Northern Illinois' Kill Signs 13 Players To National Letters Of Intent

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Feb. 6, 2008

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DeKALB, Ill. - Thirteen players have signed National Letters of Intent to play football for the Northern Illinois Huskies and new head coach Jerry Kill, Kill announced on Wednesday, national football signing day.

With a relatively small number of scholarships to award for 2008, Kill filled his first Huskie class with athletes at every position. With an eye toward filling holes on the 2008 roster while improving NIU's overall team speed, Kill and his coaching staff scoured Chicagoland, the Midwest and beyond to sign the 13 players that make up the 2008 Northern Illinois recruiting class.

Kill was pleased with the group of players he introduced as the newest Huskies on Wednesday.

"As a staff, we feel that we were able to fill some specific needs with this class," Kill said. "We like the speed in this class and the kids we recruited are a good fit for our program. We have some playmakers, and student-athletes that really want to be here at Northern Illinois."

Northern Illinois signees include eight players who earned all-state honors during their prep careers, and speed and athleticism throughout the roster, according to Kill.

"We did put an emphasis on recruiting speed," Kill said. "We have that in this class, and even the big guys that we signed can run and are very athletic. This is an athletic class with players that will help our football program in some key areas."

Though small in number, Kill's first Huskie signing class is rich in diversity, with players at nine different positions from nine different states as well as Washington, D.C. The Huskies signed seven defensive players, including three defensive linemen, five offensive players and one "athlete" with several of the new recruits also slated to compete for punt and kickoff return duties. Despite getting a late start in filling out the class following Kill's hiring on Dec. 13, Northern Illinois inked three players from Illinois, two from Florida and one each from Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Washington, D.C.

"Our emphasis on recruiting Chicagoland will not change," Kill said. "We will continue to focus our recruiting there, as well as in Minnesota, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa. We've got five coaches assigned to Chicagoland, and we have spent most of our time in our short tenure here recruiting juniors as well as this year's seniors. In the meantime, we used 24 years of coaching experience and contacts in five or six other states to help us put this class together."

Two players in the 13-man class - linebacker Darnell Bolding and defensive back Kiaree (KY-Ree) Daniels - were signed after participating for one year in junior colleges in Kansas and will be sophomores for the Huskies in 2008. Bolding and freshman wide receiver Chase Mejia, an early graduate out of Rock Bridge High School in Columbia, Mo., began classes at NIU in January and will take part in spring drills beginning in March.

The Huskies lost only eight seniors off the 2007 squad, including only four who saw significant playing time for NIU last season. Kill and his Northern Illinois team will start spring practices March 24 with the Annual Spring Game slated for April 26, 2008 at Huskie Stadium.

2008 NORTHERN ILLINOIS FOOTBALL SIGNEES (13)

NamePos.Hgt.Wgt.Cl.Hometown (High School/Junior College)
Darnell Bolding video cameraLB6-2215So.Washington, D.C. (Bowie HS/Coffeyville C.C.)
Meco Brown video cameraRB5-7185Fr.Moss Point, Miss. (Moss Point HS)
Adam Coleman video cameraDT6-3259Fr.Bettendorf, Iowa (Bettendorf HS)
Maurice Coon video cameraDE6-1238Fr.Lakeland, Fla. (George Jenkins HS)
Kiaree Daniels video cameraDB5-10195So.Kissimmee, Fla. (Osceola HS/Highland J.C.)
Tommy Davis video cameraATH5-11180Fr.East St. Louis, Ill. (Althoff Catholic HS)
Dan Edem video cameraTE6-2220Fr.Apple Valley, Minn. (Eastview HS)
Brian Lawson video cameraDL6-3260Fr.Park Forest, Ill. (Rich East HS)
Chase Mejia video cameraWR5-8170Fr.Columbia, Mo. (Rock Bridge HS)
Logan Pegram video cameraOL6-3298Fr.Silver Lake, Kansas (Silver Lake HS)
Brandon Rogers video cameraQB6-2210Fr.Broken Arrow, Okla. (Tulsa Union HS)
Kevin Sabock video cameraLB6-2203Fr.Sycamore, Ill. (Sycamore HS)
Jody Van Laanen video cameraS6-0205Fr.Green Bay, Wisc. (Ashwaubenon HS)
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CLASS BREAKDOWN

By Position
Defensive Line3
Defensive Back2
Linebacker2
Quarterback1
Offensive Line1
Athlete1
Tight End1
Running Back1
Wide Receiver1
By State
Illinois3
Florida2
Kansas1
Missouri1
Iowa1
Minnesota1
Wisconsin1
Oklahoma1
Mississippi1
Washington, D.C.1