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Coffman’s return earns national attention

August 23, 2010
"Jake Coffman"

Jake Coffman

Jake Coffman’s decision to return to the NIU Huskies defensive line is winning regional and even national attention for the 26-year-old senior, a former Marine who served two tours of duty in the Middle East.

Check out this weekend’s coverage from USA Today and the Chicago Tribune.

Coffman, who returned to college football as a 22-year old freshman in 2006 and developed into NIU’s top defender in 2009, told Coach Jerry Kill in January that he planned to forego his senior season.

After only a few months away from the game however, he realized his desire to play was still as strong as ever.

“I thought I was ready to be done with it, but I realized that after 18 years of playing a sport that I love, I wasn’t ready to quit yet,” Coffman said.

“Right after the season, I thought I did everything that I wanted to do with (football), and then (a couple months later) I talked to my father and grandfather, and they pointed out that I finish everything that I start; and why not football? That was the first time they had weighed in on it, and that hit me,” he added.

“I spent a whole week thinking about it. I talked to Coach Kill and he was receptive (to me coming back). As soon as I got the green light from him that it was an option to come back, I wanted to. I talked to the players and coaches, and they were receptive to it and here I am.”