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.