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updated: 2/5/2014 6:03 PM

NIU Huskies load up on defensive recruits

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  • Northern Illinois coach Rod Carey announced Wednesday that his 2014 recruiting class includes 31 players from 11 states.

    Northern Illinois coach Rod Carey announced Wednesday that his 2014 recruiting class includes 31 players from 11 states.
    Associated Press/file

By Daily Herald News Services

After a second consecutive 12-win season, Northern Illinois head football coach Rod Carey came away with 31 recruits for its 2014 class.

Drawing from 11 states, NIU's list includes 15 defensive players, 14 offensive players and two specialists. NIU added nine recruits from Illinois, seven from Wisconsin and five from Florida to lead the class.

"I feel really good about this 2014 group," Carey said in a statement released by NIU. "Obviously we didn't get too far away from our roots with the Midwest dominating the list again. I feel good that every kid on the list will be able to come in and develop and help us. We said we wouldn't get too far away from who we are, but the national exposure over the last couple of years has definitely helped us reach out to some new areas. After signing six defensive backs in last year's class, the Huskies added seven more in 2014. NIU also signed seven defensive linemen, addressing a position hit hard by graduation the last two seasons. The program signed one linebacker to round out the defensive recruits.

On offense, the Huskies continued to add speed by bringing in five wide receivers. In addition, they brought four offensive linemen, two quarterbacks, two tight ends and a fullback into the fold. The class was rounded out with a kicker and a punter. (Complete list available at with this story).

"We went [into the year] with three areas that we had to address," Carey said. "First was the quarterback position, and I feel very good about the two quarterbacks we signed. Second is the wide receivers and I am ecstatic about that group we have coming in. Third is the defensive backfield and I feel very good about the players we are bringing in at that position. I think several of them have the opportunity to help our team sooner rather than later."

NIU opens 2014 spring practices on March 18 with the Huskie Bowl set for April 19 at Huskie Stadium.

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