Northern Illinois University football standouts Max Scharping and Sutton Smith will take the field together one last time as teammates as the duo will play for the North in the 2019 Senior Bowl Saturday.
Scharping and Smith are the seventh and eighth Huskies to participate in the Senior Bowl and the first since current San Francisco 49ers defensive back, and former first round draft choice Jimmie Ward, who played in the 2014 game. Huskie tailbacks LeShon Johnson (1994), Michael Turner (2004) and Garrett Wolfe (2006), offensive lineman Ryan Diem (2001) and defensive end Larry English (2009) also played in the Senior Bowl.
Smith was a first team All-American selection by AP, ESPN, SI.com, CollegeFootballNews.com and a second team choice by Walter Camp, the AFCA, PFF and the FWAA in 2018 and was a consensus All-American in 2017. A native of St. Charles, Mo., Smith was the ninth Huskie to earn the Vern Smith Leadership Award given to the MAC’s most valuable player and repeated as the MAC Defensive Player of the year.
A first-team Academic All-America selection and Campbell Trophy finalist, Scharping started 53 consecutive games, every game of his career, and played every snap (998 plays) in 2018. Named one of the Top 10 offensive linemen in the FBS by USA Today, he did not allow a sack or quarterback pressure versus Utah, BYU or Florida State. The Huskie left tackle also scored on a two-point conversion in NIU’s 24-21 victory over Ohio.
The game, which is played at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala., kicks off at 1:30 p.m. CT Saturday and will be televised on the NFL Network.