Darnell Autry, member of NU’s 1996 Rose Bowl team, named 2015 Homecoming Grand Marshal

Alice Yin, Campus Editor

Darnell Autry, a member of the Northwestern team that played in the 1996 Rose Bowl, will return as the Grand Marshal for this year’s Homecoming Parade.

Autry (Communication ’06) will coast down Sheridan Road in the parade’s lead car this Friday, Oct. 16 at 6 p.m. Several of his former teammates from the 1996 Rose Bowl game will join Autry in the parade. The team is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its trip to the Rose Bowl.

This year, the Homecoming Parade is themed “Where the Wildcats Are,” based on the children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are.” The procession will take 45 minutes and will be followed by a pep rally in Deering Meadow, which will feature Autry as an honored guest. Autry will also announce the names taking home this year’s Homecoming Court crowns at the rally.

Autry rushed for 1,785 yards and 17 touchdowns in NU’s Rose Bowl season and finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting that year. The following season he gained 1,452 rushing yards before leaving school early to enter the 1997 NFL Draft, where he was selected by the Chicago Bears in the fourth round.

Autry played three NFL seasons for the Bears and the Philadelphia Eagles before transitioning to an acting career. Autry has starred in episodes of television shows such as “What I Like About You” and “The District.”

Autry returned to NU in 2005 and graduated from the School of Communication the following year. He currently is the owner of Team Autry Productions, a film and television production company based in Tempe, Arizona.

The former Wildcat football player was also the Grand Marshal in 2005. Friday’s parade precedes NU’s 2015 Homecoming game, in which the Wildcats will host the Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday at 11 a.m.

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