Northern Illinois may not be the most popular football program in the state of Illinois, but there's no denying it's been the most successful for the past decade. Despite not getting an opportunity to prove its dominance over it's in-state B1G brothers on the football field, the Huskies just beat out one of them on the recruiting trail.
Thursday afternoon Northern Illinois' already strong 2015 recruiting class received a huge boost when 3-star athlete D.J. Brown committed to the Huskies. Many had thought Brown would chose Illinois after being heavily pursued by the Illini all spring long. Ultimately the Huskies, and their superior brand of football won out.
Brown is considered one of the Top 30 running backs in the nation for the class of 2015, and has the offers to prove it. The Little Rock, Arkansas native chose the Huskies over schools such as Illinois, Memphis, Southern Miss and Arkansas State, but was receiving interest from as many as 13 other programs, including the likes of Arkansas, Florida State and Oregon.
While coming in at just 5-foot-9, 177 pounds, Brown packs a big punch. He's a dynamic playmaker, and the Top 15 prospect in the state of Arkansas, per 247Sports Composite. In January Brown was clocked running a 4.56 40-yard dash at the U.S. Army National Combine. He also posted a 30 inch vertical. His 40 has been officially clocked as low as 4.44, with an insanely quick shuttle time of 4.12 seconds.
Brown might not be the fastest player by numbers, but on the field there's no denying his quickness. He excellent field vision, and an explosive burst through the hole. he has the second gear to pull away from defenders in the open field, and the agility to work his way out of what would seem like sure tackles. Though he's not strong, and can be brought down by a solid tackle, he's got good enough balance to avoid being knocked over by a push, or arm tackle.
Currently a senior at North Little Rock High school, Brown lines up both as a wide receiver, and in the back field, and feels a lot like a Dri Archer type talent. A slippery player, with excellent hands and deceiving skills and strength despite a small frame. In the Huskies explosive offense, Brown has the potential to be an All-MAC player from several spots on the field.
Brown's commitment gives NIU seven to this point in the 2015 recruiting process. We're in the process of reaching out to Brown for comment on his commitment, in the meantime, check out his impressive film courtesy of Hudl: