“I feel great about . . .
In addition to the 10 players from Illinois, NIU’s list of recruits features three from Missouri, two each from Indiana and Wisconsin, and one from Iowa. Chicagoland schools yielded nine of the 10 Illinois recruits, while DeKalb High School wide receiver Cole Tucker chose to stay home and play for the hometown Huskies. NIU also brings in two players from Michigan, one from Florida and one from North Carolina.
The Huskies’ 22 recruits include three who are already on campus as early enrollees - quarterback Rodney Hall (Detroit, Mich./Cass Tech), offensive lineman Isaac Hawn (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles North HS) and junior college defensive lineman Justin Nwachukwu (Raleigh, N.C. /Heritage HS/Butler [Kans.] CC) .
“As a coach, you’d like to redshirt everyone but that never works out,” Carey said. “I don’t know who, but a lot of these players will have the opportunity to help us both now, and certainly in the future.”
NIU’s 2017 signee list is split fairly evenly by position with 10 defensive players, 10 offensive players and two specialists as the Huskies added both a kicker and a punter in this class. Among the defensive group, half are defensive linemen, a position where NIU has had a number of seniors graduate over the last two seasons.
“We lost a lot of guys on the defensive line so we knew we had to go out and replace them,” Carey said. “Overall this is a well-rounded group, including the two specialists, of talented student-athletes.”
The list of high schools represented in the class has yielded some names familiar to Huskie fans. Mt. Carmel (LB Michael Kennedy), Romeoville (Jordan Nettles), Marmion Academy (Weston Kramer) and Morgan Park (Jawon Denton) are the alma maters of successful NIU alums like Jordan Lynch, Cameron Stingily, Larry English and Da’Ron Brown, respectively.
NIU, which won four of its last five games in 2016, is tentatively scheduled to open spring practices on March 21. The annual Huskie Bowl is set for Saturday, April 22. Season tickets for the 2017 NIU football season go on sale later this week. NIU welcomes Boston College to Huskie Stadium for the 2017 season opener on Saturday, Sept. 1.