Northern Illinois University super senior quarterback Rocky Lombardi is one of six Mid-American Conference players, and one of just two MAC quarterbacks, named to the Reese’s Senior Bowl Watch List released Wednesday.
Lombardi returns for his third season as a Huskie, and his seventh as a college quarterback, after playing in just four games a year ago due to injury and receiving a medical redshirt. He led NIU to the 2021 MAC Championship, passing for 2,597 yards with 15 touchdowns and scoring nine rushing touchdowns while playing in 13 games. For his career, including three seasons (2018-20) and 22 games played at Michigan State, the Clive, Iowa native has completed 409-of-750 passes for 5,144 yards and 31 touchdowns while rushing for 640 yards, 473 on 94 carries in 2021.
“In my opinion, Rocky should make the roster [for the Senior Bowl], not just the watch list,” said NIU Head Coach Thomas Hammock. “His intelligence and his football acumen rank right up there with guys in the NFL right now. We have to keep him healthy, give him an opportunity to display his skill set and his leadership. If those things happen, there’s no doubt in my mind the Senior Bowl will be happy to have him at the end of the year.”
The Watch List includes 720 position players evaluated by the Senior Bowl staff as a top prospect for the 2024 NFL Draft. Senior Bowl scouts will continue to evaluate players both in person and via tape throughout the season.
All-time, eight Huskies have been invited to play in the Senior Bowl with current Cincinnati Bengals offensive lineman Max Scharping and NIU consensus All-American Sutton Smith the most recent invitees to the game.
NIU opens its 2023 season on Saturday, September 2 versus Boston College at 11 am (CT) on the ACC Network and welcomes Southern Illinois to Huskie Stadium on Saturday, September 9 at 2:30 p.m. for the 2023 home opener.
Follow all the action from NIU Football preseason practices, including position previews, videos and more, go to 2023 Preseason Football Camp Central on NIUHuskies.com.
Season, single game and mini-plan tickets for the 2023 Huskie home games are all on sale now 24 hours a day, seven days a week online at NIUHuskies.com/myhuskies or by calling the NIU Athletics Ticket Office at 815-753-PACK (7225). Season tickets provide the best overall value at as little as $17 per game for general admission seating on the West Side of Huskie Stadium ($102 total). Sit in the same reserved seat for all six games for just $144 (sections A, B, F) or $162 (sections C, D, E). With the addition of the new Homecoming + One option, there are three “Pick Your Pack” mini-plans available, including Saturday Only and MACtion+Saturday four-game plans. See all the ticket prices and options, including premium experiences, here.