Coach Kill Making a Leader out of Alex Kube

When you lead all returning players in tackles, attention comes your way. With 170 career tackles entering the season, a lot of eyes will be on NIU redshirt junior Alex Kube as he enters his second season at linebacker for the Huskies.

A converted safety and former Sporting News freshman All-American, Alex Kube had 59 tackles last season for Northern Illinois and will be a big part of a defense that he believes will be better than last season.

Even with the loss of Larry English to the San Diego Chargers, Kube is confident the Northern Illinois defense will be a solid group.

"It's a huge thing to lose a great player and leader like Larry," said Kube. "But overall, our defense works better together, knows the plays more and we're more athletic and stronger than last year."

Besides feeling more in-tune on the field, Kube feels as though the team is really connecting off-the-field as well.

"When I came into the program there were some cliques and most players would stay within their position," said Kube. "Since Coach (Jerry) Kill came in, he emphasized the need to be a family and now we all hangout and workout together."

Now, with the program coming together following a 6-6 regular season and a Bowl bid, Kube will look to be a leader for the NIU Huskies as they look to reach the next level.

"I want to be a leader and show my teammates and the younger guys that they can follow my lead," said Kube. "I made as many mistakes as a young guy can make, but now I know what I need to do and what it takes to be a role model."

Although Kube acknowledges some mistakes in his younger days, he now sports a 3.0 grade point average and spent time reading and discussing Tony Dungy's book with Coach Kill this past year. A focused outlook and a strong relationship with Coach Jerry Kill have helped turn it around for Alex.

"With the book, I would read a chapter and meet with (Coach Kill) and discuss it and work towards some of the things in the book," said Kube. "I never did well in school before. Now I have a 3.0 GPA. I used to show up late to things. Now it's important for me to show up on time and be prepared."

A more prepared and focused Kube is ready for the season to begin as he has a couple of games in mind on the upcoming schedule.

"Before every game, I get excited," said Kube. "We were embarrassed a couple of games last season and I have those games circled on my sheet now. That's one reason to play this game; to win."

Stay tuned to as we continue our countdown of player interview features. Tomorrow we feature Defensive End Brandon Bice.

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