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    Wildcats Sign 21 Players; Coach Walker Thrilled With 2003 Class

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Randy Walker and the Wildcats signed 21 newcomers on Wednesday. Next up for NU football is spring practice, which begins April 1.
    Randy Walker and the Wildcats signed 21 newcomers on Wednesday. Next up for NU football is spring practice, which begins April 1.

    Feb. 5, 2003

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    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Head coach Randy Walker and the Northwestern University football program announced today the signing of 21 football recruits to National Letters of Intent.

    Walker's fourth recruiting class as the Wildcats' head coach again represents another strong national class with multiple signees from California, Florida, Michigan and Texas. In all, the Wildcats signed student-athletes from 12 states. Northwestern signed four student-athletes from California and Michigan, and three from Texas.

    "Because of our academic prestige and outstanding quality of life, Northwestern is an attractive place for young people," said Walker. "We found that again when recruiting this year's class. We went coast-to-coast-from California to New Jersey and Texas to Wisconsin-and our recruits who visited were impressed with our program and our student-athletes.

    "As always, our coaches did a tremendous job building relationships, and our players did a great job hosting and selling our program."

    This year's class is balanced with offensive and defensive players-11 on offense and 10 on defense.

    "Our goal was to recruit a broad-based recruiting class, which we did," said Walker. "We didn't focus on any specific position. It might look like we took a large number of wide receivers, but we took five very good athletes who are capable of helping us in a lot of different places."

    Signing Day Notes:
    * The breakdown on NU's signees, by position: tight end (1), quarterback (1), wide receiver (5), offensive line (4), defensive line (4), linebacker (4), defensive back (2).

    * NU signed a pair of players from the same high school: wide receivers Sam Cheatham and Reggie McPherson of San Leandro (Calif.) High, and wide receiver T.J. Jones and offensive lineman Fred McConnell of Southfield-Lathrup (Mich.) High.

    * Northwestern signee T.J. Jones is celebrating his 18th birthday today (Feb. 5). Two other signees, Ryan Black and Fred McConnell, were born on the same date-Christmas Day in 1984.

    * Wide receiver Kim Thompson becomes the third wideout from Detroit's Country Day School to sign with Northwestern in the past few years. Ashton Aikens signed with the Wildcats in 2001 and Brandon Horn signed a year ago. Both Aikens and Horn played as true freshmen.

    * The three signees from Texas now push the Wildcats' current number of Lone Star state players to 10, second-most behind Illinois (17).

    PlayerPos.Ht. Wt. HometownHigh School
    Frayne Abernathy TE6-4 225 North Augusta, S.C. North Augusta
    Warren AndersonDL6-3 250 Ventura, Calif.Saint Bonaventure
    Deante BattleDB5-10180 Fayetteville, Ga. Starr's Mill
    Ryan BlackDB5-10170 Pasadena, Calif.Polytechnic School
    A.J. Burdex WR6-3 185 Chickasha, Okla.Chickasha
    Sam Cheatham WR5-10175 San Leandro, Calif. San Leandro
    Tonjua "T.J." JonesWR6-2 180 Southfield, Mich. Southfield-Lathrup
    Adam Kadela LB6-2 235 Dublin, OhioDublin Coffman
    Mark KoehnDL6-3 230 Newton, Kan.Newton
    Fred McConnellOL6-3 310 Southfield, Mich. Southfield-Lathrup
    Reggie McPhersonWR6-1 175 San Leandro, Calif. San Leandro
    Chris MalleoQB6-3 220 Manasquan, N.J.Wall Township
    Austin MatthewsOL6-5 275 Orange Park, Fla. Orange Park
    David NgeneDL6-3 255 Humble, Texas Humble
    Trevor Rees OL6-2 275 Pearland, TexasPearland
    Nick RoachLB6-2 220 Milwaukee, Wis.Milwaukee Lutheran
    Trevor SchultzDL6-3 265 Battle Creek, Mich. Harper Creek
    Eddie Simpson LB6-0 200 Houston, TexasNorth Shore
    Dylan ThiryOL6-8 290 Louisville, Ky.Trinity
    Kim Thompson WR6-4 190 Inkster, Mich.Detroit Country Day
    Kyle WagnerLB6-2 230 Jacksonville, Fla.The Bolles School


    6-4 * 225
    North Augusta, S.C. * North Augusta
    Projected Position: Tight End

    High School: An all-area quarterback his junior year ... A broken fibula and tibia sidelined him for approximately half of his senior season (2002) ... Also played fullback and tight end, and was named second-team all-county at tight end ... On a non-passing team in an injury-shortened season, passed for 630 yards (59-of-76) and seven touchdowns, and rushed for 340 yards (52 attempts, 6.5 ypc) ... Two-time STAR Player of the Week ... Teams went 9-3 his junior year and 8-4 his senior year ... The Yellow Jackets advanced to the South Carolina State AAAA playoffs both years ... Team captain ... Academic winner for football team ... Also a two-year letterwinner (forward) on the Yellow Jackets' top-ranked basketball team ... Multiple scholarship recipient ... School's Honor Roll ... Coached by Joe Lang.
    Personal: Born William Frayne Abernathy on 10/3/84 ... Son of Jan and the late Danny Abernathy ... Plans to major in engineering ... Chose NU over Stanford, Boston College, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest.

    6-3 * 250
    Ventura, Calif. * Saint Bonaventure
    Projected Position: Defensive Line

    High School: An all-conference and all-county honoree for one of the nation's top high school programs ... Helped the Seraphs go 55-1 in the last four years and win a pair of state championships and four consecutive Southern Section CIF titles ... A PrepStar/Rivals all-region and SuperPrep all-region honoree ... Ranked 44th nationally among strongside defensive ends on web site ... Earned all-league and all-county honorable mentions honors as a junior ... As a senior, totaled 92 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, five forced fumbles and one interception ... For career, totaled 42 sacks, 265 tackles, four interceptions, 13 forced fumbles, 11 fumbles recovered and 51 tackles for loss ... Lettered four years in football, as well as track (once) and soccer (twice) ... Slated to compete in Ventura County All-Star game ... In a 24-0 win over San Marcos, recorded 11 tackles, three sacks, four tackles for loss, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery ... A.S.B. President, Honor Roll, California Scholarship Federation Citizenship Award of Excellence, English Award of Excellence ... Coached by John Mack.
    Personal: Born Warren Paul Anderson on 7/5/85 ... Son of Buzz and Debby Anderson ... Plans to major in economics (pre-medicine) ... Chose NU over Stanford, Washington State and Fresno State.

    5-10 * 180
    Fayetteville, Ga. * Starr's Mill
    Projected Position: Defensive Back

    High School: Hailing from one of Atlanta's top area programs, Battle was ranked 23rd nationally among cornerbacks on web site ... Ranked 16th nationally among corners by web site ... Tabbed an honorable mention all-state selection by the Atlanta Journal & Constitution and named one of its top 50 recruits ... First-team all-region cornerback ... Also played running back and earned second-team all-region 4-AAAAA honors ... A PrepStar/Rivals all-region and SuperPrep all-region honoree ... Defensively, totaled 41 solo tackles, 22 assisted tackles, four fumbles recovered, three forced fumbles, 15 pass deflections and one interception in 2002 ... As a running back, piled up 819 rushing yards (79 attempts, 10.4 ypc) and scored 14 touchdowns (second-leading scorer in region) ... Also had 267 receiving yards on 36 receptions ... Led the Panthers to a 9-3 record and the second round of the state playoffs ... Team made playoffs for the fourth year in just five years of varsity existence ... Team captain ... True Believers Prep Sports first-team all-state ... Chick-Fil-A first-team All-American ... Selected to play in the 2002 Georgia-Florida All-Star game at cornerback ... Georgia High School Football Magazine 2002 first-team all-state cornerback ... Four-year letterwinner ... Max Emfinger's "Blue Chips Magazine's Magnificent Seven" ... Mike Fitzpatrick Student Athlete of the Week ... Atlanta Touchdown Club "Back of the Week" ... Selected to and graduated with Honors from Georgia Boys State ... NAACP Academic Achievement Award, MIT Minority Engineering nominee, National Beta, National Ventures Scholar ... Active in numerous community service projects ... Graduated with Honors and a College Prep Seal of Distinction ... Coached by Mike Earwood.
    Personal: Born Deante Naquae Battle on 5/9/85 ... Son of Johne and Amecia Battle ... Father was an all-conference receiver at Miles College ... Plans to major in mechanical engineering ... Graduated in December ... Chose NU over Colorado, Notre Dame, Stanford, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest and Virginia.

    5-10 * 170
    Pasadena, Calif. * Polytechnic School
    Projected Position: Defensive Back

    High School: A multi-purpose player who earned CIF Southern Section Division XIII Offensive Player of the Year honors ... Played receiver and running back for the Panthers ... An all-state honoree ... First-team all-area and Prep League Offensive MVP ... All-conference selection ... Team's Offensive MVP ... Totaled three games with four touchdowns ... Had a school-record 98-yard kickoff return for TD ... Earned all-CIF and all-league honors as a sophomore and junior ... Named an all-area performer as a junior ... Led Panthers to the Division XIII CIF championship in 1999 and 2002 ... Team won league titles in 1999, 2000 and 2002 (tri-championship) ... Two-time Pasadena Star News Player of the Week as a senior ... Also lettered in track and baseball, earning all-league honors in both sports ... League's 200-meter champion as a junior ... Coached by Grant Oldfield.
    Personal: Born Ryan Justin Black on 12/25/84 ... Son of James and Jo Ann Black ... Plans to major in economics ... Chose NU over New Mexico, Oregon State, Utah and Boise State.

    6-3 * 185
    Chickasha, Okla. * Chickasha
    Projected Position: Wide Receiver

    High School: PrepStar/Rivals honorable mention all-region receiver ... Named to Daily Oklahoman, Tulsa World and McDonald's Coaches Association all-state teams ... Team's Offensive MVP and District Offensive MVP ... Scored 23 touchdowns, including 17 as a receiver ... Also had four punt return touchdowns and two interception returns for TDs ... 1,438 receiving yards ... As a free safety, had 15 interceptions, including 12 in his senior (2002) year ... Helped the Fightin' Chicks to back-to-back district championships ... In district title game vs. Lawton MacArthur, registered three interceptions ... In second round of playoffs vs. McAlester, totaled five receptions for 170 yards and four touchdowns ... Teams went 8-3 (2000), 10 -2 (2001) and 12-1 (2002) ... Candidate to play in OCA McDonald's All-State and Oil Bowl (Texas vs. Oklahoma) all-star games ... Also lettered two years on the Fightin' Chicks' basketball team ... Coached by Tom Cobble.
    Personal: Born Aaron Bernard Burdex on 11/28/84 ... Son of Linda Horton and Aaron Burdex II ... Major is undecided ... Chose NU over Missouri and Tulsa.

    5-10 * 175
    San Leandro, Calif. * San Leandro
    Projected Position: Wide Receiver

    High School: PrepStar/Rivals All-America wide receiver ... Ranked 40th nationally among wide receivers on web site ... Molded in the same vein as former NU star Sam Simmons ... SuperPrep all-region choice ... Caught 63 passes for 1,121 yards (17.8 ypr) and 14 touchdowns as a senior ... Had 38 catches for 884 yards (23.2 ypr) and 13 touchdowns as a junior ... Set Hayward Area Athletic League (HAAL) records for single-season TD receptions (13), career TD receptions (22) and single-season receiving yards (813) ... An HAAL first-team offensive and defensive (safety) player ... Contra Costa Times Cream of the Crop ... NCS Scholar Athlete ... ANG Newspapers first-team offense and defense ... CIF Sportsmanship-Citizenship Award ... North Coast Section Athlete of the Week ... Daily Review Prep of the Week ... Helped lead team to an unbeaten season and the HAAL championship ... During his four-year career, the Pirates lost just four games ... Also ran sprints for track team ... GSE Academic Excellence Award in science and chemistry ... Coached by Dan Calcagno.
    Personal: Born Samuel August Cheatham on 3/29/85 ... Son of Linda Mattade and Thomas Cheatham ... Major is undecided ... One of five nationally chosen finalists for the 2003 Franklin D. Watkins Memorial Trophy Award, which is presented to the top African-American scholar-athlete (award will be announced Feb. 22 in Charlotte, N.C.) ... Chose NU over Arizona, Colorado, Washington, Oregon State and Kansas State.

    6-2 * 180
    Southfield, Mich. * Southfield-Lathrup
    Projected Position: Wide Receiver

    High School: An all-state, all-region and all-conference receiver ... Team Co-MVP ... Honorable mention All-America ... Totaled 59 receptions (18.0 ypr) and 12 touchdowns in his final two seasons ... Led team in receptions the last two seasons ... Registered five interceptions, 14 pass breakups, 52 tackles, four forced fumbles and one sack on defense (defensive back) the past two years ... Scored three touchdowns, picked off three passes, totaled 10 tackles and forced a fumble versus Waterford ... Led team in scoring and yards per catch ... Also lettered two years in basketball and track ... Three-year class board officer ... Prep teammate of Fred McConnell, another 2003 NU signee ... Coached by Stephon Thompson.
    Personal: Born Tonjua Ray Jones on 2/5/85 ... Son of DeEtrra and Kenzo Crockett ... Father played football at North Carolina State ... Plans to major in mechanical engineering.

    6-2 * 235
    Dublin, Ohio * Dublin Coffman
    Projected Position: Linebacker

    High School: Ranked 62nd nationally among inside linebackers on web site ... SuperPrep all-region and PrepStar/Rivals all-region linebacker ... First-team All-Ohio Capital Conference, first-team all-region and first-team all-state selection as a senior ... Tabbed as a second-team all-conference and all-region player as a junior ... Totaled 154 tackles, six sacks, five fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles in 2002 ... Rang up 100 tackles, 11 sacks and five pass deflections in 2001 ... The Shamrocks went 9-4 his junior year and captured the regional championship before an 8-3 season in 2002 ... Team captain ... Also a team captain and four-year letterwinner in lacrosse ... Earned all-state honors in lacrosse as a junior (senior year honors not yet announced) ... Intense weightlifter ... Played against current NU receiver, Mark Philmore ... Coached by Mark Crabtree.
    Personal: Born Adam John Kadela on 12/3/84 ... Son of Dave and Lynn Kadela ... Father played offensive tackle at Michigan and sister, Stacey, rows on the varsity crew team at Indiana ... Older brother, Dave, started three years as a right tackle at Virginia Tech and now plays tackle for the Jacksonville Jaguars ... Prep teammate of current NU player Ike Ndukwe ... Plans to major in economics or communications ... Chose NU over Indiana and Vanderbilt.

    MARK KOEHN (pronounced "kane")
    6-3 * 230
    Newton, Kan. * Newton
    Projected Position: Defensive Line

    High School: PrepStar/Rivals honorable mention all-region selection ... Two-way athlete who earned first-team all-conference and honorable mention all-state Class 5A recognition at running back ... Played both defense (defensive end) and offense (quarterback, fullback, wide receiver and tight end) ... Projected to play on the defensive line at NU ... Rushed for 595 yards (112 carries) and six TDs on offense and had 54 tackles on defense ... Team's Most Improved Player in 2002 ... Also played three years of basketball for the Railers, earning Dodge City Tournament of Champions all-tourney honors ... Helped the Railers' football team win more games (7-4) than the last four combined ... Team advanced to second round of playoffs ... Valedictorian of senior class (out of 241 students) ... Kansas University Honors Program ... Achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA ... Coached by Brent Glann.
    Personal: Born Mark Edward Koehn on 11/13/84 ... Son of Janet Koehn and Charles Koehn ... Plans to major in pre-medicine.

    6-3 * 310
    Southfield, Mich. * Southfield-Lathrup
    Projected Position: Offensive Line

    High School: Ranked 40th nationally among offensive tackles on web site ... SuperPrep All-Midwest Region and PrepStar/Rivals all-region teams ... Named to first-team all-state offensive team by ... Southfield Observer and Eccentric all-area first-team ... Detroit News and Detroit Free Press all-region teams ... Oakland Press Super 60 ... 150 pancake blocks during career ... Teammate of NU recruit T.J. Jones ... Helped lead the 2000 Chargers to an 8-3 record and a district championship ... Team made the playoffs for the first time in school history that year ... Three-year letterwinner ... Also played on the defensive line ... Who's Who, Scholars Plus, Scholar-Athlete honor roll ... Coached by Stephon Thompson.
    Personal: Born Frederick Albert McConnell Jr. on 12/25/84 ... Son of Frederick and Debra McConnell ... Plans to major in biomedical engineering (pre-medicine) ... Chose NU over Michigan and Stanford.

    6-1 * 175
    San Leandro, Calif. * San Leandro
    Projected Position: Wide Receiver

    High School: PrepStar/Rivals All-West Region honoree ... Ranked 76th nationally among wide receivers on web site ... Teammate with 2003 NU signee and receiver Sam Cheatham ... Helped form one of the nation's top receiving duos for one of the country's top teams ... Totaled 61 receptions for 924 yards and 12 touchdowns as the Pirates reached the North Coast Section championship game for the fourth straight year ... Caught nine passes for 108 yards in the title game vs. De LaSalle ... Also played several other positions during career, including linebacker, tight end, defensive back and running back ... First-team all-HAAL and Bay Area Cream of the Crop ... Scholar Athlete ... Also lettered in baseball (outfielder) and basketball (forward) ... Coached by Danny Calcagno.
    Personal: Born Reginald Wayne McPherson Jr. on 3/26/85 ... Son of Juanita Littlejohn ... Plans to major in business ... Chose NU over Illinois, Oregon and Boise State.

    6-3 * 220
    Manasquan, N.J. * Wall Township
    Projected Position: Quarterback

    High School: PrepStar/Rivals honoree ... Attended Wall Township High (1998-01) before prepping at The Hun School of Princeton in 2002 ... At Hun: New Jersey Prep Offensive Player of the Year, First-team all-state, Prep all-state, First-team prep all-county, Team MVP and voted Player of the Year by the Princeton Packet, Trenton Times and Trentonian ... At Wall Township: First-team All-Division and All-Shore, All-Monmouth County quarterback ... Named to New Jersey's Top 100 Players by the Star-Ledger ... MVP of various games throughout the season ... Completed 128 of 227 passes for 2,408 yards and 25 TD's .. Rushed for 617 yards and 10 TD's ... Also punted at both schools ... MVP of 2002 XXV All-Shore Football Classic ... Holds single-game school record for passing yards (364) and passing touchdowns (six) ... Totaled 3,025 yards in total offense and 35 touchdowns in a nine-game season ... At Wall, helped the Knights win a pair of Liberty Division titles and reach the state finals once ... At Hun, helped the Raiders finish at Maple Prep League state runner-up ... Also lettered in tennis and basketball ... Coached by Gerry Shulte (Wall), Chris Barnes (Wall), Dave Dudek (Hun) and Dan O'Dea (Hun).
    Personal: Born Christopher Peter Malleo on 5/8/84 ... Son of Michelangelo and Elizabeth Malleo ... Plans to major in business ... Chose NU over Boston College and Syracuse.

    6-5 * 275
    Orange Park, Fla. * Orange Park
    Projected Position: Offensive Line

    High School: PrepStar/Rivals honorable mention all-region selection ... Playing center, guard and tackle, named second-team all-state, first-team all-conference, first-team all-county and first-team all-city as a senior ... Super 24 ... All First-Coast ... Nominated to play in Shrine Bowl and North/South Florida Bowl ... Also lettered in weightlifting and track (shot put) for the Raiders ... Coached by Ron McCrone.
    Personal: Born Austin Taylor Matthews on 3/12/85 ... Son of Daryl Ann and Wiley Matthews ... Father played football for the University of Miami ... Plans to major in business and computer science ... Chose NU over West Virginia, Mississippi, Wake Forest and Vanderbilt.

    DAVID NGENE (pronounced en-GENN-ee)
    6-3 * 255
    Humble, Texas * Humble
    Projected Position: Defensive Line

    High School: SuperPrep All-Southwest Region ... A first-team all-district and all-state mention offensive lineman for one of nation's top teams ... Humble began the season as Texas' top-ranked team and finished the year 11-2, sixth in the state and 13th in the nation ... Named to Dave Campbell's Texas Superteam ... Offensive Lineman of the Year ... Recorded 82 pancacke blocks in 2002 ... Team's strongest player, lifting a combined 1,265 pounds (bench, squat, power clean) ... Who's Who, Honor Roll ... Excels in track (shot put) and will contend for a state title ... Coached by Neil Quillin.
    Personal: Born David N. Ngene on 2/20/85 ... Son of Iran Ngene ... Plans to major in computer engineering ... Chose NU over Stanford, Rice, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

    6-2 * 275
    Pearland, Texas * Pearland
    Projected Position: Offensive Line

    High School: Ranked 14th nationally among offensive centers on web site ... PrepStar/Rivals honorable mention all-region ... All-state, first-team All-Greater Houston and first-team All-County center ... Three-time all-district selection ... 2002 team MVP and 2001 team Offensive MVP ... Member of Texas' Hot 100 by Max Emfinger ... Finalist for the Houston Touchdown Club Offensive Player of the Year in 2002--only lineman selected ... Recorded 65 pancake blocks as a senior and 165 for three-year career ... Never allowed a quarterback sack ... Blocked for two 2,000-plus yard rushers ... Oilers went 10-3 his senior year and reached the region semifinals ... Went 8-4 as a sophomore (region quarterfinals) and 13-1 with a state semifinalist appearance as a junior ... The Oilers went unbeaten in district play in 2001 ... Also lettered one year in track ... Played against current NU cornerback, Herschel Henderson, and 2003 NU signee, Eddie Simpson ... Coached by Tony Heath.
    Personal: Born Trevor J. Rees on 11/10/84 ... Son Keli and Drew Wall (stepfather), and Jim Rees ... Major is undecided ... Chose NU over Clemson, Pittsburgh, Kansas, Rice and TCU.

    6-2 * 220
    Milwaukee, Wis. * Milwaukee Lutheran
    Projected Position: Linebacker

    High School: SuperPrep All-Midwest Region ... PrepStar/Rivals All-Midwest Region honoree ... Played both linebacker and wide receiver/running back and excelled on both sides of the ball ... 2002 first-team all-state, Two-time first-team all-conference (2001-02), 2002 Associated Press all-state honorable mention ... 2001 and 2002 North Shore Receiver of the Year ... 2001 All-Southeast Wisconsin Coaches' List ... Red Knight's 2002 team MVP and 2001 and 2002 Offensive Player of the Year ... In final two seasons, totaled 82 receptions for 1,293 yards, 27 TD's and 162 points ... Also had 897 rushing yards on 78 carries ... Totaled 126 tackles, three sacks, 10 tackles for loss, one interception (for TD), three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery ... Had two punt and two kickoff returns for TD's as a senior ... Also lettered in basketball and track ... Slated to play in North/South Shrine Bowl in July ... Helped the Red Knights win the most games in 30 years and advance to second round of playoffs for first time in school history in 2002 ... Coached by Lonnie Pries.
    Personal: Born Nicholas Alexander Roach on 6/16/85 ... Son of Deborah Stanford and Anthony Roach ... His uncle, John Rhodes, played basketball at Ohio University and presently serves as an assistant basketball coach for the Bobcats, and an aunt, Jennifer Rhodes, played basketball at Wisconsin (1993-98) ... Played seven years with the Wisconsin Shooters AAU basketball team and won two state championships ... Major is undecided.

    6-3 * 265
    Battle Creek, Mich. * Harper Creek
    Projected Position: Defensive Line

    High School: PrepStar/Rivals honorable mention all-region selection ... Lettered four years as an offensive and defensive lineman ... Two-time all-state (2001-02), three-time all-league (2000-02) and three-time all-city (2000-02) selection ... Helped the Beavers win back-to-back league championships in 1999 and 2000, and a regional title in 1999 ... As a defensive lineman, recorded 272 tackles, 27 sacks, 125 tackles for loss and seven fumble recoveries during four-year career ... Slated to play in a 2003 all-star game in July ... Also lettered four years in wrestling and track (discus/shot) ... High Honor Roll all four years ... Two-time Student of the Month ... Coached by Ed Greenman.
    Personal: Born Trevor Kyle Schultz on 10/15/84 ... Son of Michele and Kirk Schultz ... Plans to major in biological sciences ... Chose NU over Purdue.

    6-0 * 200
    Houston, Texas * North Shore
    Projected Position: Linebacker

    High School: Two-time first-team all-district defensive end and linebacker ... Finalist for Defensive Player of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Houston ... District MVP runner-up ... In final two years of play, totaled 50 solo tackles, 47 assisted tackles, 27 tackles for loss, 17 pass sacks, seven pass breakups, eight forced fumbles, five recovered fumbles and 40 quarterback hurries ... Helped his team to a 12-1 record his junior year (third round of playoffs) and an 11-1 mark his senior year (second round of playoffs) ... Selected to play in Oil Bowl--Texas All-Stars vs. Oklahoma All-Stars ... Also lettered in track and basketball ... Who's Who and National Honor Roll ... Coached by David Aymond.
    Personal: Born Eddie Jerome Simpson on 8/20/85 ... Son of Sharon and Leonard Simpson ... Plans to major in business finance ... Chose NU over Tulane.

    6-8 * 290
    Louisville, Ky. * Trinity
    Projected Position: Offensive Line

    High School: First-team coaches' all-state and first-team Associated Press All-State offensive lineman ... Helped lead the Rocks to a 15-0 senior season and a No. 4 national ranking by USA Today ... Led team to back-to-back state titles ... Rocks went 29-1 (14-1 in 2001) with him as a starter ... Top-ranked team in Kentucky ... Team was ranked nationally in 12 polls ... Two-time all-district and all-region selection ... A coaches and AP honorable mention all-state selection as a junior ... Also lettered in basketball ... Honor Roll ... Coached by Bob Beatty.
    Personal: Born Dylan Andrew Thiry on 4/20/85 ... Son of Ann Strain ... Sister played volleyball at Rutgers ... Major is undecided ... Chose NU over Purdue, Michigan State, South Carolina, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville and Wake Forest.

    6-4 * 190
    Inkster, Mich. * Detroit Country Day
    Projected Position: Wide Receiver

    High School: An all-state, all-area and all-county wide receiver and defensive end ... Detroit News and Free Press All-County Dream Team ... Also an all-region and all-state track performer (sprinter) ... Grabbed 32 receptions for 740 yards and seven TD's ... Also had 91 rushing yards on five carries ... Defensively, registered 59 tackles, 11 sacks, two blocked punts and one defensive TD ... Current NU players Ashton Aikens and Brandon Horn were prep teammates ... The Yellowjackets went 7-5 and were a state semifinalist in 2002 ... Team went 6-4 and 6-5 in 2000 and 2001, while playing one of the state's toughest schedules ... Hauled in a career-best nine catches for 167 yards and a TD in one game ... Also lettered in basketball and track ... Graduated cum laude ... Coached by Dan MacLean.
    Personal: Born Kim Thompson on 3/22/85 ... Son of Beverly Thompson and Kim Harwell ... His father, Kim, played basketball at Eastern Michigan ... Major is undecided ... Chose NU over Stanford and Illinois.

    6-2 * 230
    Jacksonville, Fla. * The Bolles School
    Projected Position: Linebacker

    High School: Two-time all-state middle linebacker--second team honoree as a junior and first-team as a senior ... Led the Bulldogs to the 2002 Florida 2A state championship and a 14-1 record ... Two-time first-team All-First Coast honoree ... 2002 Times Union Super 24 ... 2001 Sprint Factory All-Academic team ... An eight-time Defensive Player of the Game ... A two-time Player of the Game ... Three-year starter and four-year letterwinner ... Compiled a 44-8 record during his four years with the Bulldogs ... Team advanced to state playoffs all four years ... Team captain ... Also lettered in wrestling, track and weightlifting ... Other notable alums of The Bolles School include Chipper Jones (Atlanta Braves) and Dez White (Chicago Bears) ... Coached by Corky Rogers.
    Personal: Born Kyle E. Wagner on 9/23/84 ... Son of Kent and Julia Wagner ... Major is undeclared ... Chose NU over Boston College.