CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 17: Chandler Harnish #12 of the Northern Illinois Huskies throws a pass against the Wisconsin Badgers at Soldier Field on September 17, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
I'm pretty sure the world will be watching the Longwood-Canisius basketball game on MASN tonight, but during commercial breaks you may want to check out the MAC match-up over on ESPNU. Tonight Ball State (6-4) faces off against Northern Illinois (7-3). The game has major implications on the MAC-West Division champion and also features a QB prospect, Chandler Harnish (6'2,220 lbs), who you may want to keep an eye on. I'm a strong proponent of the Skins drafting two QBs this year, one early and one late. So maybe Harnish can be that guy?
Strengths: Harnish will likely leave NIU as the most decorated Huskie QB in history. He's started all four years and lead the Huskies to the MAC Championship and a Humanitarian Bowl win over Fresno State. Check out Harnish's 2010 numbers as a whole: 3,366 yards, 836 rushing and 2,530 passing, 21 TDs, 5 INTs. Also, according Harnish it's a plus that he plays in the MAC conference:
"In the MAC, quarterbacks are asked to do a lot more than in the Big Ten," Harnish said. - Kevin Allen, USA Today
Weaknesses: Has has a slight injury history of knee problems coming into the 2010 season. Also he doesn't play the stiffest defenses in the country. Against Wisconsin this year the Huskies struggled and only put up seven points total in a game at Soldier Field. Harnish is also a little smaller than your prototypical NFL quarterback prospect. He's always benefited from a solid run game, experienced wide receivers, and having a solid NFL offensive tackle prospect, Trevor Olson, at his side.
Projected Round: Right now Harnish is floating in the 7th round to UDFA range in regards to next April's draft. That spot could be a perfect position for the Skins to start to groom a young back up quarterback. If Harnish gets a shot at an All-Star Game then he will have a chance to move up the board a little.