football

Root makes his choice with haste

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A day is all it took for Wichita (Kan.) Collegiate quarterback Landon Root to weigh the pros and cons of Northern Illinois. Root, a three-star prospect, earned a scholarship offer from the Huskies at the program's team camp on Saturday.
By Sunday afternoon, his decision was made. A few conversations with his parents and brief period of reflection were all it took. The cons never stood a chance.
"I really like the coaches up there," Root said on Monday, a day after pulling the trigger on his verbal commitment. "Also, they're back-to-back MAC champions and they went to the Orange Bowl last year. The type of offense they run fits me. I just thought it was a really good fit. I liked the area, too. It's close enough to Chicago that you can go and hang out there, but it's far enough away that you can avoid the mess of the traffic and stuff like that."
According to Root, who has camped at Northern Illinois twice, the book on his recruitment is now closed. He does not intend to camp at other schools or tour other campuses, saying he is "pretty much done."
Head coach Rod Carey and assistant Bob Cole accepted Root's commitment by phone on Sunday. And while the duo was excited to have the three-star quarterback in the fold, Root's pledge wasn't exactly a shock.
"They kind of expected it," Root said. "I told them I would give it a few days, but after talking to my parents all day, I decided to commit right then. I talked to coach Cole and Coach Carey and told both of them separately. They were both really excited and glad to have me aboard."
A short turnaround between offer and commitment didn't prohibit Root from examining the depth chart. He's already familiar with the situation he'll stroll into as a freshman. He knows the names and he's aware of the competition. In fact, the way things set up in front of him was a factor in his choice.
A starting job won't be handed to him. Root knows that. Still, he likes his chances of earning it on the field.
"I know that they have Jordan Lynch, that quarterback, again," Root said. "He's going to be a senior this year. So, by the time I get there, he'll be gone. They have a few other guys in there. But I think that if I work hard, I might get a really good opportunity."
As a junior at Collegiate, Root, who completed 64 percent of his passes, threw for 1,601 yards and 18 touchdowns while throwing five interceptions. He also rushed for 582 yards and an additional 11 scores in 11 games.
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