Northern Illinois University defensive end Jake Coffman’s fourth-quarter interception sealed the Huskies’ 28-21 win against Central Michigan on Saturday, and helped earn the former Marine the MAC West Defensive Player of the Week award. Coffman, a senior, also had one and a half tackles for a loss and a sack in the victory.
Coffman’s interception came on Central Michigan’s final drive of the game. The Broncos had moved the ball deep into Northern Illinois territory, putting themselves in position to tie the game. Coffman ended the threat with his pick at the 12-yard line.
At age 26, Coffman is the oldest player on the Huskies’ roster. He’s also the only one with two tours of Iraq on his resume. Coffman served four years in the Corps after enlisting straight out of high school. While serving on Camp Pendleton, he played football was named the 2005 Mike Anderson Defensive Player of the Year, according to his NIU bio.
After leaving the Corps, Coffman walked on at NIU. He eventually became a starter and helped lead the Huskies to the Independence Bowl last year. The former corporal was voted defensive player of the year by his teammates after the season, which saw him rack up 8 1/2 sacks and a 79-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Coffman thought he was finished with football after the 2009 season, and told the team he would not be returning. But after speaking with his father and grandfather, he decided to come back for one last season.
Here’s a short profile on Coffman from earlier in his NIU career: