Signing Day

SIGNING DAY BLOG

By Donna Turner | Posted at 6:47 pm on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Well, 11 hours and a half hours after we started, we're winding up the Signing Day 2010 live blog!  Sorry we've been away for the last couple hours, but it's taken time to put together the quotes, press release and video of today's events which are now posted on NIUHuskies.com.  Click on the links above to access this information.  We've also distributed our complete list and information to media across the country. 

You will find the video from today's press conference embedded on the release page and that is available to one and all free of charge. Again, we apologize for the technical difficulties with the streaming video on All Access today. We've recently added some new programs and equipment and a new way of doing our streaming video (with the hopes to bring you even more in the future). Although everything ran fine in an earlier test, when it came to crunch time, it failed.

All told, this was the most ambitious Signing Day coverage ever for NIUHuskies.com and we think it will only get bigger and better in the future.  Thanks for tuning in and GO HUSKIES!  


By Zach Peters | Posted at 3:53 pm on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Most of the highlight videos that we have are now available on Huskie All-Access and on the "Roster of Signees" page as well.  We also had another NLI come through -- Frank Boenzi, a 6-3, 305 lbs defensive lineman from Geneva, Ill. (Geneva) who was a first team All-State selection by the Chicago Tribune as a senior.  His full bio is now available, along with all of the other signees.


By Zach Peters | Posted at 2:11 pm on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Seven highlight videos are up and we are working on getting the rest up now that the press conference is complete.  So be sure to check Huskie All-Access frequently for new videos over the next few hours.


By Zach Peters | Posted at 2:03 pm on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The press conference just ended a few moments ago.  Coach Kill is still doing some individual interviews with some of the reporters on hand.  We would like to apologize for the technical difficulties that we experienced with setting up the live stream on Huskie All-Access.  We did everything we could to get it live on the web, but unfortunately could not get it worked out.  We are working with our service provider to figure out what the problem was and we will provide more info on the situation when we get it resolved.  However, the press conference should be available on Huskie All-Access later today.


By Zach Peters | Posted at 1:00 pm on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The press conference is about to begin.  We are having some technical difficulties with the live stream on Huskie All-Access, so in the meantime, copy and paste the following URL into your internet browser and watch it on Ustream: http://ustre.am/9zhJ


By Donna Turner | Posted at 12:08 pm on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

NIU has hooked a Bass!  The final addition to this year's list is indeed official as Miramar (Fla.) product Jamaal Bass has faxed over his NLI.  As usually happens on this day, he had initially sent the fax over to the Convocation Center fax machine before someone from the Huskie business office picked it up.  But the last one is in, copies are now being made to hand out at the press conference, the bios have been posted --- oops, hold on.  I just got word that we can include one more name on the list.  Gotta duck out to try and add that one before the press conference begins. 


By Zach Peters | Posted at 11:51 am on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Your Media Relations staff hard at work.


By Zach Peters | Posted at 11:49 am on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Here is the fax machine that has been busy all morning.  Its workload should be way less for the rest of the day, as we pretty much have everything wrapped up with getting all the NLIs in.


By Zach Peters | Posted at 11:47 am on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I have some pictures to share.  Below is a picture of the press conference room all set up and ready to go for the 1 p.m. start time.  I also just heard that we have what we think is our last NLI...waiting on confirmation from compliance.


By Zach Peters | Posted at 11:29 am on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

We are working on getting links to the videos set up on the "Roster of Signees" page, but in the meantime, you can access the videos on Huskie All-Access by clicking the "Event Guide" tab and then just below, sort the videos "By Time Period" and you should see Battaglia's video come up as the first selection.  Daniels is now the fourth video that has been uploaded.


By Zach Peters | Posted at 11:21 am on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The first highlight videos are available on Huskie All-Access!  Please be patient as we upload these videos, as it is not a simple, quick process.  These are going up in aphabetical order, so right now you can see videos of Battaglia, Brown and Compher.  I am told we will have footage of Barksdale and Wells this afternoon.  Three more should be going live in about 30 minutes.  Reminder --- you will need to have a Huskie All-Access pass to view these highlights.  The monthly pass can be purchased for $6.95, which will allow you to watch the highlights, press conference (later today at 1 p.m.) and catch nearly the rest of the NIU basketball season. 


By Zach Peters | Posted at 10:57 am on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I know it's still about two hours away, but our press conference is currently being set up on the other half of the McCareins Room.  The presser featuring head football coach Jerry Kill and head men's soccer coach Eric Luzzi will begin at approximately 1 p.m. CT.  I just overheard men's soccer SID Russell Houghtaling say that we had two great late additions to the soccer signees list.


By Zach Peters | Posted at 10:29 am on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Still waiting for what we think will be the last fax.  Meanwhile, we have started to upload video highlights of the signees.  Those should be clickable on the "Roster of Signees" page soon.


By Donna Turner | Posted at 10:09 am on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The "boss man" - NIU Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics Jeff Compher just dropped by to check on the proceedings and congratulate the coaches on another great class.  The coaches were talking about recruiting and how capricious it can be.  Sometimes, they said, you spend $3,000 on multiple flights, an official visit, phone calls, and end up not getting the player in the end.  But on the other hand, you can sometimes get a great player for $20.  

That's kind of the case with Greg Barksdale, the All-State linebacker from Crete-Monee High School.  Barksdale visited the NIU campus on an unofficial visit during the season and kept in touch with Jeff Phelps, his recruiting coach, throughout the process.  He made a late decision to become a Huskie.  Since Phelps is an alum of Crete-Monee, he's got a big smile on his face.

And a little insight into another of Phelps' guys, Morgan Park wide receiver Da'Ron Brown.  Phelps was trying to call Brown on Tuesday to collect information for today's press conference.  He had to call a couple times before getting him on the phone.  Turns out Brown had a day off from school but was working as a poll worker at one of the election sites.  

Today's release will include several players who have already announced they will come to Northern Illinois as preferred walk-ons.  A little note about that.  First of all, those players do not sign an NLI, and their names cannot be included today unless they have been admitted to school.  Secondly, some of those guys will undoubtedly turn out to be GREAT players for the Huskies.  Matt Limegrover counted it up and said that four starters on offense last year - Chad Spann, Joe Pawlak, Jason Schepler and Willie Clark - came to NIU as walk-ons.  So among the "non-scholarship" group today, we may have the Chad Spann or Sean Progar of tomorrow.

Coaches are now awaiting just one more NLI fax and it's assistant coach Tom Matukewicz hawking the machine and working the phones.


By Joe Summins | Posted at 10:07 am on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Also joining the Huskie football team today is Jamison Wells. Wells, an infielder on the Huskie baseball team. He will be on a football scholarship next year and is expected to play wide receiver for NIU. Wells had an outstanding senior season at Kimberly High School in Wisconsin, earning a spot on the Associated Press' 2008 Wisconsin all-state football team at both wide receiver and defensive back. He was also named the 2008 AP Player of the Year.


By Joe Summins | Posted at 9:39 am on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Linebacker Cameron Stingily out of Romeoville has just signed and is the second linebacker to sign with the Huskies today. Stingly was an honorable mention IHSFCA 6a All-State player at running back and linebacker. A versatile athlete, he was named the Spartans' offensive MVP for 2009 and was the defensive MVP in 2008.


By Joe Summins | Posted at 9:39 am on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Two more commitments are in. Tight end Luke Eakes out of St. Marys, Kan. and Matt Battaglia, not to be confused with the actor, have signed with the Huskies. Battaglia, who is coming NIU after spending last season at Harper College, will be rejoining former Marist High School teammate Nabal Jefferson. Eakes was all everything at St. Marys High School, earning 14 varsity letters. He was an all-state choice in football as a junior and senior.


By Joe Summins | Posted at 9:31 am on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Local product C.J. Compher, a tight end from Sycamore High School, just signees with the Huskies. Compher was a All-WEstern Sun first team selectiion in each of the last two prep seasons. If that name sounds familiar to Huskie fans, it's because his father is NIU Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics Jeff Compher.


By Joe Summins | Posted at 9:22 am on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Christian Spears just came into the McCareins and announced Casey Weston, a quarterback from Prattville, Ala., just sent in his National Letter of Intent. Weston spent the last two years at Northwest Mississippi Community College racking up 4,943 yards passing on 394-of-695 passing, all school records. He has a very smooth throwing motion, throwing 42 touchdowns in two years at NWMCC.


By Joe Summins | Posted at 9:08 am on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

We just got two more signees in. Defensive back Jimmie Ward and wide receiver Da'Ron Brown came in a few minutes ago. Ward comes to NIU from Mobile, Ala., while Brown is a local product from Chicago, Ill. You can check the roster of current signees here or click the Roster of Signees button at the top of the page.


By Joe Summins | Posted at 9:00 am on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I arrived here at the Yordon Center a few minutes ago and as soon as I walked into the McCareins Auditorium, the first thing that jumped my mind, and a couple other coaches, was it was like an NFL Draft War Room. Laptops were up and running, papers scattered on the table around them, Senior Associate Athletic Director/AdministrationChristian Spears, who is assisting on the compliance end, working the phones and coaches walking in and out. There's a lot of activity at the Yordon Center today.


By Zach Peters | Posted at 8:31 am on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Of the 12 signees that we have, it is looking heavy on the offensive lineman.  We have four names in and all are at least 6-3, 265 lbs.


By Zach Peters | Posted at 8:26 am on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Four more names to report. Greg Barksdale, a 6-2, 210 lbs linebacker from University Park, Ill. (Crete-Monee H.S.).  Tyler Loos, a 6-6, 270 lbs offensive lineman from Sterling, Ill. (Sterling H.S.).  Dechane Durante, a 6-2, 195 lbs safety from Charlotte, N.C. (Vance H.S.).  Mike Hellams, a 6-1, 220 lbs linebacker from Bolingbrook, Ill. (Bolingbrook H.S.). 


By Zach Peters | Posted at 8:17 am on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Just found out that we have three recruits on campus and enrolled in classes already --- Akeem Daniels (Kissimmee, Fla./Osceola), Jasmin Hopkins (Stanley, N.C./East Gaston/Fort Scott C.C. (Kan.)) and Demetrius Stone (Miami, Fla./American Senior/Coffeyville C.C. (Kan.)).  Daniels' position is listed as an "athlete," so we will have to see where he fits as the coaching staff figures out the best position for the 5-7, 170 lbs Floridian who graduated high school early to join his brother Kiaree on the NIU football team.  Hopkins is a 5-9, 185 lbs running back who will be junior eligible after playing at Fort Scott C.C. in Kansas.  Stone is a 5-11, 190 defensive back who will be sophomore eligible after playing for Coffeyville C.C. in Kansas.    


By Zach Peters | Posted at 8:06 am on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Judging by the list of potential signees that I have just been given, the class seems to be pretty full of defensive backs and offensive lineman.  We'll see what we get later once we get more faxes in.


By Zach Peters | Posted at 8:01 am on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

There are plenty of doughnuts to go around in the football offices, as Director of Football Operations Adam Clark put it, "We have enough doughnuts here for every fax that comes through today."  As he said that, he was offereing a doughnut to a graduate assistant who had just entered the building. 


By Zach Peters | Posted at 7:49 am on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I actually have five names now after checking with our compliance team.  The first signee is Tyler Pitt, a 6-6, 278 lbs offensive lineman from McRae, Ga. (Telfair County H.S.).  The second is Michael Gegner, a 6-3, 265 lbs offensive lineman from Indianapolis, Ind. (Warren Central H.S.).  The third is Mathew Sims, a 5-11, 180 lbs kicker from Hannibal, Mo. (Hannibal H.S.).  The fourth is Joe Windsor, a 6-1, 225 lbs defensive end from Kearney, Mo. (Kearney H.S.).  The fifth is Blake Goodell, a 6-3, 265 from Traverse City, Mich. (Traverse City West H.S.).  More bio info on the new Huskies will be available shortly on the Signing Day Central's "Roster of Signees" link.


By Zach Peters | Posted at 7:28 am on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

We have our first four signees through the fax machine!  I will be able to verify the names and info momentarily...waiting on our compliance team to review the NLIs. 


By Zach Peters | Posted at 7:16 am on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Welcome to National Signing Day, everybody!  I have just set up shop at the Jeffrey & Kimberly Yordon Center and I'm sitting in the McCareins Room looking at a delicious breakfast spread that is ready for the team to enjoy in a few minutes.  I'm about to head over to the fax machine and see if we have any new Huskies yet...stay tuned for an update.