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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 junior quarterback Ethan Hampton (2) throws the ball during the Spring Showcase. Besides the Victor E. Fan Fest, fans tailgated in the various fields and parking lots near the Stadium. (Totus Tuus Keely | Northern Star)

Huskies show progress at annual Spring Showcase

By Skyler Kisellus, Sports Reporter | April 28, 2024

The NIU football team concluded its spring practices Saturday with its annual Spring Showcase at Huskie Stadium, spending most of its two-hour afternoon workout in 11-on-11 scrimmage situations. NIU football head coach Thomas Hammock felt his team...

Former NIU football safety Jimmie Ward prepares for a snap in an NIU football game against Arkansas State University at the GoDaddy Bowl on Jan. 8, 2012. Ward is set to be inducted into the NIU Athletics Hall of Fame class of 2024. (Courtesy of NIU Athletics)

Ward added to 2024 NIU Athletics Hall of Fame class

By Zack Rodriguez, Sports Reporter | April 25, 2024

Former NIU star safety Jimmie Ward will be inducted into the NIU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2024, NIU announced Tuesday.  Ward joins the 2024 class along with former quarterback Jordan Lynch, gymnast Holly Reichard, volleyball star Kate McCullagh and...

NIU football players run onto the field of Huskie Stadium before their game against Eastern Michigan University on Oct. 21, 2023. Head coach Thomas Hammock previewed the 2024 regular season at the Pre-Spring Press Conference. (Tim Dodge | Northern Star)

Hammock previews NIU spring football, position competitions

By Zack Rodriguez, Sports Reporter | March 31, 2024

NIU football head coach Thomas Hammock spoke to the media at the NIU Football 2024 Pre-Spring Press Conference. In case you missed it, here are the biggest takeaways from Hammock's 22 minutes at the podium.  EMPHASIS ON SPECIAL TEAMS  Hammock...

NIU then-redshirt junior quarterback Jordan Lynch prepares to throw a pass during a game against the University at Buffalo on Oct. 13, 2012, at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb. Lynch was announced Friday as a member of the 2024 classes of the NIU Athletics Hall of Fame and MAC Hall of Fame. (Scott Walstrom | NIU Athletics)

Former Huskie star Jordan Lynch to join NIU, MAC Halls of Fame

By Skyler Kisellus, Sports Reporter | March 17, 2024

DeKALB – One decade after finishing his storied playing career, former NIU quarterback Jordan Lynch will be inducted into the NIU Athletics Hall of Fame and the MAC Hall of Fame this year, the institutions announced Friday. Once an All-American and...

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....

Then-senior linebacker Tyler Jackson (0) lines up behind then-redshirt sophomore George Gumbs Jr. and then-junior defensive tackle Cade Haberman in an NIU football home game against Ohio University on Oct. 14, 2023. NIU footballs 2024 schedule was released Tuesday. (Tim Dodge | Northern Star)

NIU finalizes 2024 football schedule

By Skyler Kisellus, Sports Reporter | March 6, 2024

DeKALB – The NIU football team is set to face a pair of Power Five opponents in the University of Notre Dame and North Carolina State University in its 2024 schedule announced by NIU and the Mid-American Conference Tuesday. NIU will play six games...

Then-redshirt sophomore quarterback Ethan Hampton looks for an open pass during an NIU football game against the University of Tulsa on Sep. 23, 2023. After 3 years of playing behind Rocky Lombardi, Hampton is the favorite to become the starting quarterback for NIU football in 2024. (Northern Star File Photo)

COLUMN: 3 position battles to watch in spring ball

By Skyler Kisellus, Sports Reporter | February 2, 2024

DeKALB – Spring practice for NIU football is still over a month away, but several positions remain unaddressed after an offseason of player movements. Here are three position battles to watch play out during the 15 practices on NIU’s spring schedule. WIDE...

An illustrated Bill Baker hangs up his headphones during his final radio call at Huskie Stadium. Baker has retired after 44 years of play-by-play radio broadcasting for NIU football and basketball. (Christa Kim | Northern Star)

COLUMN: Thank you, Bill Baker

By Skyler Kisellus, Sports Reporter | January 15, 2024

For over 43 years, listeners who tuned in to the Huskie Radio Network heard the unmistakable voice of play-by-play announcer Bill Baker.  One of NIU’s most revered radio personalities, Baker served as the play-by-play voice of NIU football and basketball...

Sophomore defensive end Roy Williams holds a cooler high after dumping Gatorade on NIU football head coach Thomas Hammock. The Huskies defeated Arkansas State University 21-19 in the Camellia Bowl on Saturday. (Todd Thompson | Courtesy of NIU Athletics)

Football finishes 2023 season as Camellia Bowl champions

By Zachary Bertram, Senior Sports Reporter | December 24, 2023

An explosive first half from NIU football (7-6, 5-3 MAC) helped the Huskies gut out a 21-19 victory over the Arkansas State University Red Wolves (6-7, 4-4 Sun Belt Conference) in the 2023 Camellia Bowl. A high-powered offensive attack in the first...

NIU football head coach Thomas Hammock leads his players onto the Huskie Stadium field on Sept. 23 against the University of Tulsa. The Huskies will face Arkansas State University on Saturday in the Camellia Bowl. (Scott Walstrom | NIU Athletics)

Football set for bowl battle with Arkansas State

By Zachary Bertram, Senior Sports Reporter | December 22, 2023

DeKALB – After taking down Kent State University 37-27 in its final regular season game of 2023, NIU football (6-6, 5-3 MAC) is headed to Montgomery, Alabama to take on Arkansas State University (6-6, 4-4 Sun Belt Conference) in the Camellia Bowl Dec....

Redshirt junior running back Gavin Williams (21) runs with the ball looking to get past Western Michigans defense. The Huskies will participate in the Camellia Bowl after an up-and-down season. (Tim Dodge | Northern Star)

Looking back on football’s rocky season

By Zachary Bertram, Senior Sports Reporter | December 8, 2023

DeKALB – After rattling off five wins in its final seven games, NIU football (6-6, 5-3 MAC) is bowl-bound for the second time in the last three years. The Huskies will face Arkansas State in the Camellia Bowl on Dec. 23 in search of their first bowl...

Then-NIU quarterback Jordan Lynch looks to make a pass downfield during the Orange Bowl on Jan. 1, 2013. The Huskies have yet to win a bowl game in their last three tries. (Scott Walstrom | NIU Athletics)

Reviewing NIU football’s 3 most recent Bowl games

By Zack Rodriguez, Sports Reporter | December 6, 2023

With the postseason destiny and the collegiate careers of 11 seniors hanging in the balance, NIU football (6-6, 5-3 MAC) triumphed in a 37-27 high-stakes clash over the Kent State University Golden Flashes on Nov. 25 to become bowl-eligible.  The...