NIU football players sweep MAC West weekly honors

Local Sports

DEKALB, Ill. – The Northern Illinois University football team took home all three of the Mid-American Conference’s West Division Player of the Week honors following the Huskies’ thrilling 22-21 victory at Georgia Tech the league announced Monday. 
 
Seniors Lance Deveaux Jr. and Matt Ference claimed Defensive and Special Teams Player of the Week honors, respectively, while freshman Harrison Waylee garnered Offensive Player of the Week accolades. 
 
Ference earned the fifth such league award of his career, and first since 2019, after punting seven times for a 41.0-yard average in NIU’s upset win over Georgia Tech, with two punts downed inside the 10, including at the three- and seven- yard lines. Ference effectively flipped the field on multiple occasions to help the NIU defensive effort.  
 
Deveaux Jr., who garnered the first weekly league honor of his career, made a career high 12 tackles with eight solo stops to lead a stellar defensive effort by NIU in its win over the Yellowjackets. They are the most tackles for the Huskie linebacker since 2018 when he amassed 10 at Florida State. 
 
Waylee also earned his first career conference player of the week honor after powering the Huskie running game in Atlanta with a career best 144 yards on 27 carries. He opened the scoring with a career-long 35-yard run for a touchdown to give NIU a 7-0 lead with 1:56 to play in the first quarter. Waylee ran for 63 of the Huskies’ 74 yards on that drive. He had 95 yards by halftime and quickly surpassed that mark in the third quarter. His 144 yards were the most by a Huskie back since 10/26/19 when Tre Harbison went for 158 yards versus Akron. 

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