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CMU’s LeFevour has Northern Illinois’ respect

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009 11:24 p.m. CST

DeKALB – By now, it’s obvious. Dan LeFevour really can’t be stopped, and slowing him down is an admirable goal that few teams even come close to realizing.

The senior Central Michigan quarterback has thrown for more than 12,000 yards and ran for 2,861 more in his career and will add to that remarkable conference-record total starting at noon Friday when Northern Illinois travels to take on Central Michigan in Mt. Pleasant, Mich.

“I think he’s bigger than I am, so it’s going to be hard to bring him down,” said 6-foot-2, 229 pound middle linebacker Pat Schiller of the 6-foot-3, 238-pound LeFevour.

But, despite LeFevour’s incredible numbers and obvious talents, Schiller said not a whole lot will change on NIU’s defense.

“We’ve faced good quarterbacks all year, so we’re going to approach the same way we have,” Schiller said. “We’re not going to be doing anything different. Just focus on his little moves, and focus on what he likes to do just so we have that edge.”

On top of that, LeFevour is having one of his most efficient seasons of his remarkable career. His completion percentage (71.7 percent) is up, his interceptions (five) are down and only two have come in Mid-American Conference play. He has four 300-yard games.

“He keeps his composure when the play breaks down, even when he is running out of the pocket,” safety Tracy Wilson said. “He’s still looking downfield for the receiver, he’s just not looking to scramble and get five or six yards. He’s looking for the big play as well. He keeps his head cool when the play breaks down.”

It’s not just the defense that has respect for LeFevour, though.

NIU quarterback Chandler Harnish has long said he wants to be in the same class as LeFevour and emulate some of the things he’s accomplished.

“I definitely want to play well just to be on that same playing field as him,” Harnish said. “I want to be compared to him, because that’s what I want to be like. I want to have success like he did. I want to do things he’s done so far.”

NIU coach Jerry Kill would love nothing more than that from Harnish. But putting LeFevour’s career into context, its the division titles and success in the conference that stood out to Kill.

“What makes him special is all he does is win,” Kill said. “There’s something to be said for that. He can win with his feet, he can win with scrambling around and we also have to remember that he has two or three very gifted receivers that make it nice for him.”

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