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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Northern Illinois
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  Quarterback Justin Lynch announced via Twitter Monday afternoon that he is headed to DeKalb, leaving Temple for Northern Illinois via the transfer portal. Lynch, the younger brother of former NIU standout Jordan Lynch, was recruited to Temple by head coach Rod Carey, who left NIU in 2019 after six seasons in DeKalb. He was fired by Temple late last month. Lynch played in 11 games for the Owls and was the team's second leading rusher, going for 295 yards and a touchdown, averaging 3.9 per carry. He was the second-leading passer, throwing for 830 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions. - DeKalb Daily Chronicle

(DS#999 QB) Fr/2025 QB Justin LynchNorthern Illinois
News Source: DeKalb Daily Chronicle
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  2021 ALL-MAC THIRD TEAM (COACHES): Defensive Back - Jordan Gandy, Northern Illinois,...Gandy earned All-MAC honors for the second straight season and has made 45 tackles, 3.5 for loss. He leads NIU with 10 pass break-ups and has a pair of fumble recoveries. - Northern Illinois Football

(DS#23 CB) rSo/2024 CB Jordan GandyNorthern Illinois
News Source: Northern Illinois Football
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  2021 ALL-MAC THIRD TEAM (COACHES): Linebacker - Lance Deveaux, Northern Illinois,...Deveaux, a sixth-year senior who missed most of the last two seasons due to injury, returned to his 2018 form in 2021 with 64 tackles, 42 solo, to rank second on the team. He leads NIU in tackles for loss with six while mentoring a group of young linebackers. - Northern Illinois Football

(DS#131 OLB) rSr/2022 OLB Lance Deveaux Jr.Northern Illinois
News Source: Northern Illinois Football
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  2021 ALL-MAC THIRD TEAM (COACHES): Down Lineman - James Ester, Northern Illinois,...A second-year freshman, Ester has made 23 tackles with three tackles for loss and a pair of sacks from his defensive tackle position. - Northern Illinois Football

(DS#35 DT) rFr/2025 DT James EsterNorthern Illinois
News Source: Northern Illinois Football
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  2021 ALL-MAC THIRD TEAM (COACHES): Running Back - Clint Ratkovich, Northern Illinois,...Listed as a fullback, Ratkovich showed his versatility - and speed - with a 96-yard touchdown run versus Western Michigan, the second-longest touchdown run in school history. He leads NIU with 13 touchdowns, 11 rushing and two passing. "I'm so happy for Clint because his value to our offense can't be measured in statistics," Hammock said. "I'm glad Clint was able to get recognized for his contributions to our team because it's not going to show up in the stat sheet." - Northern Illinois Football

(DS#4 FB) rSr/2022 FB Clint RatkovichNorthern Illinois
News Source: Northern Illinois Football
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  2021 ALL-MAC THIRD TEAM (COACHES): Offensive Lineman - Logan Zschernitz, Northern Illinois,...Potter, Patton and Zschernitz have powered a Huskie offense that ranks fifth in the nation in rushing offense with 231.5 yards per game as four different NIU rushers have totaled 10 100-yard rushing games. The Huskies also rank fifth in the country in fewest sacks allowed in 2021. "We've been able to flip the script on offense because of our offensive line play this year," Hammock said. "Our offensive line has been able to stay healthy, they've been able to stay consistent and they've enabled us to run the football while protecting the passer. We went from being a team that was sacked quite a bit the last two years to one of the least sacked teams in the country. All three of those guys are very deserving and a couple other could have been deserving as well." - Northern Illinois Football

(DS#33 OG) rFr/2025 OG Logan ZschernitzNorthern Illinois
News Source: Northern Illinois Football
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  2021 ALL-MAC SECOND TEAM (COACHES): Wide Receiver & KR - Trayvon Rudolph, Northern Illinois,...Rudolph earned All-MAC honors for the second straight season and was selected as both a wide receiver and a kickoff return specialist in 2021. He leads NIU with 827 receiving yards on 46 catches with seven receiving touchdowns and has averaged 25.1 yards on 14 kickoff returns with a 100-yard kickoff return score. Rudolph is averaging 107.5 all-purpose yards per game. - Northern Illinois Football

(DS#36 WR) rFr/2025 WR Trayvon RudolphNorthern Illinois
News Source: Northern Illinois Football
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  2021 ALL-MAC SECOND TEAM (COACHES): Offensive Lineman - Brayden Patton, Northern Illinois,...Potter, Patton and Zschernitz have powered a Huskie offense that ranks fifth in the nation in rushing offense with 231.5 yards per game as four different NIU rushers have totaled 10 100-yard rushing games. The Huskies also rank fifth in the country in fewest sacks allowed in 2021. "We've been able to flip the script on offense because of our offensive line play this year," Hammock said. "Our offensive line has been able to stay healthy, they've been able to stay consistent and they've enabled us to run the football while protecting the passer. We went from being a team that was sacked quite a bit the last two years to one of the least sacked teams in the country. All three of those guys are very deserving and a couple other could have been deserving as well." - Northern Illinois Football

(DS#48 C) rSr/2022 C Brayden PattonNorthern Illinois
News Source: Northern Illinois Football
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  2021 ALL-MAC SECOND TEAM (COACHES): Offensive Lineman - Nolan Potter, Northern Illinois,...Potter, Patton and Zschernitz have powered a Huskie offense that ranks fifth in the nation in rushing offense with 231.5 yards per game as four different NIU rushers have totaled 10 100-yard rushing games. The Huskies also rank fifth in the country in fewest sacks allowed in 2021. "We've been able to flip the script on offense because of our offensive line play this year," Hammock said. "Our offensive line has been able to stay healthy, they've been able to stay consistent and they've enabled us to run the football while protecting the passer. We went from being a team that was sacked quite a bit the last two years to one of the least sacked teams in the country. All three of those guys are very deserving and a couple other could have been deserving as well." - Northern Illinois Football

(DS#17 OT) rSo/2024 OT Nolan PotterNorthern Illinois
News Source: Northern Illinois Football
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  12/15/21 - C.J. BrownrFr/2025, Northern Illinois, 5-11, 192 (DS#5 SS) + More +

  2021 ALL-MAC FIRST TEAM (COACHES): Defensive Back - C.J. Brown, Northern Illinois,...A second-year freshman safety, Brown leads NIU with 94 tackles, 52 solo. He has made at least seven tackles in nine of the 11 games he has started and has 26 tackles in the last two games to rank 10th in the league in tackles per game. - Northern Illinois Football

(DS#5 SS) rFr/2025 SS C.J. BrownNorthern Illinois
News Source: Northern Illinois Football
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  Quarterback Rocky Lombardi ran for three touchdowns and Jay Ducker ran for 146 yards on 29 carries to power Northern Illinois to a 41-23 victory over Kent State in the Mid-American Conference title game on Saturday. It is the Huskies' (9-4) sixth MAC title in the last 11 years and first since 2018 when it beat Buffalo. Kent State (7-6) was shooting for its first conference championship since winning it in 1972. Momentum appeared to be shifting to the Golden Flashes at the start of the second half. Andrew Glass kicked a 41-yard field goal on the opening drive for their first points of the game and the Kent State defense forced Northern Illinois to punt for the first time.

But on the next drive Dustin Crum, the MAC's most valuable player this season, was intercepted by C.J. Brown who returned it 26 yards for a touchdown as the Huskies went ahead 24-3. The Golden Flashes cut the deficit to 24-10 with 27 seconds left in the third quarter when Crum hit Nykeim Johnson on a 17-yard scoring strike. The Huskies ended Kent State's comeback hopes when Lombardi scored on a 3-yard keeper with 10:54 left making it 31-10. He added a 2-yard TD run nearly four minutes later. Kent State's Collin Schlee ran four yards for a touchdown and also threw a 7-yard TD pass to Luke Floriea as time expired to close out the scoring. Northern Illinois held Crum to 27 yards passing in the first half while building a 17-0 lead. - Northern Illinois/AP College Football


(DS#50 QB) rSr/2023 QB Rocky LombardiNorthern Illinois
News Source: Northern Illinois/AP College Football
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  Clint Ratkovich ran for two touchdowns and his 25-yard jaunt in overtime carried Northern Illinois past Buffalo 33-27 in overtime Wednesday night. Ratkovich's score was the only offensive play the Huskies (8-3, 6-1 Mid-American Conference) needed in the overtime. Buffalo (4-7, 2-5) took the ball to the Northern Illinois 1-yard line in eight plays, but Matt Myers fumbled at the goal line and Demond Taylor Jr. recovered for the Huskies.

The Huskies' needed the extra session after John Richardson missed a 37-yard field goal as time expired. Buffalo tied it at 27 when Alex McNulty made a 55-yard field goal with 1:10 remaining. Rocky Lombardi threw for 197 yards for Northern Illinois, Trayvon Rudolph ran for 94 yards on three carries and scored once and Ratkovich ran for 75 yards. Rudolph's 75-yard scoring run with 5:17 before halftime pulled the Huskies into a tie at 10. Myers threw for 162 yards and a touchdown for the Bulls and Dylan McDuffie had 125 yards on 29 carries and a touchdown for Buffalo. - Northern Illinois/AP College Football


(DS#4 FB) rSr/2022 FB Clint RatkovichNorthern Illinois
News Source: Northern Illinois/AP College Football
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  NOV 15 MAC WEST DIVISION CO-SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: John Richardson, Northern Illinois, Kicker, Sophomore, Orland Park, Ill. (Brother Rice),...Richardson made his second game-winning field goal of the season with a 32-yard kick on the final play of the game to beat Ball State 30-29. Richardson was 3-for-3 on field goals in the game with a pair of 38-yard efforts. He totaled 12 points in the game. Richardson also handled seven kickoffs, averaging 53.1 yards per kickoff with a pair of touchbacks. - MAC Football

(DS#14 K) rSo/2024 K John RichardsonNorthern Illinois
News Source: MAC Football
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  John Richardson kicked a 32-yard field goal as time expired and Northern Illinois defeated Ball State 30-29 on Wednesday night in a game that saw three lead changes in the final 2-plus minutes. Northern Illinois drove 69 yards in 14 plays to take a 27-26 lead with 2:42 to go in the fourth. The score came on a 10-yard run by Jay Ducker and culminated a drive in which the Huskies converted three third downs. The Cardinals quickly drove to the Northern Illinois side of the field but their drive stalled at the 31 and Jacob Lewis kicked a 48-yard field goal for a 29-27 lead with 1:42 to go. Not to be outdone, the Huskies raced back and reached the 10-yard line before backing up and setting up Richardson's winning kick, his third field goal of the game. The win keeps Northern Illinois (7-3, 5-1 Mid-American) in first place in the West Division with two games remaining in the regular season. Ducker gained 155 yards rushing on 24 carries and Rocky Lombardi was 23-of-38 passing for 264 yards for the Huskies. Carson Steele had 109 yards rushing on 21 carries and Drew Plitt completed 11 of 26 passes for 126 yards for Ball State (5-5, 3-3). - Northern Illinois/AP College Football

(DS#14 K) rSo/2024 K John RichardsonNorthern Illinois
News Source: Northern Illinois/AP College Football
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  NOV 8 MAC WEST DIVISION CO-OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Trayvon Rudolph, NIU, Wide Receiver, Freshman (2nd Year), Crete, Illinois (Crete-Monee HS),...NIU second-year freshman Trayvon Rudolph recorded just the 25th 300-yard receiving day in NCAA FBS history at Kent State with 309 receiving yards on 14 catches, breaking the Mid-American Conference and NIU records for receiving yards in a game. Rudolph's 309 yards rank as the 18th highest total recorded in a FBS game and are the most by any FBS player in 2021 while his 328 all-purpose yards (including 19 kickoff return yards) rank second. He caught touchdown passes of 36, 75 and 34 yards. Trayvon Rudolph's 14 catches at Kent State tied him for second on the NIU single game list and are the most catches by a Huskie since 2016. He is the first NIU player to record three receiving TDs in a game since 2011. He scored on a 75-yard pass play for the second consecutive week. - MAC Football

(DS#36 WR) rFr/2025 WR Trayvon RudolphNorthern Illinois
News Source: MAC Football
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