterback and Chicago native, signed with the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent May 10.Lynch wasn't among the 256 players selected in the 2014 NFL Draft May 8 to 10, as fellow teammates Jimmie Ward and Ken Bishop...

Better late than never: Harnish drafted as Mr. Irrelevant

Better late than never: Harnish drafted as Mr. Irrelevant

By Jimmy Johnson | April 29, 2012

It was an unusual homecoming in Bluffton, Ind. for Chandler Harnish this weekend. The former NIU quarterback didn’t head home for a family party, or to see an old friend. It was the NFL Draft, and Harnish wanted to spend this important moment in his...

The Rant: Phil Emery is working football magic

By Jimmy Johnson | April 24, 2012

We’re just one day away from the NFL Draft, and I can’t wait to see who new Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery is zeroed in on with the No. 19 pick. Prior to joining the Bears this offseason, Emery was the college scouting Director for the Kansas...

NFL careers still on hold for Spann, Kube

By Eli Gehn | June 10, 2011

DeKALB | Former NIU Huskie football players Chad Spann and Alex Kube are waiting for a phone call to be signed to play in the NFL. Both players went undrafted in April's NFL Draft, making them undrafted free agents."I'm just doing a lot of working out...

The Rant: lovin’ some Mallett

By Andrew Singer | May 2, 2011

Apparently a laser-rocket arm that racked up 8,388 career passing yards at Michigan and Arkansas wasn't good enough to be chosen before the 74th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Why did Ryan Mallett last that long? Character issues, leadership questions,...

Spann snubbed by NFL Combine

By Andrew Singer | March 1, 2011

Chad Spann didn't get an invitation to the NFL combine in Indianapolis, but the now-former Huskie running back is still determined as ever to reach the next level. The departing senior is currently training for NIU's March 16 Pro Day. Scouts from an assortment...