It's hard to believe, but 2015 3-star (247Sports composite) middle linebacker Josh Corcoran's first FBS offer didn't come until earlier this week. That school: Northern Illinois.
Corcoran, who picked up his offer on Wednesday while attending an NIU camp, told Hustle Belt he was ecstatic when NIU head coach Rod Carey sat him down and offered him.
"I got lightheaded, I was so excited. I can't really explain it, I just got light headed, almost kind of dizzy," he said. "My dad went there. Two of my aunts went there. It's a high place on my list. My whole family lives in Chicago, it'd be fun to play there."
Corcoran, who has followed NIU football his whole life, says he attended the Huskies home game versus Western Michigan this past fall, and came away impressed with the atmosphere, and most importantly the team, including Jordan Lynch.
Corcoran is listed as 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, and is regarded as one of the top prospects in the state of Minnesota, and a Top-50 inside linebacker prospect in the class of 2015. But surprisingly, his recruiting process started off slow, and he currently only holds offers from NIU, South Dakota and South Dakota State. But that doesn't mean he's not a big-time prospect.
With his impressive size, Corcoran said NIU initially wasn't sure whether to offer him at linebacker or defensive end. A prototype bulky mike linebacker, Corcoran thrives in run protection, exploding throw gaps and into the backfield to lay out the ball carrier. He fills holes, and runs alleys well, but could use some work in pass protection, and not letting receivers get inside on him.
He has great size, with room to grow, and solid speed (he ran a 4.71 at NIU's camp earlier this week), so it's easy to see why a host of Big 10 schools are showing intense interest in the Lakeville, Minnesota prospect. He told Hustle Belt that Iowa, Iowa State, Nebraska and Minnesota have all been pursuing him intensely, and he plans to visit them all in the coming weeks, including another trip to Minnesota on July 19.
But as we've seen once already this offseason, just because NIU is competing for a commitment with Power 5 schools doesn't mean the Huskies don't stand a chance.
When asked if the allure of playing in the Big 10 is something that would factor into his decision he said no, citing NIU's ability to win even in the MAC, and the success the team has had with high rankings in recent seasons.
Ultimately, Corcoran said his decision—which he hopes to make either right before the start of his senior season or sometime during it—will boil down to the coaches.
"I have to like the coach," he said. "That's probably the main thing, because you're with them the most and you've got to do things their way, so you better like their way."
We'll likely find out where his top choices lie sometime in mid-to-late July, but for now check out his highlights, courtesy of Hudl: