Just signed, Ben Niemann! Welcome to #HawkNation! #GoHawks #Swarm2014 http://t.co/97FeFoibRG— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) February 5, 2014
Hometown: Sycamore, Illinois
Weight: 201 pounds
247 Sports Composite Rating: 3-star
Other Offers: Northern Illinois, Eastern Michigan
Caring Is Creepy: Have a seat, Ben Niemann
Niemann had been a Northern Illinois commit since several months ago, and that wasn't hard to understand; not only was NIU the best program to offer by a substantial margin, but Niemann's father Jay (a former Iowa State player, incidentally) is the current defensive coordinator at NIU. So while Jay wasn't likely to directly coach Ben, there was still enough of a family connection that it was worth Ben's time.
A low-three-star, somewhat-skinny 6'3 kid whose dad is a college assistant and who led his high school team to an undefeated regular season and Illinois Class 5A semifinal? That's not a recruit, that's a Kirk Ferentz fetish object. Niemann is being projected at linebacker, despite being a strikingly productive high school wideout, and is going to need a redshirt year before he has any chance of building the frame needed to play linebacker in the Big Ten.