DeKALB – Northern Illinois coach Rod Carey said in today’s college football world, it’s necessary to have a committee approach at running back.
The Huskies have a shot to have a pretty good one in 2014. Senior Cameron Stingily, who ran for 1,119 yards in 2013, returns, as does fellow senior Akeem Daniels. Daniels took over as NIU’s starter at the end of the 2012 season, but ended up taking a redshirt season last year because of a foot injury.
The duo could be a potent 1-2 punch in NIU’s ground attack, and the Huskies could also get contributions from backs like junior Keith Harris Jr., sophomores Joel Bouagnon and Draco Smith, and redshirt freshman Jordan Huff.
“I just think the game has gotten so big and so physical, I don’t think you can do that anymore,” Carey said of a one-back approach during Friday’s annual media day. “So it’s going to have to be a committee. I don’t think we’ve ever gone through a year where we haven’t played four, maybe five running backs. That’ll probably be the case again this year.”
Loos ready to go: Senior offensive tackle Tyler Loos, who has missed significant time because of injury the past three seasons, is ready for the start of fall camp. Loos suffered a broken leg at UMass on Nov. 2, 2013.
Loos also missed time because of injuries as a freshman and sophomore.
“Obviously, a kid comes off of a 2013 compound fracture, 2012 compound fracture, 2011 ACL, we’re going to be a little careful with him,” Carey said. “But he’s been cleared, so we’re looking forward to kind of getting him in that mix right away.”
It’s under the lights for NIU soccer: This season will be the first full year the Northern Illinois Soccer and Track & Field Complex has had lights.
The NIU men’s soccer team will play seven matches under the lights this season, while the women’s program will host six matches, beginning with Nebraska-Omaha on Sept. 5.
“It’s just such a great environment for our players,” NIU men’s coach Eric Luzzi said. “You switch those lights on, and something happens.”
The men had a rough season last year, finishing 4-13-1, and are looking for a big bounce back year in 2014.
“From our perspective, very, very excited. I’ll be very honest, last year was not good enough. It was not good. We were under .500,” Luzzi said. “I don’t expect to be under .500 again, ever. We had spent a lot of time in the spring season with our guys, really fine-tuning their winning mentality.”
The NIU women are looking to take the next step in head coach John Ross’ third season. NIU went 6-11-3 last year.
“This is the year we’re going to make our move,” Ross said. “You’ll see the difference in the talent, the way we play. Hopefully at the end of the year we’ll be looking back and seeing all the success that we have.”