The latest national college football award to name its 2011 Watch List is the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award and once again a Huskie player has garnered preseason recognition as Northern Illinois senior Chandler Harnish is one of 38 NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision quarterbacks named to the list.
Harnish, who landed a spot on the Maxwell Award Watch List last week, added the O’Brien recognition Friday. He is one of just two Mid-American Conference signal-callers on the O’Brien roster along with Western Michigan’s Alex Carder.
The Bluffton, Ind. native was the first-team All Mid-American Conference quarterback a year ago after leading Northern Illinois to a school-record 11 wins, an undefeated (8-0) MAC regular season mark and West Division title, and a 40-17 victory over Fresno State in the uDrove Humanitarian Bowl in Boise, Idaho. He led the most potent offense in school history as the 2010 Huskies demolished the NIU records for points, touchdowns and yards of total offense in a season.
Harnish completed 189-of-292 passes for 2,530 yards and 21 touchdowns with just five interceptions in 13 starts while rushing for 836 yards and seven scores. He ranked 11th in the country in passing efficiency as a junior. Harnish broke the Northern Illinois records for total offense in a season (3,366) and in a career (7,332) and is ranked in the top five in six other career categories entering his final year. He was named the MAC Player of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Columbus and became the first Northern Illinois quarterback to be named first team All-MAC by league coaches.
Harnish enters his fourth season as the Huskies’ starter in 2011 and will lead an NIU offense that returns nine of 11 starters on that side of the ball.
The Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award® (The O’Brien) is presented annually to the nation’s best college quarterback and is the oldest and one of the most prestigious national quarterback awards. The O’Brien honors candidates who exemplify Davey O’Brien’s enduring character while exhibiting teamwork, sportsmanship and leadership in both academics and athletics. The O’Brien is overseen by the Davey O’Brien Foundation, which is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. The Watch List was compiled by members of the award’s national selection committee based on player performance during the 2010 season and expectations entering 2011.
Since July 5, four Northern Illinois players have been named seven times to Watch Lists released by members of the National College Football Awards Association. In addition to Harnish’s spots on the Maxwell and O’Brien Watch Lists, offensive tackle Trevor Olson was named to the Outland Trophy Watch List, and center Scott Wedige is on the Rimington Trophy listing. Olson and Wedige were joined by defensive end Sean Progar on the Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List.
Tickets for the 2011 Northern Illinois football season, which opens Sept. 3 when the Huskies play host to Army, are on sale now through the NIU Athletics Ticket Office in the Convocation Center and online at www.NIUHuskies.com. Season tickets for all six Huskie football home games are available for just $99 for the general public and $88 for NIU faculty and staff, senior citizens, NIU Alumni Association and Varsity Club members. Season tickets provide a 33 percent discount compared to single game ticket prices, and season ticket holders still receive a $15 discount off the purchase of an equal number of tickets to Soldier Field Showdown II. Three-game mini-plans are also available for just $50 each with customers allowed to choose their own games.
Northern Illinois fans can also purchase tickets to Soldier Field Showdown II, the Sept. 17 game between NIU and Wisconsin at Chicago’s Soldier Field. Tickets to the game are $90, $75 and $60 and can be purchased online at www.Ticketmaster.com or www.HuskieFootball2011.com.
For more information on NIU season tickets or Soldier Field Showdown II tickets, call the NIU External Office at 815-753-1923 Monday-Friday between 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.