During the early signing period, the Northern Illinois baseball team received four commitments from the high school class of 2011, the team announced Wednesday.
The quartet of new Huskies each earned impressive honors for their junior seasons and have yet to play their final campaigns as preps.
Chase Matheson (McHenry, Ill./McHenry), Micah McCulloch (Rochelle, Ill./Rochelle) and Ben Neumann (Verona, Wis./Verona) were all selected to all-conferences teams, while Anthony Ciango (Woodridge, Ill./Downers Grove North) was an honorable mention 2010 Rawlings All-American. With a well-qualified set of fresh faces ready to join the 2012 NIU squad, ninth-year head coach Ed Mathey expressed his enthusiasm for his latest class of recruits.
“We are really excited about this class as a staff,” Mathey said. “While it’s not the same number of the last class, the quality is there. The tools that this group brings to the table fill our needs. They are competitors that come from solid families and programs. As a whole, I feel they will really add to what we have going here at NIU baseball.
“I need to commend (assistant) coach (Steve) Josyln, our recruiting coordinator, and (assistant) coach (Ray) Napientek, as well as the members of our administration that helped bring the members of this class to NIU. When you are faced with a finite number of opportunities, you have to be picky with who you make offers to. Our coaching staff did a great job of identifying these individuals and I think this group will bode well for NIU baseball in the future.”
Because of the advanced skills that the four bring to the fold, Mathey is eager to see how they will raise the competitive bar on the field once they get to campus.
“One of our goals in recruiting is to bring in guys that will compete with our players on a consistent basis,” Mathey said. “We think that forces everyone to be better. Each of these guys fits that mold and it will open up some competitions. That’s what we like to see here.”
For more information on NIU baseball and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.