NIU announces six additions via the transfer portal

NIU football coach Thomas Hammock announced the addition of six transfers to the Huskies’ 2024 roster on Tuesday, the first day of spring semester classes.

The six transfers joined three of the Huskies’ December signees as newcomers to the roster for the spring.

“I’m very pleased with the guys we were able to add to our roster mid-year, including three December signees,” Hammock said. “The big thing we look for with transfers is productive players with character and that’s what you see with this group. We wanted to bring in the right fit from a competitive standpoint, an athletic standpoint, and a social standpoint and we got that in this group.”

PlayerPositionHeight/weight/yearPrevious school
Jake ApplegetTE6-4/235/soph.Nebraska
Christian FuhrmanLB6-1/235/sr.Southeast Missouri State
Kenji LewisWR6-1/200/jr.Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Jalen MaconQB6-5/230/jr.Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Andrew McElroyWR6-3/192/sr.St. Thomas
Marc PrettoLB6-2/220/jr.Fordham

In addition to the players announced Tuesday, the Huskies will announce one additional player “in the coming days,” although no specific timeframe was given.

The group includes a pair of 2024 juniors from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in quarterback Jalen Macon and receiver Kenji Lewis. Macon threw for 634 yards and four touchdowns in six games while completing 66.3% of his passes in 2023 while Lewis led the Golden Lions in receiving with 33 catches for 429 yards and three touchdowns in 11 games in 2023.

The Huskies also added senior wide receiver Andrew McElroy from St. Thomas University and sophomore tight end Jake Appleget from Nebraska. McElroy, a Bolingbrook native, caught 98 passes for 1,432 yards and nine touchdowns over the past three seasons and also returned punts and kickoffs for the Tommies. Appleget, an all-state player out of Lincoln Southeast High School, played in six games for the Cornhuskers in 2023 as a redshirt freshman.

NIU recruited a pair of transfer linebackers for 2024 in senior Christian Fuhrman from Southeast Missouri and junior Marc Pretto from Fordham. Fuhrman was SEMO’s third-leading tackler in 2023 with 65 stops, while Pretto made 75 tackles in 11 games for the Rams last season.

In addition to the transfer newcomers, three players signed by the Huskies in December – junior quarterback Kenny Lueth, freshman cornerback Dashaun Gibson and freshman offensive lineman Aiden Olsen – began classes at NIU on Tuesday.

Hammock said having the players on campus this semester will benefit the players and add to the competitiveness of the Huskie roster this spring.

“The great advantage is that these guys will go through offseason workouts, will go through spring ball, and get acclimated to our coaching staff, to our team and to the football side of things so they can give themselves every opportunity to play in the fall,” Hammock said.

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