Neuqua’s Ippolito picks Northern
Updated: September 23, 2011 6:35PM
Neuqua Valley senior defensive lineman Michael Ippolito gave an oral commitment to first-year Northern Illinois football coach Dave Doeren on Thursday night.
“I just talked it over with my parents and we put all the factors out on the table. The distance – it’s very close, so my parents can come (and see me play),” Ippolito said. “The coaching staff built a relationship with me since Day 1 of my recruiting process, so that really helped.”
As a junior in 2010, Ippolito, the younger brother of former Neuqua Valley quarterback and baseball player Joey Ippolito, finished second on the team with 75 tackles and led the Wildcats with 10 sacks to earn spots on both the All-Upstate Eight Valley team and the Naperville Sun’s All-City team. The Wildcats made the postseason for the first time since 2007 and nearly upset eventual Class 8A runner-up Mount Carmel at home in the second round.
Through four games this season, the 6-foot-4, 240-pound Ippolito has recorded 24 tackles and a pair of sacks for Neuqua Valley, which carries a 3-1 record into Friday night’s Upstate Eight Valley matchup with South Elgin.
Rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, Ippolito will play defensive end for the Huskies.
“The distance (from home) and the coaching staff were big on my decision,” said Ippolito, who turned down a scholarship offer from Air Force and ones from other Mid-American Conference programs, including Western Michigan, Central Michigan and Toledo. “My recruiting class, as well. I was talking to my recruiting coordinator and he told me my recruiting class, 2012, that’s coming into Northern is really impressive.
“Northern just seemed the best fit for me and my family.”
A year after winning a program-record 11 games and winning the Humanitarian Bowl with a 40-17 rout of Fresno State, Northern Illinois sits at 1-2 after last week’s 49-7 loss to Wisconsin and hosts Cal Poly Saturday at 2:30 p.m.