Northern Illinois was back at practice Wednesday afternoon.
The Huskies held the first of 15 spring workouts at Huskie Stadium.
The team practiced without pads and will do the same Friday because of NCAA rules. NIU will hold one more practice with just helmets, but the rest of the practices will be in pads.
The annual spring game will be held April 13 at Huskie Stadium, with the first Huskie Bowl on April 20. NIU will hold a controlled scrimmage April 6.
“It’s good to get back out there. The guys were excited about that,” NIU head coach Rod Carey said. “There isn’t much you can tell until we get the pads on.”
Other notes from Wednesday’s practice:
• These 15 practices will be the Huskies’ first with the overhauled coaching staff. Five coaches – Brett Diersen (defensive line/recruiting coordinator), Kelvin Sigler (cornerbacks), Kelton Copeland (running backs), Tim Polasek (tight ends/fullbacks) and Thad Ward (wide receivers) are new to the program.
Wednesday was Carey’s first chance to really see them coach.
“We’ve got new staff members who are proven professional coaches, and it was good to get out there and get on the field finally with them,” Carey said. “They’ve had these guys some here and there as the rules allow, this is the first time we’ve been full-on. That part was impressive, hearing them teach. Really impressive.”
• A good number of potential recruits were present, including Kaneland quarterback Drew David and Sycamore wide receiver Ben Niemann. Niemann is the son of defensive coordinator Jay Niemann, and he committed to NIU back in the fall.
• Left tackle Tyler Loos, who suffered a broken tibia in the Huskies’ win over Toledo last season, won’t participate in spring practice. Carey said he’s the only player who won’t see any action because of injury this spring.