Preps Talk

Northern Illinois in-state recruiting class recap

Northern Illinois in-state recruiting class recap

EDGY's Huskies grade: B-

Northern Illinois has made their program a success year in and year out based heavily on in-state recruiting efforts. I love the fact that nearly half of this recruiting class features in-state names. The overall talent of this group could be as high in some spots as any I can remember in several years. The Huskies main focus was reloading on the defensive line and inked five new names.

Headliner of the in-state class?

Homewood-Flossmoor wide receiver Tyrice Richie (6-foot-1, 190 pounds) was a big-time playmaker for the Vikings and head coach Craig Buzea. Richie has great hands, body control and is just a high-level gamer who could break into the Huskies' receiver rotation early. Immaculate Conception three-star ranked running back Jordan Rowell (6-foot-1, 190 pounds) is just a high-level athlete who was a two-way starter and standout for the Class 3A state champion Knights. St. Charles North offensive tackle Isaac Hawn (6-foot-6, 305 pounds) might be one of the meanest on the field/nicest kids off the field in Illinois. Hawn, who is now enrolled at NIU, is already college-sized and has a chance to also challenge the depth chart early.

[RELATED: Illinois State in-state recruiting class recap]

The one who got away?

NIU was able to get offers out to several top in-state players and missed out on kids who would up in the Big Ten. Northern Illinois offered Deerfield three-star ranked defensive end Josh Maize (6-foot-4, 230 pounds) early on and Maize also showed early interest. However, once Maize started to draw Power 5 looks he seemed to back off the Huskies. Maize wound up signing with Miami (OH).

Final thoughts on the Huskies recruiting efforts:

Overall, I just like the talent level in this in-state class for the Huskies. Northern Illinois was able to sign some pretty talented football players and — in some cases — kids with Power 5 size and ability. NIU has always done a terrific job of finding those slightly under the radar types, and developing them into contributors which should continue to happen with this class.

Despite a 5-7 season in 2016, which began with a bizarre loss at Wyoming and ended with four wins in their last five games, Northern Illinois still has a lot of positives to offer recruits. NIU remains a blue collar, hard-working school and football program that knows how to win. Northern Illinois also offers a solid education, is located close to Chicago and continues its much-needed upgrades to improve overall facilities.

Huskies fans should feel pretty good about the in-state recruiting efforts in the Class of 2017.

100 Days to Kickoff Countdown

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USA Today

100 Days to Kickoff Countdown

High school football is right around the corner, sports fans.

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30. That night also represents the season premiere of High School Lites, 11:00 p.m. on NBCSCH.

In case you missed any of our previews, here is our rundown:

100 – Wed. May 22: Andrew

99 – Thu. May 23: 

98 – Fri. May 24: 

97 – Sat. May 25: 

96 – Sun May 26: 

95 – Mon. May 27: 

94 – Tue. May 28: 

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1 – Thu. Aug. 29:

 

100 Days to Kickoff: Andrew

100 Days to Kickoff: Andrew

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30.

School: Victor J. Andrew Thunderbolts

Head coach: Adam Lewandowski

Assistant coaches: James Ramazinski, Gary Young, Tommy McGinnis, Eric Tanquilut, Joe Cesario, Patrick Wertz and Quinn Holler.

How they fared in 2018: 6-4 (5-3 Southwest Suburban); Andrew made the Class 7A state playoff field and lost to eventual state champion Nazareth Academy in opening round action. 

2019 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 31 @ Kewauskum WI
Sept. 6 vs Oak Forest
Sept. 13 @ Homewood-Flossmoor
Sept. 20 @ Lincoln-Way West
Sept. 27 vs Stagg
Oct. 4 @ Bradley-Bourbonnais
Oct. 11 vs Lincoln-Way Central
Oct. 18 vs Lockport
Oct. 25 @ Bolingbrook

Biggest storyline: After finishing back-to-back seasons with 6-4 records, can Andrew take the next big step in going deeper into the IHSA state football playoffs?

Names to watch this season: RB/DB John Bickel, OL/DL Adam Wisistorfer and S/OLB Joe DeHaan

Biggest holes to fill: The T-Bolts will need to replace seven graduated starters-- four of them one the offensive line. 

EDGY's Early Take: The T-Bolts, under third-year head coach Adam Lewandowski, have made back-to-back playoff appearances. Can Andrew keep up the program's positive momentum this fall? That should be the case of defense, as seven starters are back on that side of the ball. If Andrew can get answers at a few key spots (QB/OL), look for them to challenge for a state playoff spot this fall for the third consecutive year.