Northern Illinois College Football Preview 2021: Top Players
Best Northern Illinois Offensive Player
WR Tyrice Richie, Sr.
The former JUCO transfer stepped in and turned into one of the team’s better receivers in 2019, and last year he became the main man for the struggling offense with 53 catches for 597 yards and four scores. Quick, he can be used a runner, but he’s at his best as a go-to-target – he had a two game stretch with 23 grabs and had four 100-yard performance in the first five games.
2. C Brayden Patton, Sr.
3. QB Rocky Lombardi, Jr.
4. RB Harrison Waylee, Soph.
5. WR/KR Trayvon Rudolph, Soph.
Best Northern Illinois Defensive Player
CB Jordan Gandy, Soph.
He’s not all that big, but the 5-10, 180-pounder can ball out, coming up with a team-leading 41 tackles with one pick and seven broken up passes in his All-MAC first year. It’s not a good thing that a corner is making all the stops, but he can do it.
2. LB Kyle Pugh, Sr.
3. S Devin Lafayette, Soph.
4. S Jordan Hansen, Soph.
5. DE Rashein Thomas, Soph.
Top Incoming Northern Illinois Transfer
QB Rocky Lombardi, Jr.
It’s not a given that he’s the starting quarterback, but the Michigan State transfer brings Big Ten experience and a slew of interesting skills to the mix. He threw for 1,902 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Spartans, but he’s not accurate and gave up 14 picks.