NIU

Edgy Tim: Recruiting news and notes

Edgy Tim: Recruiting news and notes

Nazareth Academy sophomore quarterback J.J. McCarthy (6-foot-2, 180 pounds) is holding 30 FBS level scholarship offers-- a very impressive total for an underclassman. And his recruiting process continues to skyrocket. Has McCarthy's recruiting process started to becoming overwhelming? 

"I wouldn't say it's been overwhelming but it can be busy at times," McCarthy said. "I try treat everyone well and also treat everyone the same so I try to make sure to spend time talking to as many coaches as I can."

McCarthy is also looking to get out to visit more schools this spring and early summer. 

"I'm set to visit Michigan on May 11. I'm also going to try to get back and visit both Ohio State and Northwestern this spring."

McCarthy is also eyeing a timeframe for giving a school his verbal commitment.

"I feel like this summer will be a good time to make my college decision. I want to be able to commit and then have time to try and help recruit more kids to come play for the school that I chose. I also want to be able to just focus on my upcoming junior season and school without having to deal with recruiting at all."

Northern Illinois head coach Thomas Hammock is hitting the spring recruiting trail hard; the Huskies approach is going beyond the Class of 2020 this spring. So far this week, NIU has extended verbal scholarship offers to Providence Catholic sophomore tight end Jameson Geers (6-foot-5, 225 pounds) along with Prairie Ridge sophomore athlete Carter Evans (6-foot-4, 220 pounds).
 
"Getting my first offer from NIU last Saturday was a huge surprise," Jameson Geers said. "They made an in-school visit a few weeks ago and watched one of our workouts. But outside of that I didn't really have much contact with the NIU coaches until Saturday. I decided to go to the spring game and that's when Coach Tony (Sorrentino) offered me a scholarship."

Carter Evans, who is the younger brother of both the former NIU and Purdue OL Shane Evans, and current Iowa running back and former IHSA Player of the Year Samson Evans,  also was a bit surprised to add his first offer from the NIU Huskies.
 
"It was a nice surprise," according to Evans. "I'm excited that NIU has a new coaching staff, they seem like a good group of coaches. I'm looking forward to get to know them. I also really like their facilities."

IC Catholic Prep junior QB Danny Cronin (6-foot-3, 195 pounds) was able to add his first scholarship offer last Saturday. It came from Eastern Illinois University after he visited the Charleston campus during spring practice. Cronin played for Fenwick last fall before transferring to IC for the spring semester.

"I've known the coaches at Eastern Illinois for a while now including going back to last year when I was still at Fenwick and they were at Northwestern'" Cronin said. "I loved it at EIU. I just love the coaches and they just have a great group. EIU likes me as a quarterback but they also offered me as more of an athlete because they said they just want me to be a part of the team. The coaches also said they will take a hard look at me at quarterback but that they feel I could also play either linebacker or even as a super back for them. Getting my first offer from EIU is pretty special and you'll always remember the first school who offered you."

Oswego standout tackle the latest to commit to NIU

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NBC Sports Chicago

Oswego standout tackle the latest to commit to NIU

Oswego junior defensive tackle Jack Hugunin (6-foot-3, 255 pounds) made a visit to Northern Illinois University on Monday for the Huskies' spring practice.

He didn't wait much longer to decide where he'll play, as he gave a same-day verbal commmitment to head coach Thomas Hammock. 

"I knew that I was going to go to NIU for the spring practice {Monday} and give NIU my commitment," Hugunin said. "I've been to NIU now a bunch of times and overall it's just the best fit for me and that's why I decided to commit."

The school's location and winning history played major roles in the selection.

"My goal has always been to get a college degree and play football at the highest possible level and I can get that done at NIU. I'll get to play in a great conference (Mid American Conference) and also play in a winning football program that's also 45 minutes from home. NIU really showed me a lot of love from very early on in the process and they were my first offer. I have a really good connection with all of the coaches at NIU. They really welcomed me when I first visited and it's just gotten better each time I visit. Academically, NIU is also a really good fit for me."

Hugunin is now the Huskies third known in-state verbal commitment and the program's fourth commitment overall so far this spring. Hugunin joins Peoria WR Kaevion Mack, West Aurora DE Matt Johnson and Milwaukee Vincent's ILB Devonte Lee.
 

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.