In mid-May, Daniel Santacaterina pulled the trigger and ended his recruiting process early by committing to Northern Illinois' class of 2015. Coming out of Geneva High School, Santacaterina is the latest quarterback from the Chicago area to become a Huskie; choosing NIU despite receiving interest from schools such as Indiana, Minnesota and N.C. State.
To some of you Huskie fans, Santacaterina is a fairly familiar name, and it should be, as Daniel's brother Michael is currently a senior linebacker for the Huskies.
"Having a brother who plays at NIU definitely brought a sense of familiarity to the recruiting process," Santacaterina said, noting it made his commitment much easier.
Outside of his family ties to the program, Santacaterina was won over by the system that head coach Rod Carey and offensive coordinator Bob Cole use at Northern, and he believes it sets their players up for success. NIU has gained a determined leader who will only do what's best for the team. Santacaterina will become a true leader at NIU.
Unlike the last Chicago-area NIU quarterback, Santacaterina states that he is, "more of a pocket passer than a scrambler." With the ability to gun the ball downfield, he has had little need to run the ball, yet that is one of his areas of his game he would like to improve on in his senior campaign, which would allow him to open up the offense.
He has been working with Huskie legend, and current Colts quarterback, Chandler Harnish in order to improve this aspect of his game, as well as his game overall. Santacaterina is also looking to improve on his school's record as they went 7-3 overall and 5-1 in conference.
While a 7-3 record is good to some, Santacaterina is determined to, "win more games overall and make a deep state playoff run." He is determined to best last years wins column while beating his school's archrivals Batavia and Richards, which have become the teams to beat in the Chicago area in recent years. He believes to make a deep state run his team needs to, "compete and beat teams that have state championship level talent."