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In observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, the Daily Chronicle newspaper will not be published January 20. Breaking news and information will be updated on Daily-Chronicle.com.
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Top recruit Eric Rogers II weighs in on signing

Tony Sorrentino, Northern Illinois Universty tight ends coach, gives instruction during practice Monday, March 25 in the Chessick Practice Center at NIU.
Tony Sorrentino, Northern Illinois Universty tight ends coach, gives instruction during practice Monday, March 25 in the Chessick Practice Center at NIU.

This story was made available earlier this week to subscribers to the Yordon Report, the Daily Chronicle’s NIU sports newsletter. To subscribe, go to https://www.daily-chronicle.com/newsletter/niu-sports/#//

The Huskies football program has mined a pipeline to New Jersey, recently adding to the haul from the Garden State in signing highly-prized safety Eric Rogers.

A 6 foot, 2 inch, 175-pound safety, had offers from North Carolina and UMass as well. Per 247 Sports, Rogers was ranked the No. 37 recruit in the state of New Jersey.

“The biggest factor was just having the opportunity to compete for spot and actually play as soon as possible,” Rogers said. “So me and my family just thought that NIU would be the best (place) for us and most beneficial to (my) future.”

The Huskies lose five senior safeties, providing an opening for incoming defensive backs to see playing time.

The New Jersey factor, where the Huskies have picked up several strong athletes, could continue to help the Huskies. Hammock was born in New Jersey and tight ends coach Tony Sorrentino is from the Garden State as well.

“Personally I think New Jersey has some of the best athletes around and them thinking that if they could grab a few us we could be special group and we bought in and believe it,” Rogers said. “The players committed from Jersey like Malik Harvey, myself and some others are definitely playmakers and I think we have the ability to make a positive impact at NIU.”

Hammock likes the versatility Rogers brings to the defensive backfield.

“He (Rogers) can play corner, he can play safety, long, rangy athlete,” Hammock said.

Rogers echoed the sentiment as an important characteristic.

“I believe we are all big, long, rangy safeties,” Rogers said. “We can all bring something to the table whether it be man to man coverage, having to play side line to sideline in zone or even coming up and making tackles in the box. Coach Jackson our safety’s coach and defensive of coordinator has a lot of stuff planned for us coming up. So it should be a lot of fun playing and competing with this group of safety’s in the MAC for the next few years or so.

The incoming safeties’ goals are simple.

“Just want to contribute and win games at NIU,” Rogers said. “Leave my mark when it’s all said and done. I also want do great and excel in the classroom.”

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