Created:Thursday, February 4, 2010 12:13 a.m.CDT
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Capsules of NIU football signees

By DAILY CHRONICLE STAFF - sports@daily-chronicle.com

Tyler Anderson
Pos. P/K
Height: 5-11
Weight: 186
Class: Freshman
Hometown/High School: Rockford (Guilford)
Notable: All-NIC 10 Conference punter and kicker, three-year starter, as a senior, punted 26 times for a 42-yard average with a long punt of 78 yards.

Greg Barksdale
Pos: LB
Height: 6-2
Weight: 210
Class: Freshman
Hometown/High School: University Park, Ill. (Crete-Monee)
Notable: Switched commitment from Wyoming to NIU on Tuesday. An IHSFCA Class 6A first team all-state honoree in 2009, a three-time all-conference selection, MVP of high school team as a senior, recorded 96 tackles, 60 solo, three sacks, three interceptions, recovered two fumbles and caused five fumbles in '09.

Jamaal Bass
Pos: LB
Height: 6-0
Weight: 210
Class: Freshman
Hometown/High School: Miramar, Fla. (Miramar)
Notable: An All-Broward County first team selection at linebacker as a senior after making 165 tackles for a Class 6A state championship team, Bass had 90 solo tackles, forced three fumbles and recovered two and broke up three passes, for his prep career, Bass tallied 450 tackles, six forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries and five pass breakups.

Matt Battaglia
Pos: OL
Height: 6-4
Weight: 270
Class: Sophomore
Hometown/High School: Chicago (Marist HS/Harper JC)
Notable: Earned a varsity letter playing offensive lineman for Harper College, the Hawks averaged 253.1 yards of total offense a game, was a three-year letterwinner in high school and named the team's offensive lineman of the year as a senior.

Frank Boenzi
Pos: DT
Height: 6-3
Weight: 305
Class: Freshman
Hometown/High School: Geneva (Geneva)
Notable: Voted Western Sun Conference co-Defensive Player of the Year as a senior, Geneva's top defensive tackle in each of the last three seasons, three-year starter at defensive tackle also saw action at fullback for the Vikings, ranked fourth on the team with 73 tackles, 20 solo, in 10 games as a senior...added five quarterback sacks and two fumble recoveries, in 11 games as a junior, compiled 61 tackles with two fumble recoveries and two sack

Da'Ron Brown
Pos: WR
Height: 6-1
Weight: 185
Class: Freshman
Hometown/High School: Chicago (Morgan Park)
Notable: Quarterback and wide receiver was a first team All-City selection his junior and senior years, NIU coach Jerry Kill called him the best athlete in the city on Wednesday, set the Morgan Park school record with 41 career rushing touchdowns, totaled 3,700 rushing yards for his final two seasons at Morgan Park.

C.J. Compher

Pos: TE
Height: 6-1
Weight: 230
Class: Freshman
Hometown/High School: Sycamore (Sycamore)
Notable: Named to the All-Western Sun first team as a tight end the past two seasons, first team All-Area by the Daily Chronicle as a senior, caught 17 passes for 250 yards and six touchdowns in 2009, will play H-Back for the Huskies, four-year honor roll student, son of NIU athletic director Jeff Compher.

Akeem Daniels

Pos: ATH
Height: 5-7
Weight: 170
Class: Freshman
Hometown/High School: Kissimmee, Fla. (Osceola)
Notable: Kill said Daniels was the fastest timed player he's had in camp at NIU, recorded 12 touchdowns and four scores on kick (three punt, one kickoff) returns, played tailback and defensive back at Osceola, enrolled at NIU for the spring semester and will participate in spring drills, older brother is Kiaree, who currently plays for the Huskies.

Dechane Durante
Pos: S
Height: 6-2
Weight: 195
Class: Freshman
Hometown/High School: Charlotte, N.C. (Vance)
Notable: All-Area selection by the Charlotte Observer and Daily Herald (N.C.) in 2009, defensive MVP of team as a junior and senior, two-way player made 59 tackles, 34 solo, forced two fumbles and intercepted four passes, also caught 32 passes for 582 yards and seven touchdowns and returned 13 punts for 217 yards all as a senior.

Luke Eakes
Pos: TE
Heigh: 6-4
Weight: 230
Class: Freshman
Hometown/High School: Kinsley, Kan. (St. Marys)
Notable: Tight end, defensive end and linebacker at St. Marys who will leave school with 14 letters (football, basketball, track and field, baseball and wrestling), all-state choice in football as a senior and a junior, as a senior, caught 14 passes for 312 yards and five touchdowns.

Michael Gegner
Pos: OL
Height: 6-3
Weight: 265
Class: Freshman
Hometown/High School: Indianapolis, Ind. (Warren Central)
Notable: Comes from the same high school as former offensive line stalwart Jason Onyebuagu, named a first team All-State offensive lineman by the Associated Press and the Indiana Football Coaches Association as a senior as Warren Central went 13-2 and won the Class 5A state championship.

Zak Giller
Pos: DB
Height: 6-2
Weight: 195
Class: Freshman
Hometown/High School: Gregory, Mich. (Chelsea)
Notable: All-conference and all-area selection as a safety, four-year honor roll student.

Blake Goodell
Pos: OL
Height: 6-3
Weight: 265
Class: Freshman
Hometown/High School: Traverse City, Mich. (Traverse City West)
Notable: Three-year letterwinner at center and guard, was team captain as a senior, third offensive lineman from Traverse City West to earn a Division I scholarship in the past two years, father, Terry, was a four-year starter at Central Michigan (1981-84).

Marckie Hayes
Pos: DB
Height: 5-8
Weight: 180
Class: Freshman
Hometown/High School: Sycamore (Sycamore)
Notable: The 2009 Daily Chronicle Player of the Year and first team Illinois High School Football Coaches Association 5A All-State player will be a preferred walk-on, named the Western Sun Conference Offensive Most Valuable Player and Sycamore team MVP as a senior, a three-year all-conference performer at defensive back, kick returner and running back, second-leading rusher in Sycamore history.

Mike Hellams

Pos: LB
Height: 6-1
Weight: 220
Class: Freshman
Hometown/High School: Bolingbrook (Bolingbrook)
Notable: All-area choice in 2008 who missed much of his senior year because of a shoulder injury that required surgery, played in 11 games as a junior and made 79 tackles, 30 solo, forced three fumbles and had six tackles for loss, a sack and an interception.

Jasmin Hopkins

Pos: RB
Height: 5-9
Weight: 185
Class: Junior
Hometown/High School: Stanley, N.C. (East Gaston/Fort Scott CC)
Notable: Named the National Junior College Athletic Association Offensive Player of the Year after leading the NJCAA in rushing with 1,931 yards and helping lead the Fort Scott Greyhounds to their first Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference title in 35 years, led nation in rushing yards per game with 160.9, enrolled at NIU in January and should be available for spring football.

Tyler Loos

Pos: OL
Height: 6-6
Weight: 270
Class: Freshman
Hometown/High School: Sterling (Sterling)
Notable: First team Class 5A All-State selection by the IHSFCA in 2008 and 2009, earned first team All-Area honors from the Sauk Valley News and Quad City Times in each of past two seasons, team went 23-9 and made the playoffs in each of his three seasons.

Tyler Pitt

Pos: OL
Height: 6-6
Weight: 278
Class: Freshman
Hometown/High School: McRae, Ga. (Telfair County)
Notable: Second team All-State selection as a senior, earned first team All-Area and All-Conference honors as a junior and a senior, three-year team captain who earned the award as best offensive lineman for the Trojans his final two seasons, currently sports a 66-1 record in wrestling.

Michael Santacaterina
Pos: S
Height: 6-0
Weight: 210
Class: Freshman
Hometown/High School: Geneva (Geneva)
Notable: Preferred walk-on was named to IHSFCA 7A All-State team as a senior, named The Chronicle Player of the Year and gaining 802 rushing yards and 166 carries and scoring 23 touchdowns, intercepted five passes over his final two seasons, led Geneva to Class 7A quarterfinals.

Mathew Sims

Pos: K
Height: 5-11
Weight: 180
Class: Freshman
Hometown/High School: Hannibal, Mo. (Hannibal)
Notable: Earned first team All-State honors three times and also was on the Class 4A All-State team as a wide receiver as a senior at defensive back his junior year, as a senior, made six field goals, went 44 of 45 on PATs and had 44 touchbacks on kickoffs in 12 games, for his career, had 121 touchbacks and had a career-long field goal for 46 yards.

Cameron Stingily
Pos: LB
Height: 6-2
Weight: 240
Class: Freshman
Hometown/High School: Romeoville (Romeoville)
Notable: Honorable mention Class 6A IHSFCA All-State player at running back and linebacker, earned first team All-Area and All-Conference honors as a running back in 2009 and at linebacker as a junior, named Romeoville's offensive MVP as a senior and was the defensive MVP as a junior.

Demetrius Stone
Pos: DB
Height: 5-11
Weight: 190
Class: Sophomore
Hometown/High School: Miami, Fla. (American Senior/Coffeyville CC)
Notable: In one year at Coffeyville, notched 51 tackles with 17 solo stops, 1.5 tackles for loss and had two interceptions, honorable mention All-Dade County defensive back by the Miami Herald as a senior in high school, enrolled at NIU for the spring semester and will participate in spring drills.

Jimmie Ward
Pos: DB
Height: 6-0
Weight: 180
Class: Freshman
Hometown/High School: Mobile, Ala. (Davidson)
Notable: Honorable mention Class 6A All-State defensive back by the Alabama Sportswriters Association as a senior, three-year starter at Davidson was a team captain in 2009, led the Warriors in tackles as a senior with 101 tackles, 71 solo, had eight pass breakups, an interception, forced two fumbles, recovered three fumbles, had three blocked kicks and three sacks.

Jamison Wells
Pos: WR
Height: 5-11
Weight: 185
Class: Redshirt freshman
Hometown/High School: Combined Locks, Wisc. (Kimberly)
Notable: Signed with the NIU baseball team for the 2009-10 season and is currently an infielder for the Huskies, was the 2008 Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Defensive Player of the Year and was named to the 2008 Associated Press Wisconsin All-State team as a wide receiver and defensive back.

Casey Weston
Pos: QB
Height: 6-2
Weight: 215
Class: Junior
Hometown/High School: Prattville, Ala. (Prattville/NW Mississippi JC)
Notable: Played two years at Northwest Mississippi Community College where he holds the school records for career passing yards (4,943), completions (394) and attempts (695), threw 42 touchdowns and averaged 260.1 passing yards a game, led Pratville High School to a 15-0 season and a Class 6A title while throwing for 1,767 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Joe Windsor

Pos: DE
Height: 6-1
Weight: 225
Class: Freshman
Hometown/High School: Kearney, Mo. (Kearney)
Notable: Selected as Missouri's Class 4A Defensive Player of the Year by the Missouri Football Coaches Association after leading Kearney to a 13-2 record and the Class 4A title in 2009, earned the Bobby Bell Award as the Kansas City area's top small school class defensive player, as a senior, recorded 15.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and six pass breakups, finished career with 32.5 sacks.

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