Sadler unveils some surprises for 1992

By Wes Swietek

Although the NIU football team suffered through a 2-9 campaign last year, the Huskies did beat Purdue, Michigan, Rutgers and Tennessee, among others.

At least when it came to recruiting high school talent.

NIU head coach Charlie Sadler unveiled some of that talent, and unveiled some surprises, as he talked about the Huskies’ future at yesterday’s Huskie Coaches Luncheon.

“We had to assess where we were at the end of the football season. And where we were was 2-9,” Sadler said. “We had to determine how we could upgrade our football team.

“We did that through the junior colleges … (and) we got seven great (recruits) from Canada. Now we can go play our schedule and truly have an opportunity to win.”

Canada is considered an undermined gold mine when it comes to football players. “Canada gives us a pipeline to some talent … and excellent students,” Sadler said.

More schools will start recruiting Canada, “when we start wearing them out on the football field,” Sadler said.

NIU beat out Temple, Rutgers, Toledo and about ten other schools for 6-2, 285-pound defensive lineman Duane Arrindel from Ontario, Canada.

Arrindel, who was his school’s valedictorian, said he was lured to NIU because of its atmosphere and the recruiting effort of the football staff.

“Northern started recruiting me in November. To me, that was incredible,” Arrindel said. “None of the other (schools that recruited him) could offer the kind of atmosphere that Northern could.”

Among the other revelations from Sadler included:

‘The continued movement of NIU from a running team to a more pass-oriented squad. “Last year I made the statement that we would throw the football 20 times,” said Sadler, whose squad wound up throwing about 18 times per game. “Next year, look for 30,” Sadler said.

‘A rising star. “We have a guy by the name of LeShon Johnson—he’s truly a great football player. If he doesn’t get injured, you can look for him to gain in the area of 1,500 yards. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t.”

‘Nose tackle Mike Adams will probably miss next season because of a hand injury that will require surgery. But the undersized offensive line has beefed up in the off-season to go from a 250-pound average to about 270-pounds per man—which doesn’t include NIU’s four incoming offensive linemen who average out at 281 pounds.