Northern Illinois sophomore Tommylee Lewis has been named the Mid-American Conference West Division Specialist of the Week, the league office announced Monday.
He becomes the seventh different NIU player honored with a weekly award from the MAC this year.
Lewis earned the MAC West Specialist honor after returning a kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown late in the first quarter of Saturday’s 49-7 NIU victory over Eastern Michigan in Ypsilanti.
After EMU scored to tie the game at seven, Lewis answered with a 93-yard touchdown on the ensuing return and the Huskies never looked back Lewis’ kickoff return score was his first of the year and the third of his career as he claimed sole possession of the school record for career kickoff return touchdowns. The 93-yard return tied for the eighth longest in school history.
He added two catches for 15 yards and two rushes for 10 yards to total 118 all-purpose yards in the game.
The Riviera Beach, Fla., native is averaging 25 yards per return on 21 kickoff returns this season. In his young career, he already ranks fourth on the Huskie charts with 51 returns for 1,281 yards. He was previously named MAC West Specialist of the Week last season after returning two kickoffs for touchdowns versus Toledo.
Seven Huskie players have been honored 12 times in 13 weeks with a MAC West Player of the Week Award, led by quarterback Jordan Lynch, who has been named the offensive player of the week four times.
Kicker Mathew Sims (specialist) has been honored twice (versus Central Michigan, Western Michigan) as has defensive end Sean Progar (Iowa, Western Michigan). Defensive tackle Ken Bishop picked up MAC West Defensive Player of the Week honors following the UMass game and DBs Jimmie Ward (UT Martin) and Marlon Moore (Buffalo) have also been honored by the MAC this season.
No. 19 (AP)/18 (USA Today Coaches) Northern Illinois (11-1, 8-0) puts its national ranking on the line in a nationally televised ESPN2 match-up versus No. 18/19 Kent State (11-1, 8-0) Friday night, Nov. 30, in the Marathon MAC Championship game at Detroit’s Ford Field. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. (CT).