The offense carries stability into fall at the quarterback position with Redshirt sophomore Marcus Childers returning as the starter. Childers was named the 2017 MAC Freshman of the Year after guiding the Huskies to a 5-2 record in their last seven games of the regular season.
“Offensively, it feels good to have your quarterback established,” Carey said. “He needs to improve, and I think he has.”
Childers completed 152 of 265 throws (57.4 percent) for 1,674 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also provided versatility with his feet, finishing as NIU’s second-best rusher with 609 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns on 143 carries.
In the backfield, the Huskies carry a one-two punch in running backs Marcus Jones and Tre Harbison. Jordan Nettles could earn consideration, too, according to Carey.
“We have the best running backs room in the conference,” Carey said. “That’s a challenge to them.”
NIU’s receiver corps is one of the youngest position groups on the team. Returning wideouts include seniors Jawuan Wesley and DJ Brown and junior Spencer Tears, who led all receivers last year with 43 catches for 528 yards with four touchdowns. Redshirt freshmen Dennis Robinson and Cole Tucker, a DeKalb grad, impressed during spring practice and could make an impact this fall.