DeKALB – Former Aurora Christian quarterback Anthony Maddie will transfer to Northern Illinois from Western Michigan, Aurora Christian football coach Don Beebe confirmed Monday.
Beebe said Maddie has enrolled in classes for the fall at NIU and expects he will have to pay his own way for a year before becoming a scholarship member of the Huskies and gaining eligibility for the 2014 season.
Western Michigan, a Mid-American Conference West rival of NIU’s coached by former Kaneland standout P.J. Fleck, did not release Maddie from his scholarship.
“ ... I’m not going to release him to an in-conference rival and with him knowing our entire system as a quarterback and say, ‘Here you go. Here’s your release.’ ” Fleck told the Kalamazoo (Mich.) Gazette.
Maddie will give NIU a fourth Aurora Christian product in its program as 2013 Aurora Christian graduates Chad Beebe, Joel Bouagnon and Brandon Mayes all are incoming freshmen for the Huskies.
In 2014, Maddie projects to join a quarterback competition that also includes Geneva graduate Matt Williams. Jordan Lynch, who led NIU to the Orange Bowl as a junior last season, has one more season of eligibility remaining.
Beebe said Maddie was motivated to transfer considering Fleck – entering his first year with the Broncos – is running a different offense than the one used by Bill Cubit, who recruited Maddie but was fired. Western Michigan also recently landed a highly rated quarterback recruit, Chance Stewart.
“[Fleck] is more of a pro style, West Coast guy and not a running quarterback [coach] and that’s what Anthony wants to do is run and throw, and that’s the way Western Michigan was before,” Beebe said. “So then they signed a big four-star kid that drops back, a pro style guy, and [Maddie] kind of saw the writing on the wall that he wasn’t going to have a chance at it with the new coaching staff.”
Beebe, like Fleck a Kaneland product, said he has rapport with Fleck, and sympathized with the plight of losing a talented quarterback to a conference rival.
“That’d be like our QB going over to Montini or somebody but [Fleck] understands the business, too, and if he doesn’t, he will soon, because it’s a rough business,” Beebe said.
Maddie, a 6-1, 195-pounder who redshirted last year, led Aurora Christian to the 3A football state championship in 2011, when he was Kane County Chronicle Football Player of the Year after accumulating a whopping 4,916 yards of total offense.