Landon Root couldn’t hardly wait to give his verbal commitment to Northern Illinois.
The senior quarterback out of Wichita (Kan.) Collegiate High School went to two of NIU’s camps this month. He liked the team, the campus, the coaches and the facilities. After the school’s “Friday Night Lights” camp June 14, NIU offered Root a scholarship.
Two days later, he had a talk with his parents and the decison didn’t take long. He gave his commitment later that day.
“I went up there for my first camp and I thought I did pretty well,” Root told the Daily Chronicle. “It’s just a great place, I liked it. Good football team. I’m really excited.
“... It’s just a great environment and the coaches are awesome. I’m just looking to build on that success.”
Rivals.com rates Root as a three-star quarterback, and the 19th-ranked dual-threat QB in the Class of 2014. As a junior last season, Root (6-foot-3, 202 pounds) threw for 1,601 yards and 18 touchdowns with only five interceptions. He ran for another 582 yards and 11 touchdowns.
At Collegiate, Root said the team runs the same type of read-option offense the Huskies do.
“The offense just fit me well as a football player, as a quarterback,” he said. “Jordan Lynch is a Heisman candidate as a QB, obviously you want to follow in those footsteps.”
Root also had offers from Tulsa and Harvard, and said he also was interested in Kansas State and Iowa State. He was familiar with NIU because of its success in the Mid-American Conference, and the Orange Bowl berth certainly put the program in the spotlight.
He checked out NIU’s facilities before he decided he was going to go to a camp, and was a huge fan of Huskie Stadium, Yordon Center and the Chessick Practice Center, which is supposed to be completed this fall.
“The stadium is awesome. Once you get that thing packed, it’ll be loud and jumping,” Root said. “Their indoor practice facility is going to be really nice.”