Created:Saturday, August 20, 2011 3:21 p.m.CDT
Updated:Saturday, August 20, 2011 3:37 p.m.CDT

NIU notes: Final fall scrimmage

• Obviously today was the final practice of fall camp. It doubled as the last full-contact scrimmage NIU will have before its Sept. 3 opener against Army. Let's get to the action.

• The format was simple. First team offense played first team defense. Second team offense played second team defense. Thrid team ... you get the idea.

• Freshman WR A.J. Sebastiano had a huge day, even without looking at the stats (won't be issued until later). He's proving to be exceptional running after the catch. Fellow freshman WR Juwan Brescacin caught a second-team touchdown pass on a nice fade pass from Jordan Lynch. Frosh WR Tommylee Lewis caught a TD from frosh QB Matt McIntosh. If Sebastiano, Brescacin and Lewis are redshirted, it's a sign the coaching staff thinks this receiving group is already dynamite. These three young guys could contribute immediately at a lot of MAC schools.

• Judging by carries, the RB depth chart order looks like Jasmin Hopkins, Akeem Daniels, Leighton Settle, Jamal Womble. Although, that is misleading because I think – behind Hopkins – the running backs will be used situationally. When Womble runs hard and gets out of the backfield, he looks like a good option for the red zone and short yardage. Daniels is a good scat back and I think he could be a good fit as a third-down guy. Settle is a slasher and could get some carries when Hopkins needs a rest. That's all opinion, but running back gets a little murky behind Hopkins.

• I've said it before. I'll say it again. With this offensive line, it really doesn't matter who is running the ball. That was evident again today.

• It was interesting to watch McIntosh progress today. He threw an early pick to freshman safety Tre Moore. It was a freshman mistake, a play where you just have to throw the ball out of bounds. The next drive, McIntosh put the football exactly where it needed to be on a long touchdown pass to Lewis. A couple possessions later, McIntosh faced a similar situation as the Moore pick, but this time he threw the ball away. All said, it shows two things. McIntosh has the arm to make big plays and the smarts to learn from his mistakes. I think he's in a good spot as a freshman leaving his first camp.

• Jordan Lynch wasn't perfect, but he was certainly good enough once again. You'll get the full stats later, but he made some good throws down field and had a long touchdown run where he simply sprinted past everybody.

• Sean Evans intercepted a Chandler Harnish pass. The guy just makes plays.

• That said, Harnish looked very good today. I think he's going to shine in games. He's as good running the football as he's ever been, and his command is in a very good place.

• H-Back Luke Eakes had a few catches in the middle of the field. I had not seen that much in camp, but he looked like a capable receiving target.

• Gregory Barksdale looked like the No. 2 middle linebacker. Cameron Stingily is playing behind him. Everybody is playing behind Pat Schiller, who once again did not participate in practice. Dave Doeren said Friday he is not worried about anybody new missing the season opener, so there is that.

• At NIU's spring game, Devon Butler didn't do much. Today, dressed in his red No. 9 jersey, he went through some linebacker drills. When Jamaal Bass dropped an interception during position time, Butler did Bass' 10 pushups. I'd say Butler is recovering remarkably well, which is great to see.

• Answering/reviewing some special teams depth chart questions: It looks like freshman Tyler Wedel will be NIU's kickoff specialist, and he has a powerful leg. Freshman Boomer Mays is in the mix at long snapper with redshirt freshman Brian Mayer. Adam Coleman is the short snapper (field goals). And punter Ryan Neir is doubling as the Mathew Sims' field goal kicker.

• Doeren was not ready to name Victor Jacques the starting strong side linebacker. I think all other starting jobs are complete.

• Approximately 75 students entered Huskie Stadium midway through the scrimmage. Doeren, Harnish and LB Jordan Delegal spoke to them afterward. Doeren's message was short and simple. "Great teams have great student sections," he said.

• There are 14 days until Army.

Will NIU football win the MAC this season?