NIU football added 14 new members to the roster, including a former Navy SEAL

By James Krause

DeKALB — The football team added 14 new members to their roster as part of Signing Day on Wednesday, including a former U.S. Navy SEAL with championship experience.

Redshirt senior safety Greg DeLuca will be a walk-on for NIU after spending the last six years as a member of the U.S. Navy.

Previously, the 28-year old based out of Boonton Township, New Jersey played two seasons of football and won two national championships in lacrosse for Duke University. 

There are two other transfer players joining NIU. Redshirt senior quarterback Andrew Haidet from Houston Baptist University saw action in three games last season. In four years, Haidet tallied 446 total offensive yards.

Junior safety Woodly Appolon from Butler Community College tallied 13 tackles his sophomore year. Prior to playing at Butler, Appolon was one of the top junior college stars in his home country of Canada.

Two local high school stand-outs are among incoming first-year players. Sycamore graduate safety Manny Dominguez and DeKalb graduate linebacker Jalon Redmond have both played at Huskie Stadium before as part of the two squads’ annual rivalry game. 

Safeties Jaden Dolphin from Maine West and Patrick Hoffmann from Neuqua Valley are also among defensive signees from Illinois.

Downers Grove North quarterback Drew Cassens is chief among offensive signings from Illinois, with a group including Lake Park kicker Anthony Beacom and Lincoln Way West wide receiver Billy Dozier.

Three signees come from Wisconsin, including a pair of wide receivers in Joe Sikma from Catholic Memorial and Connor Leffler from Germantown. 

Lincoln offensive lineman Matt Schooley rounds out the group, with fellow lineman Seth Thompson from Holy Family Catholic in Minnesota joining him.

The signings Wednesday, coupled with those signed on previously, bring the total of new Huskies to 28 with spring practice expected to start in the coming weeks.