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Spring football notes: Backup QB spot an open competition

DeKALB – Jordan Lynch is Northern Illinois’ starting quarterback.

Who will be his backup is something to keep an eye on in fall camp. That was Matt McIntosh’s role last year, and he saw limited action, completing 7 of 13 passes for 57 yards and a touchdown and running for 92 yards and two scores.

McIntosh is listed behind Lynch on NIU’s spring depth chart, but will be competing for the spot with redshirt-freshmen Matt Williams and Drew Hare.

Williams traveled with the team and was the emergency quarterback last season, while Hare worked with the scout team and traveled late in the year.

Hare was efficient in Saturday’s spring game, basically a controlled scrimmage. He finished 14 of 17 for 150 yards and two touchdowns, and also had a six-yard rushing touchdown.

McIntosh was 4-of-9 passing for 22 yards and had an impressive 50-yard touchdown run. Athleticism isn’t a problem for him.

Williams went 6 of 10 for 88 yards and two touchdowns.

“Right now, I don’t know who I’d give the edge to,” NIU coach Rod Carey said after the scrimmage. “The ball seemed to move [Saturday] with Drew Hare a lot more than anybody else. That’s my gut coming off the field. I’m not ready to anoint anybody anything right now.”

Lynch said all three quarterbacks have no problem putting in extra work.

“It’s a tight race right now, I’m not sure who’s going to be No. 2. But I think all three of them are doing a great job,” he said. “I know they’re always asking me for help and always in the film [room] an extra half hour early before we even start meetings, just trying to get the edge on it. They’re doing a tremendous job so far.”

Receivers stepping up: Wide receiver will be one of the Huskies’ main question marks heading into the season opener at Iowa.

Tommylee Lewis is the most experienced receiver coming back, and has had a solid spring.

Sophomore Angelo Sebastiano and junior Da’Ron Brown had good days Saturday. Brown is listed as a starter on the depth chart, and Sebastiano could easily end up in the Huskies’ starting lineup as well.

Sebastiano had seven catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday’s scrimmage, and also had a circus-like catch down the sideline, while Brown caught four balls for 58 yards.

“We’re making good strides there, with the receivers, we really are. We lose a lot in Martel [Moore] and Perez [Ashford], but our guys are stepping up right now, Juwan Brescacin, A.J. Sebastiano,” Carey said. “Da’Ron Brown and Tommylee played a lot of ball around here. They’ve had a real, pretty special spring. And then other guys in there too, like Jacob Brinlee having good springs. So I’m real pleased with that group today.”

Huskie Bowl next week: Saturday’s spring game wasn’t a game at all. The Huskies worked in different situations, but in the end it was a scrimmage.

Next week’s Huskie Bowl will have some bragging rights on the line. NIU drafted the Huskie Bowl rosters Wednesday. Linebackers coach Kevin Kane will coach the Cardinal team, while offensive line coach Joe Tripodi has the Black squad.

Each team will have 10 possessions from its own 25-yard line, and two possessions from the opposing team’s 25. If the game is tied after that, it will head to overtime. There will be field goals and extra points but no other special teams plays.

“The team got to draft itself. So you know there’s going to be some spirit and excitement to that,” Carey said. “So that draft was fun, they were hooting and hollering, getting after it a little bit. I think there’s going to be a lot of spirit to that thing.”

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