Hammock and Agpalsa both have extensive backgrounds recruiting in Wisconsin, which helped in bringing on Lippe. Additions such as Toure, showed a willingness to venture out further for recruits. That said, the roots will stay mostly in the Midwest.
“Wisconsin is big. Indiana is big. I went to high school in Indiana. Those two states right there are big,” Hammock said. “I think Minnesota can be big for us. I’m talking about big linemen, offensive linemen, big skill-type guys. Fort Wayne is where I’m from, plays good football. Indianapolis has been great the last 10 years or so as far as athletes coming out of that area. I think we got some natural, built-in opportunities. We got a kid this year (defensive tackle Desmond Taylor) from East St. Louis.”
Early signing period athletes such as Mark Aitken, a defensive back from Chicago Kenwood Academy; Tyrik Henderson, a defensive back from Carol Stream; and Tyrice Richie, a wide receiver transfer from Dodge City Community College, are listed on NIU’s spring roster.
Illinois transfer quarterback Drake Davis of Naperville and Sycamore’s Dylan Lozeau also are enrolled in school and listed on the spring roster.
Confirmed preferred walk-ons are Tristen Tewes, Nick Rattin and Thomas Brunner.
Wednesday, Feb. 6 National Signing Day additions
Mahmoud Toure, 6-3, 190, WR, Irvington, New Jersey
J.J. Lippe, 6-4, 275, OL, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
James Ester, 6-3, 235, DE, Detroit Michigan
Michael Cerniglia Jr., 6-4, 195, TE, Madison, Wisconsin
Jace Hohenthaner, 6-5, 180, P/PK, Lakeland, Florida
Tristen Tewes, 6-3, 215, TE, Pleasant Plains, Ill.
Nick Rattin, 6-2, 185, OLB, Palatine, Ill.
Thomas Brunner, 6-3, 225, LB, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
December Early Signing Period Singings
Mark Aitken, 5-9, 175, DB, Chicago, Ill.
Justin Clark, 5-11, 185, WR, Aurora, Ill.
Leif Engstrand, 6-8, 290, OL, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
Romel Goston, 6-0, 180, CD, Chicago, Ill
Tyrik Henderson, 5-11, 165, DB, Carol Stream, Illinois
Reece Heyerdahl, 6-2, 250 DT, Neenah, Wisconsin
Michael Love, 5-10, 160, ATH, La Grange Park, Ill
Cam Mattox, 6-2, 205, DE, Markham, Ill.
Fabian McCray, 6-2, 175, Chicago, Ill.
Tyrice Richie, 5-11, 190, WR, Chicago Heights (Dodge City CC transfer)
Chamaar Smith, 6-2, 210, DE, Indianapolis, Indiana
Desmond Taylor, 6-2, 273, DT, East St. Louis, Ill,
Messiah Travis, 5-10, 171, WR, Chicago, Ill.
Tom Trieb, TE, 6-2, 230, Arlington Heights, Ill.
Mariano Valenti, 6-0, 180 QB, Rochester, Michigan
Logan Zschernitz, 6-4, 290, OL, Spencer, Wisconsin