The Northern Illinois baseball team announced its Class of 2014 for the early fall signing period Monday afternoon, as the Huskies collected nine letters of intent from players scattered throughout Illinois, Indiana and Iowa. Of the nine players that signed, eight will be incoming freshman, while the other is a junior college transfer.
"I'm real excited about this class," said Head Coach Ed Mathey, "I think like it has a lot of versatility and a lot of athleticism. These guys are going to make us better: in the classroom, on the field and in the community. Overall, I think there are some guys here that will find their way to the field. They are going to compete and that's a good thing for everyone in our program."
While four of this year's players hail from Illinois, the Huskies also usher in three from Iowa and two more from Indiana. It's also an even class of two catchers, two infielders, two outfielders and three pitchers.
"Coach (Tom) Carcione and Coach (Todd) Coryell did a tremendous job trying to figure out who the players in this year's class were going to be," continued Mathey. "They covered a lot of territory in a big region and have increased our recruiting foothold. These guys were grinding this past year so I want to commend them for that. They did a good job of finding guys who are going to help us in the short term and the long term."
The recruiting class is Mathey's 12th in his time at Northern Illinois. The Huskies are the reigning Mid-American Conference West Division Champions after finishing with a mark of 16-11 conference games and a 22-34 overall clip.
A complete breakdown of the signing class with player bios are listed below. Follow the Huskies on Facebook by liking "NIU Huskies" and on Twitter @NIUathletics and @NIU_Baseball.
CLASS OF 2014 PARTICULARS
Joe Boyle – IF | 6-0 | 185 | Wheaton, Ill. (Benet Academy)
Colby Carmichael – LHP/UTL | 6-1 | 185 | Des Moines, Iowa (Des Moines East)
Matthew Hoffman – C/UTL | 6-3 | 205 | East Dubuque, Iowa (Walhert Catholic)
Kevin Jones – RHP | 5-11 | 180 | Chesterton, Ind. (Portage)
Joe Jumonville – C/OF | 5-11 | 180 | Munster, Ind. (Munster)
Stephen Letz – OF | 6-1 | 200 | Oaklawn, Ill. (Lake Central/South Suburban College)
Donovin Sims – RHP | 6-2 | 185 | Rockford, Ill. (Hononegan Community)
Brad Wood – IF/RHP | 5-8 | 165 | Orland Park, Ill. (St. Laurence)
Malique Ziegler – OF | 6-1 | 165 | Des Moines, Iowa (Des Moines East)
Illinois – 4
Indiana – 2
Iowa – 3
Freshman – 8
Junior – 1
Catcher – 2
Infield – 2
Outfield – 2
Pitcher – 3
6-0 | 185
Wheaton, Ill. (Benet Academy)
Ranked 86th nationally at third base and third in Illinois by Perfect Game USA .
Member of the Redwings baseball and basketball teams … Earned all-conference honors in baseball as a junior … Also earned all-area honors … Conference champions 2012-2013 season with 12-4 record … Hit .333 his junior year with a .469 slugging percentage (30 hits) … Appeared in a total of 92 games since freshman year … Has only struck out 14 times in the first three seasons if his high school baseball career (273 at-bats).
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