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NIU Recruitin' Update: Quiet on all fronts

Since the last time: no commits.  It seems like we should be getting some at this point, doesn't it?  It seems quiet out there, too quiet.  I'm sensing a little deja vu...weren't we in this same situation last year?  I hope that we've got some silent verbals out there because Kill sure does like to keep things under wraps.  At this point last year our only verbals were from Illinois QBs A.J. Hill and Jordan Lynch.  Remember that.  Then DT Zach Anderson became our only commitment in August.


QB Miles Osei out of Prospect moves down from #17 to not even making the list.  RB Giorgio Bowers of Rich Central drops from #21 to #27.  NIU commit LB Mike Hellams actually went up two spots from #22 to #20, right behind CMU commit DE Kevin Henry who wasn't even on the initial list.  There's just so much talent in Illinois this year, a bunch of players are getting multiple BCS offers.  I really hope that we manage to pull in both Osei and it seems like the only RB in the state of Illinois that we like is Bowers.

View NIU Huskies 2010 Recruiting Map in a larger map

2010 Football Recruiting Big Board

After the jump you will find out:

  • Which 5 recruits committed to other schools (4 BCS)
  • Which 2 new players NIU has offered.
  • What Thomas Hammock has to do with a 2011 Illinois recruit.
  • What Miles Osei has been up to this summer.
  • A better understanding of the basketball recruiting process.
The Chain Reaction
  • Something strange conspired in the last couple days.  First of all, Lane Tech OL Laken Tomlinson made the decision to commit to Duke for their pre-med program.  He chose the Blue Devils over programs like Ohio State and Tennessee.  An athlete picking academics, huh.  You don't see that every day.  Oh and he also had an NIU offer.

Once this happense, the Illini (who were looking to get Tomlinson) turn around and offer OT Michael Heitz, who is from way out west right next to Macomb.  Turns out the Huskies offered Heitz this past weekend.  Just like that two recruits that NIU had offered were gone from the table.

The Dearly Departed
  • The biggest news lately was that DE Kevin Henry of Morris, IL decided to commit to the Central Michigan Chippewas.  This is the first big disappointment of the recruiting season, as one of the most important goals for NIU should always be to keep the Illinois kids in-state and not let them commit to other MAC schools.  Why did he commit to the Chips?

Ne"I had a lot of great offers from quality schools but when it came down to it Central Michigan was the perfect fit for me. As far as Indiana they are a great program on the rise and I wish them luck in the coming years. It was all about comfort for me and Central provides that family feeling."

Henry's other offers were from Indiana and Toledo.  To add insult to injury, he was also given a 3-star ranking by Rivals and is now ranked as the 36th best strong-side defensive end in the country and the #19 player in Illinois.  The only positive here is that he is a "soft verbal" meaning that we still have some sort of a chance if we end up topping CMU in the MAC West or something like that.

More Henry quotage from the Detroit Free Press:

"For me, it came down to either Indiana or Central Michigan. I was really honored to get an offer from the Hoosiers and from a Big Ten school and that was a big consideration. Yet overall, I wanted to go where I feel the most comfortable for the next four to five years of my life and that place is Central Michigan. From the school and the campus to the education and the success of the football program, I just felt very at home from the very beginning at Central Michigan. In the end, Central Michigan was just the best overall fit for me. I was recruited as a defensive end prospect and that's the position I want to play in college."

"I live in Morris and football is a really big deal here in Morris. I want to play for a college where football is a really big deal and it's definitely a big deal at Central Michigan. They have been a winner for years and they get great support and crowd’s year in and year out. Once you play in that type of situation it's hard to not want that to stay the same if not get bigger and better. The MAC is a great conference and the more I thought about the entire situation for me at Central Michigan, the more I felt comfortable with my final college decision."

  • Here's a nice article about Cocoa, Florida Safety E.J. Johnson with one problem: There's no mention of NIU anywhere.  Right now I just can't see him ever committing to the Huskies.  I only see Big 10 in his future:

Also a reserve on Cocoa's state-title 4A basketball team and a sprinter in track, Johnson said he does not plan on committing early. He is, after all, newer to the process than many being recruited to that level of colleges. The only schools he feels certain he will make official visits to are Michigan State and Purdue. He said he doesn't mind the thought of a cold-weather base.

[Note by Mike Breese, 08/05/09 8:43 PM CDT ] OOPS.  Johnson signed with Purdue soon after I wrote this.

Looks like it came down to playing time as a freshman:

"I was looking at my offers," he said, "and there weren't any better ones. Purdue had a lot for me and was excited about having me. My family was excited about the offer too and was behind me 100-percent."

Johnson says the opportunity for early playing time at Purdue, which will have four seniors starting in the secondary this season, weighed heavily in his decision. He thinks he'll have an opportunity to contribute, perhaps significantly, as a true freshman in 2010.

"I want to come in and be a factor," said Johnson, who had eight interceptions as a junior, "(and) make a difference as a freshman."

Purdue blog Hammer & Rails has a nice writeup on this guy.  His final two were Michigan St & the Boilermakers.

  • Florida TE/DE Jonathan Garcia committed to Wake Forest the other day.  NIU was at least in his top-3 along with Kent State.  Location.
  • Junior RB Calvin Phillips of Momence, IL already made up his mind to commit to the Minnesota Golden Gophers.  As expected, the former Huskie RB/Coach Thomas Hammock has his fingerprints all over this one:

Phillips mentor and cousin Curtis Crossley and Minnesota running backs coach Thomas Hammock were college teammates at Northern Illinois. While that did not play a role in Phillips decision, his relationship with Hammock did. "Coach Hammock is a great guy and he is a great coach. When I was up at Minnesota for camp he was just hyping me the whole time and telling me that he and I could do great things together. We got really close and every time we talked he would tell me about how he could make me a better running back and how he could use me if I come to Minnesota. I loved what he told me, but I always feel that he is honest with me. He tells me that he does not play favorites and that he will play his best running backs and I like that. I want to play if I am the best and I feel like he can get me there. I always have felt good about Coach Hammock and he is a big reason I am a Golden Gopher."

Still plugging away

Left-hander Miles Osei threw the second consecutive shutout for the top-seeded Knights in their own regional as they knocked off No. 8 Conant 4-0. Osei (5-1) threw a 3-hitter with 11 strikeouts and 1 walk after Scott Plaza threw a shutout Monday.

"He's been consistent and he's been pounding the strike zone," said Prospect coach Ross Giusti of Osei. "It seems every time he comes out we play pretty solid defense behind him.

"He's changed as a pitcher where he's throwing the curveball 2-0, 2-1 and 3-1, basically anywhere in the count at any time. It really helps make his fastball more prominent."

New hotness

  • 6'3" WR Armand Williams has a new offer from NIU, but is very interested in Tulsa of C-USA.  He runs a 4.5 40 time and has a 40" vertical.
  • We've also offered athlete Austin Teitsma of Glenbard South, who Kill wants to play fullback for the Huskies in the future.


Unlike football, basketball recruiting starts the summer after a prospects Sophomore year. Recruiting materials and monthly phone calls may begin on June 15th following a prospect's sophomore year. Monthly phone calls may continue through July 31st after a prospect's Junior year is over. In football, materials can't be sent until September 1st of a recruits Junior year and only one phone call may be made between April 15th and May 31st, this increases to one per week during senior year after September 1st, but are unlimited during contact periods.

During a recruits senior year, phone calls may occur two times per week, an official visit may occur after the opening day of classes and off campus contact, meaning a face to face contact that goes beyond saying "hello," may occur after September 9th. In football, only one call per week is permitted and off campus contacts may occur after the "last Sunday following the last Saturday in November."

In general, programs are allowed 130 recruiting person days during an acadmic year, no more than 7 recruiting opportunities per prospect per academic year. Recruiting opportunities are defined as contacts and evaluations. A contact is defined above. An evaluation is an activity "by a coach to evaluate your academic or athletic abilities. This would include visiting your high school or watching you practice or compete." There are no more than three off-campus contacts allowed during senior year and none during junior year. If you want more details, I recommend that you go here.

From August 1st, 2009 to August 31st 2010 here is the recruiting calendar:

August 1st to September 8th: Quiet Period

September 9th to October 5th: Contact Period

October 6th to March 31st: Evaluation Period, except for 11/9-11/12 (Dead Period), 12/24-26 (Dead Period) 3/16-3/22 (Contact Period)

April 1st to July 5th: Quiet Period, except 4/1-8 (Dead Period), 4/8- 4/21 (Contact) except 4/12-15 (Dead), 5/20-38 (Dead)

July 6th to 15th: Evaluation Period.

A Contact period is  the time in which a college coach may have in-person contact with a plaery on or off the college campus. Coaches can visit players at their high school or players can visit college campuses. A Dead Period is one in coach can only write or telephone a player or their family; there can be no face to face contact.  An Evaluation period allows a coach to watch a kid play but they cannot have in-person conversations off the college campus. A Quiet period is defined as a period in which a college coach cannot have any face to face contact or evaluate a player, but a player may visit a campus. Finally, a player can announce a verbal commitment at any time, but it  is not binding.

During the upcoming academic year, basketball players may sign during the early period of November 11th to 18th, 2009 and during the regular period between April 14th and May 19th, 2010. This should give you some sense of when things happen during the basketball recruiting season. November, April and May are big months.