Northern Iowa's football program has become a FCS power by recruiting Iowa players. Panthers head coach Mark Farley stayed with the plan, signing three players from East and Bishop Heelan.
Offensive lineman Bryce Sweeney and defensive end Zach Skibinski will both be Panthers.
Sweeney is a 6'6", 300-pounder, who was a part of a Heelan defense that gave up just nine points per game during the regular season.
"Their coaching staff is great. They're all really nice guys and they love their players and they treat you like family," said Sweeney. "That's what I kind of like about football is like a brotherhood there with the coaches and teammates."
Skibinski is a 6'4", 230-pounder who had 114 tackles as a senior with 10 sacks. Skibinski was an elite all-state pick by the Des Moines Register.
"I think that's for every program, they all want to win a national title," said Skibinski. "That's something I really want to accomplish before I leave there."
Heelan had one more division one football recruit.
Connor Spears will play in the Ivy League for Columbia University in New York City. The 6'6" tight end had 43 catches last season for 756 yards and ten touchdowns.
"I'm going to college for an education and going to Columbia felt like it was the right fit for me," said Spears. "Obviously I'm going to be playing football so it's a good aspect of it as well. Ever since my freshman year I wanted to play college football. That's been a dream of mine and that's what I've been working for."
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