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

Redshirt senior running back Clint Ratkovich runs down the field during NIUs game on Sept. 11 at Huskie Stadium against Wyoming.

Former ‘superback’ Ratkovich lands with Falcons

By Skyler Kisellus, Sports Editor | December 27, 2022
Eight months after tearing his ACL during a pre-draft workout, former NIU running back Clint Ratkovich has found his first NFL home: The Atlanta Falcons.
Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields walks off the field after the Miami Dolphins beat the Bears 35-32 in an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022 in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

COLUMN: Justin Fields is the best quarterback from the 2021 draft class

By Carlos Finney Jr., Sports Reporter | November 10, 2022

This is an opinion piece by Carlos Finney Jr., a sports reporter at the Northern Star, and does not reflect the Northern Star’s or the sports staff’s opinion as a whole. Justin Fields put on another highlight reel performance this past Sunday against...

New Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill holds his first news conference among family members and the media in Miami Gardens, Florida, March 24. (Carl Juste/Miami Herald via AP)

High-profile NFL trades have changed landscape of league

By Waleed Alamleh, Sports Reporter | March 29, 2022

The 2022 NFL offseason has brought some of the most shocking moves in the history of the league that will leave it looking completely different from last year.  Davante Adams being traded to the Las Vegas Raiders.  Many people thought the drama between...

Top 5 Super Bowl commercials

By Jemea Green | February 3, 2020

Number 5 – Hulu: “Tom Brady’s Big Announcement”With Tom Brady getting older, there has been a lot of speculation as to whether or not he would retire. He also posted a picture on Twitter making it seem like he might be done with football, or maybe...

Sports staff predicts Super Bowl LIV

By Northern Star Sports Staff | January 29, 2020

DeKALB — The sports staff give their predictions for Super Bowl LIV ahead of kickoff Sunday at 5:30 p.m. The game can be watched on FOX.Jarrett Huff | Sports Editor: Chiefs win 28-24With the New England Patriots finally giving up the throne to the AFC,...

Huskies in the NFL: week 13 performance recap

By Kyle Mathas | December 5, 2019

DeKALB – Week 13 of the NFL season featured multiple former Huskie football players who represented NIU in big ways.Guard Max Scharping once again played every offensive snap when on Sunday night the Houston Texans defeated the New England Patriots...

Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay (19) is tackled by Kansas City Chiefs free safety Juan Thornhill (22) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)

Update: Former Huskies performing in NFL, XFL potential destination for others

By James Krause | October 10, 2019

DeKALB — Four former NIU football players remain in the NFL, including one who is part of the only remaining undefeated team in the NFC.Defensive back Jimmie Ward of the San Francisco 49ers made his season debut Monday night against the Cleveland Browns,...

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) passes against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)

Injuries headlined week two of NFL

By Matt Boecker | September 18, 2019

DeKALB — Injuries to two cornerstone players and defensive back drama defined this week in the NFL. Carolina Panthers struggles continue, losing nine of their previous 10 gamesIn the offseason, the Carolina Panthers tried converting dual-threat QB...

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield celebrates after a 4-yard touchdown pass to Dontrell Hilliard during the first half in an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)

Mayfield and Browns lack offensive spark

By Matt Boecker | September 10, 2019

DeKALB — After another long NFL offseason, fans were treated to an eventful weekend on and off the field. Here are some of the biggest stories from week one:New look Cleveland Browns play like old Cleveland BrownsAfter all the Super Bowl buzz from the...

Rob Gronkowski credits head trauma for early retirement

Rob Gronkowski credits head trauma for early retirement

By Matt Boecker | August 28, 2019

DeKALB — Former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski spoke out about his retirement and why he decided to walk away from football at only 29 in March of 2019.During his playing career, Gronkowski was one of the most dominant tight ends in football....

Thomas Hammock (middle) poses for a photo with a few key members of the NIU football team.

The ‘Hammock Era’ Begins : Chicago Media Day

By James Krause | August 1, 2019

DeKALB  —NIU’s football team held its annual Chicago Media Day on Monday, just days before the start of the first season under new head coach Thomas Hammock.Hammock and several members of the team spoke to the media at Ditka’s Steakhouse in downtown...

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR THE NFL - Coach of the Chicago Bears Matt Nagy, left, accepts the award for AP coach of the year at the 8th Annual NFL Honors at The Fox Theatre on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, in Atlanta. (Photo by Paul Abell/Invision for NFL/AP Images)

Nagy’s award brings optimism to Bears fans

By Marcel Carrasco | February 6, 2019

With a franchise quarterback who was thrown into the fire last season, an average receiving corps and a top-tier defensive coordinator, Chicago Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy was able to mold a struggling Chicago team into a championship-caliber squad.Nagy’s...