Northern Illinois University safety Jimmie Ward (Mobile, Ala./Davidson H.S.) was named the Mid-American Conference West Division Special Teams Player of the Week Monday after blocking his second punt of the season in NIU’s 45-14 victory over Buffalo.
The first Huskie true freshman to win two MAC player of the week honors in the same season since Chris Nendick accomplished the feat in 2004, Ward burst through the line to get his hands on a Jacob Schum punt on the Buffalo nine-yard line and the Huskies took possession on the Buffalo 20-yard line.
Ward also forced a fumble late in the game and contributed two tackles one on special teams.
The second Huskie to earn MAC player of the week honors twice this season, Ward garnered MAC West specialist of the week after the Minnesota game when he blocked his first punt of the year.
A Northern Illinois player has now won MAC player of the week honors for five straight weeks.
Quarterback Chandler Harnish earned the honor after his performances against Temple and Akron, while tailback Chad Spann was named the MAC West offensive and player of the week following the Minnesota game. Punter Josh Wilber got the streak going when he earned special teams player of the week recognition after his performance at Illinois.
Northern Illinois football concludes its three-game homestand this Saturday when the Huskies welcome Central Michigan to Huskie Stadium.
For more information on NIU football and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.