SYCAMORE – More than eight months ago, Sycamore senior wide receiver Ben Niemann committed to Northern Illinois. Although he has stayed faithful to his pledge since then, a recent offer from Iowa may have him thinking twice.
Niemann was on campus in Iowa City for a camp because his father, NIU defensive coordinator Jay Niemann, is friends with the head of Iowa’s defense, Phil Parker. After seeing him play, Hawkeye head coach Kirk Ferentz extended a scholarship offer to the 2014 prospect.
“It was my first BCS offer, so I was really excited,” Niemann said. “It’s a great feeling.”
Niemann said Iowa is recruiting him as an outside linebacker rather than a wide receiver. They see him putting on more weight to go along with his speed and quickness.
Despite his verbal commitment, Niemann feels this is an offer he has to consider. Even though his father is on the Huskies’ staff, he responded as a parent would.
“He was excited for me,” Niemann said. “With him being at NIU, it’s kind of an interesting situation, but he was excited, and it’s something we’re just going to have to sit down and talk about.”
Niemann has also spoken with NIU head coach Rod Carey, with whom he says he has a great relationship. Niemann told the Daily Chronicle that Carey was also happy for him and said he only wants what’s best for him.
So far, Niemann has not scheduled another visit to Iowa City. He’ll take the offer into consideration, but at this point, he says he is still true to the commitment he made in early October.
“[Iowa is] a BCS school and a great program, so I’m going to take it into consideration, but I’m committed to NIU right now,” Niemann said. “I’ve felt strongly about NIU the whole time since I committed, or else I wouldn’t have done it in the first place.”