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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Northern Illinois
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  SEPT 26 MAC WEST DIVISION SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Tom Foley, NIU, Punter, R-Sophomore, Peoria, Illinois (Peoria Notre Dame),...Punter Tom Foley had an excellent day for the Huskies in their 8-point loss at Kentucky with five punts for an average of 47.2 yards per punt with three of his five kicks forcing Kentucky to start inside its own 20 yard line. Foley had a season- long punt of 61 yards. The 61-yard punt bounced out of bounds at the two-yard line, while additional efforts were fair caught at the 11 and 10 yard line. Foley is averaging 46.3 yards per punt which would lead the MAC if he had enough punts to qualify. - MAC Football

rSo/2025 P Tom FoleyNorthern Illinois
News Source: MAC Football
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  SEPT 26 MAC WEST DIVISION DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Daveren Rayner, NIU, Linebacker, Sophomore, Indianapolis, Ind. (Lawrence Central HS),...Daveren Rayner led an impressive defensive effort for NIU Saturday against No. 8/9 Kentucky with 10 tackles, including six solo stops. Rayner's sack was one of five for the Huskies on the day as he brought down UK QB Will Levis in the fourth quarter. NIU held Kentucky to less than 100 yards rushing for the game and its five sacks were the most by a Wildcats opponent this year. Rayner leads NIU in tackles for the season with 42 and ranks second in the MAC in that category. - MAC Football

rSo/2025 OLB Daveren RaynerNorthern Illinois
News Source: MAC Football
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  SEPT 5 MAC WEST DIVISION DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Eric Rogers, NIU, Cornerback, Sophomore, Burlington, NJ (Burlington Township HS),...Cornerback Eric Rogers became the first Huskie to record two interceptions in a game since 2018 with a pair of picks in NIU's win over Eastern Illinois. His first INT came at the EIU 35-yard line and set up a Huskie TD two plays later. His second INT came on the Panthers' next drive with an interception at the NIU two-yard line to stop the Panthers. Rogers, who missed the last nine games of last season due to injury, is the first Huskie with two INTs in a game since Jalen McKie versus Akron on 11-1-18. - MAC Football

rSo/2025 CB Eric RogersNorthern Illinois
News Source: MAC Football
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  Rocky Lombardi threw for 192 yards to six different receivers and Northern Illinois used a balanced running attack to hold off Eastern Illinois 34-27 in a season opener Thursday night. Eastern Illinois scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and threatened at game's end. Northern Illinois' Josh Richardson missed a 43-yard field goal to the right with 58 seconds left, killing a chance for a 10-point lead. Eastern Illinois quarterback Jonah O'Brien then led a six-play, 39-yard drive to get the Panthers to Northern Illinois' 44-yard line before time ran out. A sophomore, O'Brien threw for 276 yards and three scores and two interceptions. The Huskies never trailed. They built a 21-6 lead at halftime and extended it to 28-6 when Lombardi threw a 13-yard score to Liam Soraghan to end an eight-play, 64-yard drive with 5:59 left in the third. O'Brien responded heading scoring drives of 85 and 74 yards, respectively. He threw a 13-yard score to Justin Thomas with 9:58 left and an 8-yarder to Jay Vallie with 2:04 remaining. - Northern Illinois/AP College Football

rSr/2023 QB Rocky LombardiNorthern Illinois
News Source: Northern Illinois/AP College Football
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  2022 PRESEASON WUERFFEL TROPHY (COMMUNITY SERVICE) WATCHLIST: Nick Rattin, Northern Illinois, Jr., LB,...Rattin has worked with Team Impact for the past two years and has been involved in various volunteer events with the team and on his own, including youth camps and trash pick-up efforts. He helped set up a Habitat for Humanity build for the entire team last month. Rattin was awarded with a Cure Bowl Community Service Soldier Medallion at last December's Cure Bowl in Orlando for his community service efforts. - Northern Illinois Football

rJr/2024 ILB Nick RattinNorthern Illinois
News Source: Northern Illinois Football
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  2022 PRESEASON ALLSTATE AFCA GOOD WORKS TEAM NOMINEE: Nick Rattin, Northern Illinois University,...Rattin has worked with Team Impact for the past two years and has been involved in various volunteer events with the team and on his own, including youth camps and trash pick-up efforts. He helped set up a Habitat for Humanity build for the entire team last month. Rattin was awarded with a Cure Bowl Community Service Soldier Medallion at last December's Cure Bowl in Orlando for his community service efforts. - Northern Illinois Football

rJr/2024 ILB Nick RattinNorthern Illinois
News Source: Northern Illinois Football
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  Northern Illinois University wide receiver and kick returner Trayvon Rudolph will miss the 2022 football season after suffering a noncontact knee injury during preseason practices this week, head coach Thomas Hammock announced Friday. No further information was available. Rudolph led the Huskies with 51 catches for 892 yards and seven touchdowns last year, including 14 catches for 309 yards and three scores against Kent State. - DeKalb Daily Chronicle

rSo/2025 WR Trayvon RudolphNorthern Illinois
News Source: DeKalb Daily Chronicle
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  The Northern Illinois University football team ranked 117th out of 130 teams in sacks last season. Defensive end Izayah Green-May, a Wisconsin transfer, is looking forward to changing that. "We're definitely going to make some jumps," said Green-May, a Bolingbrook graduate. "We're going to have a lot of sacks this year, and I'm here to contribute to that. We're looking good, we're looking physical, and we're definitely going to bring it this year." The 6-foot-6, 242-pound senior had limited action in his Wisconsin career but already had bulked up 20 pounds since arriving in DeKalb. He joins an experienced-but-still-young line loaded with sophomores.

He's hoping to spark a turnaround in getting to the quarterback, something the Huskies did 19 times in 14 games last year. Devontae O'Malley, back for his sophomore year, led the team with four sacks. "He plays vertical, adds hands at the line of scrimmage and utilizes his length at 6-6 to make the quarterback throw through trash when he gets those hands up," NIU defensive ends coach Travis Moore said. "I think he does a great job of that. He's athletic enough to flip his hip and turn a corner. Because of that, he's going to cause quarterbacks to be uncomfortable in the pocket." Moore said Green-May's Big 10 experience, maturity and leadership have been noticeable since he came from Wisconsin via the transfer portal in December. - DeKalb Daily Chronicle


rSr/2023 DE Izayah Green-MayNorthern Illinois
News Source: DeKalb Daily Chronicle
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  It wasn't just the cold that led to a bit of a culture shock when Shemar Thornton transferred to Northern Illinois University from Florida International in January. The senior wide receiver said it was a whole different environment, more team-oriented than he had experienced, and it took until a trip home in May for things to be put in perspective. "It was my first time being away from home for a while," said Thornton, who played high school football in Florida. "I had to get used to that, just being outside of my comfort zone. When I went home in May, I had a talk with my mom and she said, 'It's your last time really in college ball. So give it your all and leave nothing on the field."

Throughout summer workouts, NIU head coach Thomas Hammock said Thornton's attitude and work ethic noticeably have improved. "When he first got here, it was a bit of a culture shock as far as our standard of work and our standard of expectations," Hammock said. "He went home after semester, got his mind right, and he's come back this summer and really attacked it. It's been fun to see. Obviously he's a tremendous player, great route runner, tremendous hands. He gives us a chance to be very dynamic at the wide receiver position." NIU wide receivers coach Joseph Hawkins, who came on board with the Huskies in April, was a graduate assistant at FIU in 2019, Thornton's best year. He caught 51 passes for 668 yards. "Shemar has been doing a phenomenal job," Hawkins said. "His growth from when he first got here until now has been unbelievable. Me and Shemar have a connection...Seeing him here and watching him progress is nothing but amazing." - DeKalb Daily Chronicle


rSr/2023 WR Shemar ThorntonNorthern Illinois
News Source: DeKalb Daily Chronicle
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  2022 PRESEASON PAUL HORNUNG AWARD WATCH LIST: Trayvon Rudolph, Northern Illinois,...As a sophomore, Rudolph was an All-MAC selection as both a receiver and kick returner. He led NIU with 1,462 all-purpose yards for an average of 104.4 per game and scored touchdowns rushing, receiving and on a kickoff return. As a receiver, Rudolph led NIU with 51 catches for 892 yards and seven touchdowns, including a pair of 75-yard scores. As a returner, he averaged 25.1 yards per kick return to lead the MAC and scored on a 100-yard kickoff return against Bowling Green. He also totaled 113 rushing yards on eight carries to average 14.1 yards per rush and scored on a 75-yard run at Buffalo. He is one of six MAC players on the 52-man Hornung Award preseason watch list. - Northern Illinois Football

rSo/2025 WR Trayvon RudolphNorthern Illinois
News Source: Northern Illinois Football
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  2022 PRESEASON CHUCK BEDNARIK AWARD WATCH LIST: CJ Brown, Northern Illinois, Sophomore S,...This is the third watch list Brown has been placed on this preseason. Last week the sophomore was named to both the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award watch list for the nation's top defensive back, as well as the Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list. Brown as a first team All-Mid-American Conference selection in 2021 after leading NIU with 109 tackles. He had double-digit stops in four games, including NIU's 41-23 win in the MAC Championship over Kent State where he was the Defensive Player of the Game with 10 tackles, a sack, and a 26-yard interception return for a touchdown. - Northern Illinois Football

rSo/2025 SS CJ BrownNorthern Illinois
News Source: Northern Illinois Football
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  A transfer from Wisconsin, Izayah Green-May is looking to bolster a pass rush that averaged less than two sacks a game. A lack of pressure on the quarterback was frequently pointed to by coach Thomas Hammock as a reason the Huskies only managed three interceptions as a team last year. Enter the 6-6, 242-pound outside pass rusher. He didn't get the most time with the Badgers, redshirting in the 2017 season and then making his first start the next year. He appeared in nine games last year but had two tackles. Still, he's got the build and the speed to give the NIU line the boost it needs, along with another year of experience for young stars like James Ester, Raishein Thomas and Devonte O'Malley. - DeKalb Daily Chronicle

rSr/2023 DE Izayah Green-MayNorthern Illinois
News Source: DeKalb Daily Chronicle
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  2022 PRESEASON BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY WATCHLIST: S CJ Brown, NIU,...Brown, a Canton, Michigan (Walled Lake Western HS) product who was named to the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Watch List earlier this week, led the Huskies in tackles in 2021 with 109 stops, 61 solo, en route to earning first team All Mid-American Conference honors. He finished the season ranked 10th in the MAC in tackles per game and had double-digit tackle totals in four games. The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is presented to the nation's top defender. He was named the Defensive Player of the Game in the MAC Championship game win over Kent State after leading NIU with 10 tackles, including a sack and tackle for loss, breaking up a pass and returning his first career interception 26 yards for a touchdown to give NIU a 24-3 lead late in the third quarter. - Northern Illinois Football

rSo/2025 SS CJ BrownNorthern Illinois
News Source: Northern Illinois Football
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  2022 PRESEASON OUTLAND TROPHY WATCHLIST: OT Nolan Potter Jr., NIU,...Potter is one of 89 returning standout linemen on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball named to the Outland Trophy Watch List. A redshirt junior from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Potter enters the 2022 campaign with 20 consecutive starts at right tackle. Behind Potter and his linemates, the Huskies ranked fourth in the Football Bowl Subdivision in rushing offense a year ago with an average of 241.4 yards per game. In addition, NIU quarterbacks were sacked just 10 times in 14 games as the Huskies ranked second in the country in fewest sacks allowed. - Norther Illinois Football

rJr/2024 OT Nolan PotterNorthern Illinois
News Source: Norther Illinois Football
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  2022 PRESEASON JIM THORPE AWARD WATCHLIST: CJ Brown, Northern Illinois, So.,...As a second-year freshman in 2021, safety CJ Brown (5-11, 194) was named to Phil Steele's All-MAC first team and was an honorable mention choice by Pro Football Network. He assumed the starting role at safety after Devin Lafayette went down with a season-ending injury in the season opener at Georgia Tech. Developed into a first team All-MAC selection and led the Huskies in tackles on the year with 109. Finished the season ranked 10th in the MAC in tackles per game (7.8) and his 61 solo stops were 14 more than the next highest Huskie. Recorded four tackles for loss, intercepted one pass and broke up another. Named the Defensive Player of the Game in the MAC Championship game win over Kent State (12-4) after leading NIU with 10 tackles, including a sack and tackle for loss, breaking up a pass and returning his first career interception 26 yards for a touchdown to give NIU a 24-3 lead late in the third quarter. Earned MAC West Defensive Player of the Week honors following the Buffalo game (11-17) when he tallied 13 tackles, 10 solo, and one-and-a-half tackles for loss. - Northern Illinois Football

rSo/2025 SS CJ BrownNorthern Illinois
News Source: Northern Illinois Football
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