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Twelve football players earn preseason honors

May 18, 2012
Sean Progar

Sean Progar

The Northern Illinois University football team boasts 12 selections to Phil Steele’s 2012 Preseason All-Mid-American Conference Team, including two first team honorees.

Left guard Logan Pegram and defensive end Sean Progar headline the dozen Huskies named to the preseason team as both garnered first team honors.

Progar, a 2011 All-MAC selection, tied for the team lead in sacks with 5.5, while leading the defensive line with 52 tackles. Pegram is the only returning member of the NIU offensive line that ranked 10th in the nation in fewest sacks allowed and helped the Huskie offense average 476 yards of total offense a game in 2011.

Wide receiver Martel Moore, who led NIU in receiving with 47 catches for 747 yards in 13 games, and the Huskies leading returning tackler, safety Jimmie Ward, picked up second team preseason honors. Ward had 100 stops and one interception in 2011.

Tommylee Lewis, who returned the first two kickoffs against Toledo, and Mathew Sims, who kicked the game-winning field goal in the 2011 MAC Championship game, also earned second team mention as kick returner and kicker, respectively.

NIU had three players on Steele’s preseason third team in defensive tackle Nabal Jefferson, wide receiver Perez Ashford and running back Jamal Womble. Jefferson tallied 46 tackles and returned his first career interception 25 yards for a touchdown last season. Ashford tied for the team lead in receptions with 47 for 530 yards, while Womble gained 124 yards on 37 carries in his first season with the Huskies.

A trio of Huskie defenders, including two that didn’t play in 2011, garnered a spot on the preseason fourth team. Defensive end Alan Baxter recorded 48 tackles and a team-high 5.5 sacks in 2011, while linebackers Tyrone Clark and Devon Butler sat out the 2011 campaign.

For more information on NIU football and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.