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Top 70 MAC Football Players: #39 Boomer Mays (LB- Northern Illinois Huskies)

The second Huskie on the Top-70 list will make any player weary to cross the middle of the field.

Mike DiNovo (USA TODAY Sports)

Boomer Mays may have the best name of any linebacker ever. His first name tells you all you need to know about him as a player. At six-feet, 246 pounds, he's a strong, powerful tackler that doesn't let go.

Mays redshirted his first year for the Northern Illinois Huskies back in 2011 but, since then, he's seen action in 41 of the 42 games the Huskies have played. He quickly became a force to reckon with and one of the top linebacker in DeKalb.

This season he was named to Phil Steele's First Team All-MAC list, as well as Athlon's Second Team All-MAC rankings, and has been named to the Lombardi Award Watch List with fellow NIU player Andrew Ness.

From Eudora High School in Kansas, Mays was a star linebacker and long snapper. As a junior he set a school record with 160 tackles and was named to the All-Area and All-Conference teams. By the time he left Eudora, he had amassed more tackles than any other player ever had there (404) and was named an All-State linebacker.

A year after he redshirted, Mays played in 13 games, and started four, as a middle linebacker where he racked up 31 tackles and 5 tackles for loss.

But it would be his sophomore campaign that put him on the map. In 2013 Mays started every game as the middle linebacker and was third on the team in tackles with 82 (42 solo). He also had 5.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, two QB hurries, an interception, a pass break up, forced a fumble AND blocked a kick. Against Toledo that year, Mays intercepted a pass in the endzone and tallied a career-high 11 tackles.

At the beginning of last season he was selected to Phil Steele's Third Team All-MAC list and proved he deserved it. He played in every game last year, starting 13. He racked up 75 total tackles, was second on the team with nine tackles for loss, broke up a pass, and forced a fumble. He had a tackle in every game, eight games with at least five stops, and in the first six games alone he netted 7.5 tackles for a loss.

His efforts earned him a Second Team All-MAC selection at the end of the year along with fellow Huskie Perez Ford.

This season the Huskies will be hoping for, and needed, the same type of production from him as they've seen the past two season. The Huskies defense was pretty weak in spots, especially in the mid-range passing game. NIU's linebackers will need to step up and stop get their hands on the ball. And that all starts with Mays.

I wouldn't be surprised if he manages over 90 tackles and eight TFL. But NIU really need his number of interceptions and pass break ups to increase too if they want to stay on top of the MAC.