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NIU's Carey on 2013 recruiting class
Northern Illinois’ first year head coach Rod Carey announced the addition of 24 new players to the Huskies' 2013 roster Wednesday. The recruits will bolster an NIU team that won its second-straight Mid-American Conference championship this past season and received a first-time-ever BCS appearance in the 2013 Discover Orange Bowl.
“A lot of these guys were committed before the bowl,” Carey said. “But how recruiting goes, there’s always late movement, and that late movement provided us to get some guys.”
The Huskies new recruiting class consists of 12 offensive players, 10 defensive players, one athlete and one specialist. To get these players, recruiters trekked to Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Florida, Georgia and Alabama, but there are ten players coming to NIU from Illinois itself.
Among the native Illinoisan players is a trio of Aurora Christian teammates: wide receiver Chad Beebe (son of former NFL wide receiver Don Beebe), running back Joel Bouagnon and safety Brandon Mayes. All of whom helped lead Aurora to its second-straight Class 3A state title in November.
“Chad … is a really good route runner,” Carey said. “Every time you say that, you kinda get that impression he doesn’t have any speed – but the kid’s fast too. Really excited about him.”
Bouagnon fits the mold of a big, downhill running back that Carey said he eager to have back in his “offensive repertoire.”
Other Illinois state champions joining the NIU roster include Mount Carmel’s Draco Smith and Prairie Ridge linebacker Sean Folliard, who graduated early and is already enrolled at Northern.
“He’s already working out,” Carey said. “I was talking to him before the Orange Bowl and before Christmas, and he couldn’t wait. So he’s happy right now.”
But these Illinois players aren’t the only state champions joining the Huskies. “We have seven state champions in this class, and that is a big deal to me,” Carey said. “Guys that know how to win -- that is a big asset.”
But perhaps the biggest asset in this year’s class is wide receiver Malik Mitchell from Milton, Ga. Mitchell picked NIU over Mid-Atlantic Conference rivals Toledo and Western Michigan. Rivals lists Mitchell as a two-star recruit, whereas other third party recruiters give him three-star status. Either way, he is the Huskies’ highest-rated recruit.
Not that it matters to Carey.
“I have no desire to know what a third-party recruiter says about any person that we sign,” Carey said in his signing-day press conference. “I have every belief in our staff and our evaluation and the high school coach that they play for.”
As of today, however, the 24 new Huskies play for Carey. And they should show up DeKalb appropriately prepared.
“We tell them all you’ve got to expect to play,” Carey said. “Expect to play, train to play. And from there we adjust.”