National Signing Day Coverage
This will be updated throughout the day.
Welcome to National Signing Day, where all of the attention is on high school and junior college football recruits and where they will be playing football at the Division-I level.
A quick rundown of what you can expect today:
7:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m: Updated coverage of who has signed their National Letter of Intent to play for the Huskies.
2-3 p.m: After NIU coach Jerry Kill's news conference, I'll continue to update the blog with more news and notes.
3 p.m: Visit our special signing day page (click here) for an interactive live blog. I'll bring you up to speed from Kill's news conference and you can pose questions about signing day, football, even men's or women's basketball and I'll attempt to answer them.
Evening: The full video from Kill's news conference will be posted at daily-chronicle.com.
That's it. I hope you enjoy today's coverage of signing day.
Updated 7:55 a.m: While most of the recruits are signing their National Letters of Intent before faxing them in, you can take a look at the players who have verbally committed to NIU at Rivals.com and Scout.com. Click here for the Rivals.com recruiting class rankings (yeah, already) in the MAC.
Updated 9:15 a.m: I just got off the phone with Shaker Heights (Ohio) coach Anthony Watkins. Wide receiver Perez Ashford has signed and faxed in his National Letter of Intent to play for the Huskies.
Ashford is a 2-star recruit at Rivals and Scout. In talking with Watkins, it sounds like NIU benefitted from a few coaching changes across the college football landscape.
"We went back and forth," Watkins said. "He had some other options. He loved Syracuse and Bowling Green... It caught me off guard that he was going to visit Northern Illinois. He just told me Northern Illinois reminded him of school and coaches back here."
Syracuse and Bowling Green changed coaches in the offseason.
One reason to like Ashford if you're an NIU fan is this quote from Watkins:
"In the three years he played varsity I can honestly say he dropped two passes," Watkins said.
Both are 2-star recruits on Rivals. Moore finished his senior season with 59 catches for 1,130 yards and 13 touchdowns. Johnson had 46 receptions for 700 yards and nine touchdowns. Johnson also played quarterback in the "Wildcat" formation a few times this season. He had 24 rushes for 180 yards and six touchdowns.
"They both have great hands, great jumping abilities, good speed," Dausin said. "They can break games wide open."
Updated 10:05 a.m: Gulliver Prep (Miami, Fl.) coach Earl Sims just confirmed that wide receiver Daniel Rodriguez has signed and faxed in his National Letter of Intent to play for NIU.
Rodriguez is a 2-star recruit on Rivals and finished his senior season with 55 receptions for 800 yards and 10 touchdowns. Rodriguez also played some defensive back and had two interceptions.
"With his athleticism there's no way we wouldn't play him on both sides of the ball," Sims said.
Updated 10:10 a.m: North Chicago defensive end Anthony Wells will have a signing ceremony at 5 p.m. to sign his National Letter of Intent to play for the Huskies, said North Chicago coach Darrell King.
Wells, a 3-star defensive end on Rivals and a 2-star end on Scout, finished the year with 42 solo tackles, 25 assisted tackles, 12 sacks, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one interception.
"Anthony could just dominate games," King said. "At some times he was just unblockable."
North Chicago has been good to the Huskies in the recent past. Running back Michael Turner and linebacker Josh Allen also came from North Chicago.
Updated 10:30 a.m: That's it for this morning's coverage. I'm off to the signing day news conference. Check back here around 2 p.m. and don't forget our live, interactive blog at 3.
Updated 12:18 p.m: NIU signed 24 players. Ten were from Illinois, six from Florida. Coach Jerry Kill said that there were no de-commits. Mike Salerno's little brother signed as a kicker. We'll have more soon.
Updated at 12:45 p.m: Here is the list of the 24 NIU signees:
Zach Anderson, DL, Fr., Ladysmith, Wisc.
Perez Ashford, WR, Fr., Shaker Heights, Ohio
Alan Baxter, DE, Fr., Buffalo Grove, Ill.
Devon Butler, LB, Fr., Pembroke Pines, Fla.
Tyrone Clark, LB, Fr., St. Louis, Mo.
Jordan Delegal, LB, So., Miami, Fla. (Joliet JC)
Sean Evans, CB, Fr., Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.
A.J. Hill, QB, Fr., DuQuoin, Ill.
Nabal Jefferson, DL, Fr., Chicago, Ill.
Kyle Jenkins, DL, Jr., Itasca, Ill. (Harper College)
Anthony Johnson, WR, Fr., San Antonio, Texas
Antione Kirkland, RB, Fr., Boca Raton, Fla.
Matt Krempel, OL, Fr., Columbus, Ind.
Jordan Lynch, QB, Fr., Chicago, Ill.
Martel Moore, WR, Fr., San Antonio, Texas
Stephen O'Neal, DE, Fr., Park Forest, Ill.
Jon Phillips, DL/OL, Fr., Dixon, Ill.
Daniel Rodriguez, WR, Fr., Miami, Fla.
Ryan Salerno, K, Fr., Orland Park, Ill.
Chris Smith, DB, Jr., Palmetto, Fla. (Highland CC)
Jared Volk, OL, Fr., Harltand, Wisc.
Dominique Ware, CB, Fr. Bolingbrook, Ill.
Anthony Wells, DE, Fr., North Chicago, Ill.
Josh Wilber, P, Jr., Phoenix, Ariz. (Phoenix College)
Updated at 2 p.m: A few weeks ago, SI.com did a nice piece on recruiting and found that "schools who drew at least 50 percent of recruits within 200 miles won more." They included a map that I thought was pretty cool to look at and learn from.
With that in mind, here is a map (click here) of where the 2009 NIU football recruits came from.
Also, don't forget, one hour until our interactive live blog (click here) begins.
Updated at 2:30 p.m: There's no question that Kill and his staff wanted to bring in more athletes in this year's class. One memorable example Kill gave during the news conference was about Zach Anderson.
"Zach Anderson is a 6-foot-2, 285-pound [defensive] lineman from Ladysmith, Wisconsin and he was here at our camp," Kill said. "He can dunk a basketball. He's third in the nation in greco[-roman] wrestling so you know he knows how to use his hands. He's got great feet, great explosion."
Don't forget, our interactive live blog (click here) begins at 3 p.m.
Final update of the day at 4:05 p.m: A big thank you to those who participated in our interactive live blog. Thank you to all of those who showed up and asked questions. Hopefully we can do it again down the road. The video from Kill's news conference should be up on our signing day page later tonight. Be sure to check out Thursday's paper for a full signing day wrap.
So, how did we do in our signing day coverage? Let us know in the comments section.