Ward becomes the sixth Huskie in program history to be selected to the prestigious all-star game, joining running backs LeShon Johnson (1994), Michael Turner (2004) and Garrett Wolfe (2006), along with offensive tackle Ryan Diem (2001) and defensive end Larry English (2009). To date, every Huskie player who has played in the game has gone on to be selected in the NFL Draft.
“Jimmie’s done a great job not only on the field but off the field and in leading our team,” said NIU head coach Rod Carey.
“He’s a quality young man who has grown a lot since coming here. He cares about this program and this university and that shows through his play. I couldn’t be happier for him, he’s most deserving of this opportunity and I know his future is bright,” Carey added.
“I’m really excited for him to be able to go play in an all-star game in front of his hometown crowd in Mobile. I know he’ll be excited and we’re excited for him.”
This season, Ward has been a force in the Huskies’ defensive backfield. The senior has compiled a team-high 77 tackles, 50 solo, and six interceptions to lead the Mid-American Conference and rank fifth in the country. Additionally, he has recorded 14 passes defended, 2.5 tackles for loss, one sack and one fumble recovery. The Mobile, Ala., native was named a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award and a Midseason All-American by SI.com.
The Huskies will look to capture their third consecutive MAC title Friday when they face East Division winner Bowling Green in the 2013 Marathon MAC Championship Game at 7 p.m. CST on ESPN2 in Detroit’s Ford Field.