On Wednesday, February 5, join us from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. (Central) as a full line-up of Huskie assistant coaches will be on hand to answer your questions LIVE throughout National Signing Day in our second annual Signing Day Chat.

In between visits, members of the NIU Media Relations Staff will provide signing updates as they come across the FAX machine, but this is YOUR chance to get the information directly from the coaches who were on the recruiting trail!

Send in your questions NOW or wait until Wednesday during the day. Here's the planned line-up of coaches (subject to change):

9 a.m. CT - Asst. Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Kevin Kane
9:45 a.m. CT - Assistant Coach Kelvin Sigler
10:30 a.m. CT - Assistant Coach Craig Harmon
11:15 a.m. CT - Assistant Coach Thad Ward
Noon CT - Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator Brett Diersen

Also plan to follow all of NIU Athletics' social media channels and remain glued to NIU Signing Day Central throughout the day for the latest tweets, pics, video and more! If you are on Twitter, use the hashtag #NIUSigningDay to join the conversation!

Moderator NIU: Good morning from the Yordon Center here on the campus of Northern Illinois University where the NIU Huskies are welcoming the newest members of the football family! It's already a crazy morning and you've already sent in a bunch of questions but we're going to start with going over who is in. Signing Day Central is adding bios and videos as quickly as we can.
Moderator NIU: Hopefully you've been following on Twitter as @PrideinthePack has been sending the updates. NIU will be announcing 31 recruits today and we already have some great questions lined up. Let's list the players!
Moderator NIU: As of 8:38 am CT, ALL of NIU's 31 recruits have sent their paperwork in! We know you are waiting on names and we promise they are coming! Here you go...
Moderator NIU: Of course, we've got the three early enrollees... DL Ben Compton out of Monroe College and Windsor, Conn., OL Shane Evans a freshman from Crystal Lake, Ill. and Kenny Golladay, a St. Rita product who spent the last two years at North Dakota.
Moderator NIU: Here is a breakdown of the Huskies Class of 2014 signees: 14 offensive players, 15 defensive players and 2 specialists.
Moderator NIU: We're going to start with the big guys up front, starting with the defense...
Moderator NIU: A total of five players --- Fr. Russell Chambers - 6-5, DE, Milwaukee, Wis. (Riverside University); Fr. Jareem Fleming - 6-1, DE, Chicago, Ill. (Morgan Park); Fr. Ty Harmston - 6-4, 230, DL, Stockton, Il (Stockton); Fr. Rajshawn Mosley - 6-4, 240, DE, Indianapolis, Ind. (Arsenel Tech); Fr. David O'Gorman - 6-2, 225, DL, Watertown, Wis. (Watertown).
Moderator NIU: On the offensive line, we have three new recruits to announce.
Moderator NIU: Tony Rychlowski - 6-4, 250, OL, Greenfield, Wis. (Greenfield); Max Sharping - 6-6, 250, OL, Green Bay, Wis. (Southwest); Luke Shively - 6-2, 265, OL, Tipton, Ind. (Tipton).
Moderator NIU: We're going to take a break from announcing our signees and begin our coaches chat session, starting with special teams corrdinator and linebackers coach Kevin Kane.
Asst. Coach Kevin Kane: Happy 2014 Huskie Nation!
Asst. Coach Kevin Kane: Relief Joe!!!! Finally getting all the guys we've worked all year long to sign. They're officially part of this team now so we can begin working with them.

Joe (Chicago): What is your favorite part of signing day?

Fernando (Joliet): Almost all the recruits say that they like NIU because of the family atmosphere. Can you elaborate on that?
Asst. Coach Kevin Kane: Coach Carey has been great involving all of our families, whether thats players or coaches in all that we do. For me personally, I look after the kids like they are my own sons and everyone on staff has the same motto.

Fernando (Joliet): Quite a few true freshman saw playing time this past year. Even though this class might be a little smaller than last year, do you see the same amount from this class making an impact for the 2014 season?
Asst. Coach Kevin Kane: The best will play. Each position has its certain needs. If each player can show up ready, be mature enough to handle the opportunity in front of them, then yes they will play.

Montgomery, IL: Field goals are a crucial part of the game, what is being done to improve this on our team?
Asst. Coach Kevin Kane: We feel like we have a great kicker coming in out of Omaha in Christian Hagen. We have current guys on our team that will utilize our new Chessick Practice Center and work hard to make the necessary improvements.

Fernando (Joliet): There are quite a few commits from the state of Texas, who recruited them and how was that connection established?
Asst. Coach Kevin Kane: Coach Niemann coached in Texas for a few years and has maintained some great relationships down there. We've pulled some guys from Texas in the past including Martel Moore, former Huskie great WR.

Leonard (DeKalb): I'm a 4th year student at NIU and a die hard fan. I've always wanted to get into coaching, what is the best route to take if you didn't play on the college level but played in high school?
Asst. Coach Kevin Kane: Volunteer Leonard. There has been a lot of great coaches that have never played the game. There's always a need for help!

Fernando (Joliet): How important do you look at a potential recruits by the school they came from? Cass Tech, Massilon, and Miramar always turn out D1 talent every year. Do you look at recruits from those schools first and work your way down or is it strictly by coaching connections and camps that NIU does?
Asst. Coach Kevin Kane: It varies. If you're recruiting a new area, you go to the the historically good schools in the particular area. Once you've established a reputation, then you continue to recruit those schools and branch out to build new relationships.

Brad Dekalb: All of your LB's are back next year. You have to be excited about that
Asst. Coach Kevin Kane: I'm very excited!!! I also have very high expectations for the group which they know and working hard right now to meet.

Jordan (Dallas, TX): It seems you guys made a big effort to focus on southern states, especially Florida. Is that something you guys plan on continuing on?
Asst. Coach Kevin Kane: We're going to continue to recruit the best players we can. Obviously, Illinois is number one on our list but there is a lot of talent in South Florida. The Orange Bowl and the continued success from 2013 has really gotten our name out down there. Between myself and Coach Ward, we have some good relationships down there and we'll continue to build on that.

Bill (Detroit): What part of recruiting do you hate the most
Asst. Coach Kevin Kane: It's the time away from my family because all of my areas are so far away. Cancelled flights ie last week, but I was in Florida so it wasn't that bad.

mark(genoa): please clarify what a "preferred walk-on" is vs a "regular walk-on"
Asst. Coach Kevin Kane: All of our walk-ons are preferred, however, we're only allowed to bring in 105 players to fall camp. So I guess that would be the preferred title nowadays.
Asst. Coach Kevin Kane: That's it for me folks. Thanks for all the questions today. Come and watch us this spring, come and support us this Fall. Don't forget to support the basketball teams as well. We're winning games! Go Huskies!
Moderator NIU: ICYMI, the complete list of signees is up on Signing Day Central. Bios and videos are being uploaded by the minute. Check it out!
Moderator NIU: Don't forget, cornerbacks coach Kelvin Sigler will be on next with the chat. So be sure to send your questions in. We had some great questions come in for Coach Kane - let's keep em coming. As Coach Kane said when he walked out of the room, "I had to set the tone for the chat!"
Moderator NIU: Since Coach Sigler is up next, lets introduce the DBs.
Moderator NIU: It's a hefty group of seven signees.
Moderator NIU: Will Daniels - 6-1, 205, Green Bay, Wis. (Green Bay Preble); Deion Hallmon - 6-0, 205, Weston, Fla. (Cypress Bay); Darion Henderson - 6-0, 205, Chicago, Ill. (Hubbard); Tifonte Hunt - 5-8, 170, Harvey, Ill. (Thornton Township); Jawuan Johnson - 6-0, 180, New Boston, Texas (New Boston); Mayomi Olootu - 5-9, 170, Allen, Texas (Allen); Albert Smalls - 6-0, 180, Miramar, Fla. (Monsignor Pace).
Moderator NIU: We'll now begin with cornerbacks coach Kelvin Sigler.
Asst. Coach Kelvin Sigler: Hello Huskie Family, let's get it going!

Fernando (Joliet): Kelvin, With the secondary losing Jimmie Ward, Dominique Ware, Sean Evans, Jhony Faustin, and Nate McNeal. Who do you see stepping up this year to fill those shoes? RS Freshman or true Freshman?
Asst. Coach Kelvin Sigler: Probably a combination of both. We're bringing guys in who can compete for the job. They just have to be ready to compete for it.

Bill (Cordele): How heavy does the NIU staff look in the JUCO ranks? What was the thoughts on bringing in older players for the D (Like a Ken Bishop)
Asst. Coach Kelvin Sigler: It just depends on the need at the position. If we feel we need some more experienced players at that position, we'll bring them in. We went from Arizona to New York looking for JUCO players.

Brad Dekalb: Are any of your guys potential kick/punt returners?
Asst. Coach Kelvin Sigler: That's one thing we want to do at our position: bring in guys who are athletes and can play multiple positions. Hallmon, Olootu and Hunt have some potential to be great returners for us in the future.

Fernando (Joliet): Is Shane Evans the only player that is enrolled already for the spring semester in this year's class?
Asst. Coach Kelvin Sigler: Evans is one of three that came in this semester. Ben Compton and Kenny Golladay are also in this spring.

Ron DeKalb: Do we ever offer 4/5 star recruits even tho we probably won't get them?
Asst. Coach Kelvin Sigler: Absolutely. We recruit the best players in the country and work hard in recruiting them.

Mark (Washington, DC): How early does the process of identifying recruits begin? Do you look at high school sophomores or is it primarily juniors?
Asst. Coach Kelvin Sigler: Basically each coach has a recruiting area and once we go out and visit our schools, we talk to the coaches and they give us names of players that can compete at our level. We take the film back and evaluate what we see on there, regardless of age.

Steve (Morrison, IL): Talk about your recruiting ties in the South and how it helped NIU this year.
Asst. Coach Kelvin Sigler: I guess by being a former head high school coach and a former assistant coach in Alabama, I built a lot of great relationships with high school coaches throughout the state, which helped us land Herlandez Corley out of my hometown in Mobile.

Greg (Orlando, Fla.): Do the recruits you bring in from places like Florida and Alabama have a difficult time with the winters and how much will the Chessick Center help them especially?
Asst. Coach Kelvin Sigler: A lot of those kids that come up from down there, they've never seen snow and when they get here, the snow's all over the place. The Chessick Center will help them in season and in the off season. But for the most part, it doesn't bother them because its something different. Beats the humidity.

Jack (Morrison, Illinois): A little off topic but Jimmie Ward is getting a lot of notice lately in the Senior Bowl and from NFL draft experts. What skills did Jimmie develop at NIU that are going to make him successful at the next level?
Asst. Coach Kelvin Sigler: In my past year here, his knowledge and love for the game has increased a lot. Coach Neimann did a great job developing him from his freshman to senior year.

Greg (Evanston, Ill.): Now that you are off the road, what do the coaches do for the next couple of months until spring practice starts?
Asst. Coach Kelvin Sigler: We still recruit and try to prepare our guys for spring practice, as well as making sure that the guys are staying on top of their grades.

Michael (Chicago): I know three of the recruits are already here but when will the rest of them arrive on campus and will you have contact with them between now and then?
Asst. Coach Kelvin Sigler: The guys will arrive sometime in June and we can talk and text with our signees during that time.
Asst. Coach Kelvin Sigler: Thanks everyone for your questions, I had a lot of fun today! Go Huskies!
Moderator NIU: In about 10 minutes or so we'll begin with our newest assistant coach, Craig Harmon. Harmon was a former quarterback for the Huskies.
Moderator NIU: Harmon leads the fullbacks and tight ends so lets begin with those signees - a total of three.
Moderator NIU: Dale Brown - 6-5, 245, TE, Lee's Summit, Mo. (Lee's Summit West); Aaron Fischer - 5-11 230, FB, Sun Prairie, Wis. (Sun Prairie); Denzel Tolliver - 6-4, 220, TE, Hillside, Ill. (Proviso West).
Moderator NIU: We're now beginning our chat with assistant Coach Craig Harmon - let's begin. Send your questions!
Asst. Coach Craig Harmon: It's great to be back in Huskieland folks!

Dan (Oconomowoc): Coach Harmon, outside of the signing day talk, you spent some time with Bill Curry at Georgia State. What was it like to work with him?
Asst. Coach Craig Harmon: It was a great opportunity to work with a man who's highly regarded in our profession and learn so much from him that he's taken away from his long career.

Kevin (Eau Claire, WI): Coach Harmon, with three signees from three different states, what state(s) to you focus on in NIU's recruiting efforts?
Asst. Coach Craig Harmon: Obviously we want to focus on our home territory first, but we're going bring in the best student-athlete we can find.

Jordan (Kansas City): Describe the role of the tight ends and fullbacks in this NIU offense?
Asst. Coach Craig Harmon: The best way to describe it is that they will be versatile. They will be utilized in the run and pass games.

Doug (Lemont): Hi Craig - welcome back! With Jordan Lynch graduating do you see more of an emphasis on the running game this year?
Asst. Coach Craig Harmon: Obviously losing a guy who finished third in the Heisman are big shoes to fill but the offense will still be a balanced attack.

Brad Dekalb: Welcome back. Talk about the process of your return to Dekalb. Did you pursue the job? We're you recruited?
Asst. Coach Craig Harmon: I pursued the job and I was welcomed back with open arms.

Norman (St.charles): The latest trend in the NFL is athletic recieving tight ends. Do you see that happening now at the college level?
Asst. Coach Craig Harmon: Yes, I see it happening at the college level but I also see the physical, point of attack tight end still present in the collegiate game and in the NFL.

Jill (Naperville): Although you played quarterback here at NIU, we heard that you may not even be the best athlete in your own family. True or false?
Asst. Coach Craig Harmon: I am a close second to my wife, who played soccer here.

Shawn (Peru, IL): What what kind of player is fullback and Sun Prairie product Aaron Fischer? Is he a Rob Sterling-type of fullback who primarily blocks or can he be a threat in the passing game?
Asst. Coach Craig Harmon: Aaron is a very physical football player who is also versatile at the position.

Ed (Downers Grove): Welcome Back. What do you see as the big differences are since when you played here?
Asst. Coach Craig Harmon: The expectations are a lot different now than when I played here. When I played, we had the nation's longest losing streak. Now, we have the nation's longest home winning streak.

Tom (Carol Stream): When you were a player here, did you ever think you would be back here as an assistant coach?
Asst. Coach Craig Harmon: No, I never had that thought until I came back as GA. Ever since then, I had the burning desire to be an assistant coach here.

Robert (Rockford): You spent a couple years at a brand new program and then a couple of years at Division III schools. How is recruiting different between the three types of places?
Asst. Coach Craig Harmon: I've actually coached at every every NCAA level from DIII to DI and each school and level has its own uniqueness to recruiting. But the bottom line, each school looks to get the best student-athlete that fits their program.

Jackson (Joliet, IL): Can you talk a little about what it was like when you led the charge to end the nation's longest losing streak? I remember what seemed to be the entire city carrying the goal post down Annie Glidden
Asst. Coach Craig Harmon: To be honest, I was too new and young to NIU to understand the significance of what we did. But looking back and seeing how that game has impacted the program, it was a launchpad for the program.

John (Chicago): As the lone "new guy" on this year's staff, how has the process of fitting in been?
Asst. Coach Craig Harmon: Coach Carey uses the term family with our program a lot. Being the lone new guy this year, I can truly say I've been welcomed to the family with open arms.
Asst. Coach Craig Harmon: Thanks everyone for your questions. It's great to be back in DeKalb!
Moderator NIU: A reminder to fans, that receivers coach Thad Ward will be next up on the chat. We'll introduce his five wide receivers next...
Moderator NIU: Christian Blake - 6-1, 170, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (Cardinal Gibbons); Aaron Kumbier - 6-0, 180, Watertown, Wis. (Watertown); Ezra Saffold - 5-7, 160, West Palm Beach, Fla. (Dwyer); David Senior - 5-10, 160, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (Boyd Anderson). Kenny Golladay, who was already introduced, rounds out the group.
Moderator NIU: We'll pass it off to wide receivers coach Thad Ward.
Asst. Coach Thad Ward: Hello Huskie fans, great to be back on the chat for a second year!

Pamela (Rockford): You return a lot of you WR corps as well as add 5 new WR's. How do you plan on utilizing all of your WR's skills?
Asst. Coach Thad Ward: We look forward to creating a competitive environment. We look forward to adding athletes on the field. We have specific roles for each of our kids and look forward to capitalizing on each of their abilities.

Nick: I'm excited for all of the wide ours we have. Any comments on what they will bring +
Asst. Coach Thad Ward: I think all of them bring different skills and abilities Nick. I feel like overall, we're more competitive now. I think iron sharpens iron and this group of receivers can do that for us.

Don (Davenport, IA): You seemingly have been a large presence in Florida, can you talk about how you have made such an impact?
Asst. Coach Thad Ward: When you have the an opportunity to play in an Orange Bowl, it does that for you. When you build 12 years of relationships in coaching, that helps as well. We look forward to continuing our presence down there.

Jake (Chicago): Did Tommylee help us sign the recruit from Dwyer? For that matter, when we have players already at NIU from a certain school, how much does that help us in the process?
Asst. Coach Thad Ward: It always helps when you have a former player from your high school at your university. When he's a good player, it really helps. I think they resemble each other skill level wise. I think Ezra has the potential to be a big time player for us like.

Dean (Sycamore): After completing your first full year as a coach here at NIU talk about how you've fit in and your thoughts on the Community.
Asst. Coach Thad Ward: The community has really embraced me and my family since we moved here. We love it here. This community is all about NIU and the Huskie football program. We look forward to being here for a long time.

Tim (Carbondale, Ill.): How much easier was it for you to recruit this year with almost the whole staff being together for a year as compared to last year?
Asst. Coach Thad Ward: This year, we know are recruiting areas very well. Now that we've all been together for a year, we've really been able to focus on our geographical areas.

Cater (St Paul): Great job with this class! Can you talk about your tie ins with FL, it seems like you spend the majority of your time down there. Why are you so successful in that state?
Asst. Coach Thad Ward: We spend a lot of time in the state of Illinois, because that's our base. We also go to Florida because we have existing relationships. I'm from Florida, I grew up there and I know a lot of the coaches down there. After our Orange Bowl, people were fired up about NIU this year.

Doug (Lemont): Hi Thad - besides stats, are height and speed the two top criteria for wide receiver recruits?
Asst. Coach Thad Ward: Toughness is No. 1 criteria to play the position.
Asst. Coach Thad Ward: You have to be willing to block and the stage that our program plays at, guys have to be physically and mentally to tough to play here.

Carter (St Paul): Great job Coach! what will be filling your time from now until spring ball?
Asst. Coach Thad Ward: I'm going to focus on the kids in our program, getting better as a group and focusing on 2015 recruits. I'm looking forward to spring ball this year.
Asst. Coach Thad Ward: That's all for me folks. Thanks for all the great questions!
Asst. Coach & Recruiting Coordinator Bre: Hey Huskie fans, good to be a part of this year's chat.

John (Polo): Coach Diersen, you're getting quite an athlete in Stockton's Ty Harmston. Where do you think he fits in with this defense?
Asst. Coach & Recruiting Coordinator Bre: Work ethic wise, he fits in perfectly. I think he'll start out at special teams, and coming off of wrestling, I can only imagine how big he could be.

Me (Under a snow bank): Darn. I missed Coach Ward. I was out shoveling snow for me and my neighbors. Oh well. Great job, GO HUSKIES!
Asst. Coach & Recruiting Coordinator Bre: We're sorry you missed out on Coach Ward, I'll try to fill the time. I have my son Brody with me today during the chat. Check out Twitter for some photos!

Doug (Lemont): Hi Brett - any way to compare this class to previous years? I just looked at last year's recruits and I did not see a lot of guys that I remember saw much playing time?
Asst. Coach & Recruiting Coordinator Bre: We lost six seniors last year so this class has an opportunity to earn playing time.

Luke (Kalamazoo, Mich.): Do you target a certain number of players for certain positions or will you try and get a great player or best available athlete even if you are full at that position?
Asst. Coach & Recruiting Coordinator Bre: I think the biggest thing you get, is finding a kid who wants to be at NIU. You have to talk to coaches and teachers to find out about the players and I think that overrides targeting.

Matt (Chicago): Who are some names to watch on the Huskie defense and defensive line going into 2014?
Asst. Coach & Recruiting Coordinator Bre: I think every kid in our program does the right thing this offseason, the next player is going to step up into roles.

Kevin (Southern Illinois): My little brother is a Senior graduating this year and wanting to play football for the Huskies, what can he do to be recruited or walk-on? BTW looks like another great recruiting class this year, looks like another great season ahead.
Asst. Coach & Recruiting Coordinator Bre: Send film to us.

Carla (South Beloit): During the recruiting season, how difficult is it to spend multiple days away from your family?
Asst. Coach & Recruiting Coordinator Bre: I'm fortunate because I recruit Chicago so I'm home every night. Fortunately, I have a family that understands. I'm also fortunate enough to work for a person who understands the family atmosphere.
Asst. Coach & Recruiting Coordinator Bre: The way we do it at NIU is we have areas that each position coach is in charge. From there, we sit down and match what we have and need. The biggest thing is getting kids to camp, evaluating their film. Overall, every position coach has their part in it.

Steve (DeKalb): What is the technical job description of a recruiting coordinator?
Asst. Coach & Recruiting Coordinator Bre: Sorry to cut this one short Huskie fans, but I have to change Brody's diaper and put him down for a nap.
Moderator NIU: We have had a lot of great questions and will try to answer a few more without the coaches as it is possible. In addition, bios and video are still being posted on Signing Day Central.

Leonard (DeKalb): Is this all the official recruits or are there some that came in late? If so, will an update be made to the official list by the end of the day?
Moderator NIU: Hi Leonard. This is the final official list for today and we do not expect any more additions. Bios and videos are being added as quickly as possible and a full PDF should be up and available for download shortly before the press conference.
Moderator NIU: Also don't forget that NIU Head Coach Rod Carey's press conference will be streamed live at 2:30 pm CT on NIUHuskies.com. Head to the Signing Day Central page.
Moderator NIU: With the last NLI sent in at 8:38 this AM, the Yordon Center is actually silent right now as the coaches have taken a break from meetings to head out to lunch or down to the weight room to get in a workout! All their hard work over the last year have paid off in a big way.
Moderator NIU: We have closed out the chat a little early today to give the coaches a chance to get out of here. If you have any questions for us here at the Yordon Center, we'd be happy to try and answer them. Hope you have enjoyed the chat today and thanks to the coaches for sitting in and taking part.
Moderator NIU: We're going to close it out as we finalize all of our documents, set up the live stream and press conference and get ready for tonight's event in DeKalb. Thanks to everyone for all of the fantastic questions and for participating.

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