Jamison Wells has had some time to think. It turns out that’s just made the situation more confusing.
After originally committing to play baseball only at Northern Illinois, the former Kimberly (Wis.) High School standout wide receiver/defensive back told the Appleton Post-Crescent on Wednesday that he wants to play football now, too.
“It’s just like all youngsters when football season comes ... and he’s just a great athlete,” NIU football coach Jerry Kill said after Thursday’s practice. “He’s visiting about the opportunity that ‘I’m here at Northern. If I’m going to be here I want to play football.’ So he’s visited with me and shoot, you don’t ever turn down great players. We’ll let the youngster figure out what he wants to do.”
NIU baseball coach Ed Mathey and Kill downplayed the idea that Wells would be appearing in a football game this season.
“We’re in the talking phases right now,” Mathey said. “There’s a good chance it will probably be for next year. There are options on the table. He’s a heck of an athlete.”
Wells is on a full scholarship for baseball at NIU. Wells could practice with the football team, but the minute he would see the field in a game, his scholarship would then count against the 85-scholarship limit in football.
NIU has already reached its 85-scholarship limit for the 2009 football season.
“We’re at our limit right now, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be on our football team,” Kill said. “That’s something we’ll have to work out and see what happens.”
Wells is also just recovering from a left knee injury. He sprained it in a WIAA Division 1 state quarterfinal game in mid-June, has just healed according to Mathey.
“He just started running again,” Mathey said.
If Wells does end up on the football team, NIU would get a player that caught 48 passes last season for 1,061 yards, scored 23 touchdowns and had four interceptions.
“All I know is he’s a Huskie and that’s all that matters,” Kill said.