Northern Illinois University senior fullback Rob Sterling has been named to the Capital One Academic All-District 5 first team and is now a candidate for Academic All-America honors, as the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) released the teams selected by its members Thursday.
Sterling, who carries a 3.63 GPA in accountancy at NIU, was named to the Academic All-District team for the second time in his career as he was also named to the squad as a sophomore in 2012. He is one of 11 Mid-American Conference players named to an Academic All-District team this year.
A three-year starter at fullback for NIU, Sterling, who began his career as a walk-on before earning a scholarship in his sophomore season, has played in 47 games during his career. One of the Huskies’ team captains throughout the 2014 season, Sterling has six passes for 35 yards in his career with two catches for 10 yards this season.
Serving primarily as a lead blocker in the Huskies’ scheme, he helped NIU set nine school records in 2013 as the Huskie offense set the single season MAC records for rushing yards and rushing first downs while two players surpassed the 1,000-yard mark in rushing yards for the first time in school history.
This season, Sterling has helped the Huskie offense rank 12th in the country in rushing with an average of 265.7 yards per game. NIU backs have six 100 yard rushing games and the Huskies have totaled more than 600 yards of total offense three times this year.
Sterling, a native of Lansing, Ill., who attended T.F. South High School is just as successful off the field.
An Academic All-MAC honoree in 2013, he completed an internship in the Corporate Social Responsibility department of PriceWaterhouseCooper‘s accounting firm this summer, where he helped coordinate and launch Project Belize, a school supply drive which resulted in more than 900 items sent to youth in Belize.
During his time in DeKalb, Sterling has given of his time volunteering at the DeKalb Nursing Home, the DeKalb Salvation Army and local elementary schools. He is a member of several organizations on campus including the National Association of Black Accountants, NIU Leadership Council and the John Henrik Honor Society.
Sterling and his 18 senior teammates will be honored prior to the NIU-Toledo football game Tuesday, Nov. 11, at Huskie Stadium as part of Senior Day activities. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.