DEKALB (WREX) -
Coming off its third Mid-American Conference title in the last four years and a fifth-straight MAC West Division crown, Northern Illinois University Head Coach Rod Carey and his staff on Wednesday announced the 30 individuals that make up the Huskies' 2015 recruiting class.
"I am really excited about every new member of the Huskie family," said Carey, who welcomed his third class of recruits to NIU. "I feel like all 30 of these student-athletes bring the number one ingredient we always look for, which is they want to be at NIU. I'm really happy with the size and speed of this class, but just as important as all of their physical attributes is that that they will be assets to our community and do a great job of representing NIU."
The class boasts 16 offensive players and 14 defensive players from 10 different states. NIU brought in 11 recruits from Illinois and an additional six from Wisconsin to comprise the bulk of the class. Rounding out the group are two signees apiece from Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota and Missouri, plus one each from Arkansas, Iowa and Texas.
"Obviously, the crux of our recruiting is always going to be in the Midwest, starting in Illinois," Carey said. "As our national brand grows, you can see that reflected in our recruiting with 10 states represented."
After losing five offensive linemen to graduation, the Huskies inked six O-linemen in this year's signing class, including five from America's Dairyland. The 2015 class also includes four running backs, another position hit hard by graduation, and three wide receivers. Rounding out the offense are two tight ends and a quarterback.
"This class is pretty evenly split with offensive and defensive players," Carey said. "Offensively, the need was up front with the o-line, and we bolstered ours wide receiver and running back positions, where you can never have enough speed. It's great to have another Santacaterina with the Huskies for another five years. Obviously they are a great family; Daniel is an outstanding quarterback and we look forward to his development and leadership."
On defense, NIU signed six defensive backs and four defensive linemen while adding depth at linebacker with four incoming freshmen at that position.
"Defensively, bringing in another crop of defensive backs was at the forefront of what we were trying to do," Carey continued. "The versatility of the guys we signed there gives us a lot of things we can do. The four guys we are bringing in up front also give us a lot of flexibility, and I'm excited about our linebackers as well."
Following an 11-3 record, fifth consecutive MAC title game appearance and seventh-straight bowl game in 2014, NIU heads into 2015 as one of only two FBS programs in the nation with 11 or more wins each of the last five seasons. The Huskies capped off the 2014 regular season on a six-game winning streak to win their fifth-straight MAC West championship, then routed Bowling Green, 51-17, in the 2014 MAC Championship Game.
NIU opens 2015 spring practices on Tuesday, March 3, with the Huskie Bowl (spring game) slated for Saturday, April 11, at Huskie Stadium.