Preps Talk

NIU adds more Chicago flavor with Class of 2019 standouts

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USA Today

NIU adds more Chicago flavor with Class of 2019 standouts

The Bears weren’t the only area football team to have a successful weekend bringing in talent.

Northern Illinois University and head coach Rod Carey saw a big spike over the weekend in the Huskies’ Class of 2019 in-state recruiting efforts. 

NIU was able to add four new verbal commitments this past weekend in Solorio junior wide receiver Messiah Travis (5-foot-10, 170 pounds), Raby junior defensive back Romel Goston (6-foot-1, 170 pounds), Buffalo Grove junior tight end Tom Trieb (6-foot-2, 220 pounds) and Kenwood junior cornerback Mark Aitken (5-foot-9, 175 pounds). 

"I like a lot of what NIU has to offer," Messiah said. "Getting to play and go to school close to home at NIU was really important to me. I'm really close with my family. It will allow my mom and my dad to come and see me play in college. NIU also recruited me really hard right out of the gates and NIU was my first offer. NIU really made me feel wanted and like I was needed there."

NIU was able to find early recruiting success a year ago when Carey and his staff decided to extend verbal scholarship offers much earlier in the recruiting process compared to previous years. 

Three of the latest Chicagoland pledges (Messiah Travis, Romel Goston and Mark Aitken) play together on the HEROH 7-on-7 team based on the South Side. Those connections played a big part in Aitken's decision process. 

"We have a really strong connection both mentally and emotionally," according to Aitken. "I feel like we can just make each other better at NIU and also keep each other on the right track. It was definitely a part of my decision to commit to NIU."

NIU now has five known verbal commitments in the Class of 2019. That list includes Detroit’s Martin Luther King High School junior wide receiver Jalen McGaughy (6-foot-3, 175 pounds).

This will mark the sixth full season for Carey leading the Huskies. He owns a 44-24 record during his time in DeKalb with five bowl appearances.

Breaking: Northwestern adds another in-state pledge

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Breaking: Northwestern adds another in-state pledge

It didn't take Wheaton North junior outside linebacker Xander Mueller (6-foot-3, 205 pounds) long to give the Northwestern coaching staff his verbal commitment today. Mueller — whose older brother (junior linebacker Erik Mueller) is already on the Wildcats roster — attended the Wildcats final spring practice today. He picked up a scholarship offer and then gave head coach Pat Fitzgerald his verbal commitment on the spot. 

"I didn't expect it (adding a Northwestern offer) and I was very surprised," Mueller said. "Northwestern is the place for me because of the incredible academics, the location, having my brother already on the team and the amazing coaching staff and football program. I'm super happy."

Mueller is the second in-state name for the Wildcats and the seventh known verbal commitment for the Northwestern Class of 2020. Mueller joins Lake Zurich tight end Hunter Welcing (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) as the Wildcats in state commitments so far in the 2020 class. 

Mueller was also the Wildcats second overall verbal commitment today as Groveport (Ohio) Madison three star ranked offensive guard TeRah Edwards (6-foot-3, 295 pounds) also committed to the Wildcats after today's final spring practice. 

Edgy Tim: Recruiting news and notes

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NBC Sports Chicago

Edgy Tim: Recruiting news and notes

One of the top Illinois high school quarterbacks in the Class of 2020 has responded to the coyote call.

Normal West junior Carson Camp (6-foot-3, 205 pounds) gave his verbal commitment to the University of South Dakota. Camp had early scholarship offers from both in-town Illinois State and Indiana State. He also boasted strong recruiting attention from several Mid-American Conference schools. Camp felt that the timing was right to give the Coyotes his commitment. So why commit this early? 

"That's a hard question to answer quickly because it involves a lot of different issues," Camp said. "I originally planned to wait until the end of the spring evaluation period (which begins Monday). I was waiting on one specific FBS school in particular but I already had three strong FCS offers and everything to me just felt right with South Dakota. I also didn't want to miss out on an opportunity by waiting. The timing was just right for me now to commit and in all honesty I was ready to make my decision."

The Class of 2021 is already shaping up to become one of this state's better recruiting classes in years, and the overall depth at the quarterback position leads the charge. Both Antioch QB Athan Kaliakmanis along with Naperville Central QB/ATH Sam Jackson (who can also play wide receiver). are already committed to Minnesota. Nazareth Academy QB J.J. McCarthy (6-foot-2, 180 pounds) has 27 scholarship offers-- a list that includes several from Power Five schools across the country. East St. Louis' Tyler Macon (6-foot-0, 180 pounds) also has a handful of early FBS offers. Another half dozen or so names have emerged also have FBS/FCS potential. 

If you needed any further proof that the recruiting process is starting earlier and earlier for elite-level names, just take a look at Tyler Morris.  The 5-foot-10, 160 pound Morris, a Class of 2022 athlete recruit who was a starter on the 2018 Roadrunners 7A state title team, has added offers this spring from Northwestern, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. His latest offer came earlier this week came from Michigan. Morris is also expected to draw several high Power Five visitors starting Monday with the beginning of the spring evaluation period-- when colleges are allowed to make in-person visits to a recruit's high school. 

Keep an eye on Maine South junior safety Ryan Kilburg (6-foot-1, 181 pounds). He has emerged as a top name in the Class of 2020.

"I have scholarship offers from Western Michigan, Bowling Green, Ohio, South Dakota and Navy," according to Kilburg. "I've also been in contact with the coaches from Kansas State, Michigan State, Minnesota, Harvard, Brown and Holy Cross. I've been able to get out and visit Holy Cross, Harvard, Miami of Ohio and Western Michigan. All of the schools that I've been in contact with all have invited me out to visit them this spring. Those same coaches also are telling me that they will be back in school to see me in a few weeks."