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22 players make up Doeren’s first class at NIU

NIU recruiting class

Players will be freshmen in the fall of 2011 unless otherwise indicated:

Cameron Clinton-Earl: DE, 6-1, 240, Milwaukee, Wis. (Hamilton HS)

Aidan Conlon: OL, 6-3, 290, Flossmoor (Homewood-Flossmoor HS)

Jhony Faustin: CB, 5-10, 170, soph., Naples, Fla. (Lely HS/Ellsworth CC)

Mason Fuller: DT, 6-3, 297, Chicago (Urban Prep HS)

Khambrel Garland: S, 6-1, 200, Deerfield Beach, Fla. (St. Thomas Aquinas HS)

Matt Killian: OL, 6-6, 300, O’Fallon, Mo. (Francis Howell HS)

Rasheen Lemon: S, 6-1, 185, Chicago (Proviso West HS)

Tommylee Lewis: WR/RS, 5-8, 170, Riviera Beach, Fla (W.R. Dwyer HS)

Paris Logan: CB, 5-10, 175, Columbia, Mo. (Rock Bridge HS)

Devonte’ Majors: TE, 6-2, 215, O’Fallon, Mo. (Fort Zumwalt West HS)

Boomer Mays: DS/LB, 6-1, 225, Lawrence, Kan. (Eudora HS)

Matt McIntonsh: QB, 6-2, 185, Evansville, Ind. (Reitz HS)

Jason Meehan: LB, 6-2, 225, St. Louis, Mo. (Webster Grove HS)

Tre Moore: S, 5-11, 196, Dayton, Ohio (Wayne HS)

Michael Neal: CB, 5-10, 175, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (Ely HS)

Videl Nelson: LB, 6-2, 215, Kansas City, Mo. (Staley HS)

Andrew Ness: OL, 6-4, 290, O’Fallon, Mo. (Christian Brothers College HS)

A.J. Sebastianao: WR/RS, 6-1, 190, Coconut Creek, Fla. (North Broward Prep HS)

Leighton Settle: RB, 5-10, 190, soph., Madison, Wis. (Madison West HS/Fresno City CC)

Kevin Tennenbaum: TE, 6-5, 225, Buffalo Grove (Buffalo Grove HS)

Tyler Wedel: P/ATH, 6-0, 180, McFarland, Wis. (McFarland HS)

Jamal Womble: RB, 5-11, 235, jr., Sierra Vista, Ariz. (Buena HS/Hutchinson CC)

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

DEKALB — First-year Northern Illinois football coach Dave Doeren went far and wide Wednesday for his first recruiting class, signing 22 players from eight states. Only four are from Illinois.

“You’ll see more Illinois kids in the future,” he said. “Part of the problem is a lot of kids from Illinois were committed.”

His staff also got a late start.

Doeren was named to the post on Dec. 13, one week after Jerry Kill departed for Minnesota, but Doeren remained on as defensive coordinator at Wisconsin through the Badgers’ appearance in the Rose Bowl.

“(Because of that) we didn’t get into schools as many times as other people were able to,” he said, but added that NIU was an easy sell and he thought his newly-assembled staff had done a good job of “grinding” to land a strong recruiting class.

It includes 10 offensive players, 10 defensive players and two specialists.

The Illinois players include 6-foot-3, 290-pound offensive lineman Aidan Conlon from Homewood-Flossmoor, defensive tackle Mason Fuller (6-3, 297) of Chicago’s Urban Prep, Proviso West safety Rasheen Lemon and Buffalo Grove tight end Kevin Tennenbaum.

Doeren called Conlon “a very, very violent offensive lineman. I love the way he blocks, he’s my kind of guy.”

Fuller “has huge hands, long arms and big feet. He’s a very athletic kid who’s best (football) days are ahead of him.”

He added that Lemon is a physical safety who also has strong coverage capabilities and Tennenbaum “is gonna put on a lot of weight.”

A veteran of 16 years coaching at the collegiate level, Doeren took advantage of his recruiting contacts in Florida and the St. Louis and Kansas City areas to sign six players from Missouri and five from Florida.

Linebackers coach Tom Matukewicz, the only holdover from Kill’s staff, also has strong recruiting contacts in Florida.

“We’re balanced on offense and defense more than I would have liked,” he said. “We had certain targets and would have (signed) more on defense if we had gotten everybody.”

That’s because the Huskies lose seven starters on defense and just three on offense from last year’s 11-3 team that won the Mid-American Conference West Division title and beat Fresno State in the Humanitarian Bowl.

The class includes six candidates for the secondary, which loses three starters next year. Joining Lemon are safety candidates Khambrel Garland of Deerfield Beach, Fla., and Tre Moore out of Dayton, Ohio, as well as cornerbacks Jhony Faustin (Naples, Fla.), Paris Logan (Columbia, Mo.) and Michael Neal (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). Moore and Neal were both highly recruited players as juniors who had their senior seasons cut short by injury.

Doeren landed three players from three different high schools in O’Fallon, Mo., a town of 78,000 that is 30 miles west of St. Louis. They include 6-4, 290 Andrew Newss and 6-6, 300 Matt Killian.

Those two, along with Conlon, give the class a “physical guard, a good athletic left tackle and a smart center,” which bodes well for the future.

The class includes a pair of running backs who are junior college transfers. Leighton Settle is the son of Wisconsin running backs coach John Settle and will be a sophomore. Arizona native Jamal Womble (5-11, 235) will be a junior.

Matt McIntosh (6-2, 185) of Evansville, Ind., is the lone quarterback in the class and sounds a lot like returning starter Chandler Harnish, also from Indiana, who will return for his senior season.

“He was the Gatorade Player of the Year in Indiana,” said Doeren. “He went 39-3 as a starter, throwing for almost 6,000 yards in his career and rushing for nearly 3,500. He’s a dual threat and very athletic.”

McIntosh and Womble were among five of the recruits originally offered by Kill’s staff. That group also includes defensive end Cameron Clinton-Earl (Milwaukee), Fuller, linebacker-long snapper Boomer Mays and Lemon.

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