James Snook/US Presswire

Jake Coffman

Defensive end | Northern Illinois

When Northern Illinois coach Jerry Kill bolted for Minnesota before the Huskies played in the Dec. 18 uDrove Humanitarian Bowl, Coffman's teammates looked to him for leadership. Coffman, a 26-year-old former Marine, responded with a dominating performance in the Huskies' 40-17 rout of Fresno State at Bronco Stadium in Boise, Idaho.

Coffman, who served two tours of duty in the Middle East after high school, had six tackles, 4 tackles for loss, three sacks and one forced fumble. The Huskies finished with an 11-3 record, the most victories in school history.