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Huskies Winning In Classroom, Too

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Matt Streb is familiar to WNIJ listeners as a political analyst.  But Streb, who chairs NIU's political science department, is also a special adviser to student athletes.

Streb is one of 15 faculty athletics representatives to be honored this year by the National Football Foundation. According to NFF, the reps "played a critical role in the overall educational experience of our country’s student-athletes."

Each of this year's honorees works at a school with an NFF National Scholar-Athlete. The NIU player on that list is defensive tackle (and accountancy major) Nabal Jefferson, who has a 3.78 GPA.

“This really is Nabal’s honor," says Streb. "He's an incredibly impressive football player, and an incredibly impressive student." Streb calls Jefferson a credit to NIU.

According to Streb, Northern has a history of producing athletes who are scholars. He notes NIU's Chandler Harnish won the NFF award last year. "We're the only team that's had back-to-back winners," Streb says. "We're fourth in the nation," he adds, "among bowl teams in the Academic Progress Rate, which is what the NCAA uses to look at retention and eligibility."

Nevertheless, athletics will be the focus on January 1. Streb will be in Miami's Sun Life Stadium when the Huskies play Florida State at the Orange Bowl.

Can't make it to Florida? Rockford fans can gather at Brewsky’s (4414 Charles Street). Appetizers and door prizes will be provided, courtesy of the NIU Rockford Alumni Club and the NIU Alumni Association. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. There is no charge to attend, but registration is requested at http://myniu.com/niu-is-in-the-orange-bowl/.

Game time is 7:30pm Central. The Discover Orange Bowl will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.

Good morning, Early Riser! Since 1997 I've been waking WNIJ listeners with the latest news, weather, and program information with the goal of seamlessly weaving this content into NPR's Morning Edition.