The preseason acclaim continues to pile up for Northern Illinois senior quarterback Chandler Harnish, who Monday was one of 40 NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision players named to the Walter Camp Football Foundation 2011 Player of the Year Watch List.
Harnish, who earned spots on the Maxwell Award and Davey O’Brien Quarterback Award watch lists earlier this month, is one of just two Mid-American Conference players recognized by the Walter Camp Football Foundation on its 2011 Player of the Year preseason list.
The Walter Camp Player of the Year Trophy is the fourth-oldest individual college football accolade and is not specific to a certain position.
Harnish’s recognition entering 2011 comes after the Bluffton, Ind. native set Northern Illinois school records for total offense in a career (7,332 yards), and in a season (3,366 yards) while leading the Huskies to the most wins in school history (11) and the team single season marks for scoring (38.0 points per game), touchdowns (69) and yards per game (450.0).
A year ago, he 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.
A three-year starter, Harnish will lead a Northern Illinois offense that returns nine of 11 starters in 2011. The first Huskie quarterback ever to earn first-team All Mid-American Conference honors from league coaches, Harnish was also named the MAC Player of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Columbus following the 2010 campaign. He was named the MVP of Northern Illinois’ 40-17 win over Fresno State in the uDrove Humanitarian Bowl after passing for 300 yards and a score and rushing for 72 yards on 10 carries and two touchdowns, and enters his senior season with 40 career touchdown passes and 13 rushing scores.
He 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.
Since July 5, four Northern Illinois players have been named eight times to watch lists released by members of the National College Football Awards Association.
In addition to Harnish’s spots on the Maxwell, O’Brien and Walter Camp 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.
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