Over the past two seasons, Northern Illinois fans have come to fall in love with their big tail back Cameron Stingily. Now that Stingily has finished his senior year and graduated, he will be looking to receive some more love, this time from NFL scouts. Stingily came to Northern Illinois out of Romeoville, IL (Romeoville HS) as a three-star linebacker. After tearing his achilles in his freshman year, Stingily redshirted the following year, making a transition to convert from linebacker to running back. In his junior campaign, Stingily earned second team All-MAC honors, busting out 1,119 rushing yards on 203 carries. This season Stingily was able to make the third All-MAC squad, accumulating 895 yards on the ground and 14 touchdowns over 12 games. Over the course of his two seasons as a full time starter for NIU, Stingily has proven to be an absolute bruiser, physical downhill runner, and a force to be reckoned with for the opposition.
Stingily is a physical running back, known to embrace contact, and often shrug off the first tackle attempt made. Stingily burst onto the scene at Northern Illinois as a junior in 2013. He had his big breakout game in week 5 of that season against Kent State on the road with a shattering performance of 37 carries for 266 rush yards along with two touchdowns. His 266 yards on the ground were the most by an NIU running back since 2006.
During his junior year he became a lethal power runner who was a tremendous side kick to star running QB Jordan Lynch for the Huskies' ground attack. By the end of NIU's 12-2 2013 season, Stingily piled up over 1,100 rushing yards and added nine scores. His contributions were key for a potent NIU running game.
Leading up to this season, Stingily was viewed by many fans as a focal point for the NIU offensive game plan. We ranked him number 31 in our top 50 MAC football players in the pre season. With Heisman finalist Jordan Lynch gone, Stingily was the lead rusher returning to the starting lineup. An undisclosed injury kept him out of the season opener where NIU thrashed Presbyterian at home, although Stingily was able to get back into the mix of things in the second game of the year on the road vs. Northwestern, despite being projected to be out for four weeks.
NIU opted to go with a more balanced approach in terms of their distribution of carries to the running backs this season, opposed to having Stingily be the number one man overall. The combination of him easing back into things with his injury, NIU not having Jordan Lynch as their primary QB runner, and other backs stepping up probably all contributed to Stingily not being a 25 carry per game outright starter this season.
At the end of the year Stingily racked up 14 touchdowns, that number was the second best in the MAC, only behind outstanding Western Michigan freshman Jarvion Franklin. His role this year was to be the second half battery man. His sheer physicality wore down defenses in the second half, which is where he saw the majority of his carries. A goal line specialist no doubt, Stingily provided a safe bet for NIU in short yardage situations as well.
Stingily has some NFL draft prospects. He has been viewed to have potential to be taken by a team on the third day of the draft. According to nfldraftscout.com, Stingily is the 68th best tailback in the draft class. Stingily's frame is already pretty good for his style of tough running. His 235-pound stature is pretty encouraging, yet speed would be the biggest question for those interested. It would not be a surprise to see him try to take on a fullback role for an NFL team, as well. That may be the route that could provide an opportunity for him on Sunday's.
Stingily will run north and south, and come straight at oncoming tacklers, you will never see him look to run around hits in the open field. He has a powerful low center of gravity that benefits him with his leg drive, often causing more than one defender to have to take him down. He has the ability to score down on the goal line and is able to pick up big yardage after contact.
One thing for certain about Stingily is that he is not effective at all in the passing game, a real downside. It simply is not in his game, as he has only caught nine passes in two seasons at RB. Although, with his strength and size, he was an above average pass protector and did pick up blitzes well. He would be best fit in a power running, smash mouth system. His sheer physicality and ability to break tackles should be attractive to scouts. As far as an NFL role goes-- He would surely get a look as a tailback if a team were to draft him or pick him up as an undrafted FA (definitely a strong possibility), or a chance to be a fullback, as mentioned earlier. A spot on some sort of special teams unit is always a possibility, as well.