Oswego East's Keion Battle (3) runs the ball during football game action between Plainfield North at Oswego East. Oct 18. Gary E Duncan Sr for Shaw Media.
Oswego East's Keion Battle (3) runs the ball during football game action between Plainfield North at Oswego East. Oct 18. Gary E Duncan Sr for Shaw Media. — Gary E Duncan Sr for Shaw Media

Keion Battle's family and school have a history with Northern Illinois University.

Now he's joining it.

Battle, an Oswego East senior wide receiver, announced his commitment to NIU as a preferred walk-on on Monday.

Battle continues a strong pipeline from Oswego to DeKalb. Former Wolves' teammates Antwain Walker and Justin Clark went to NIU the last two years. Oswego standout defensive tackle Jack Hugunin is also part of the Huskies' 2020 recruiting class.

"My two former teammates, they speak highly of NIU," Battle said. "They've been trying to get me to go there."

And the Battle connection to NIU goes back a long way.

Keion Battle's dad, Kenny, starred in basketball at NIU from 1984-1986 before finishing his collegiate career in Illinois.

"He said the same thing as my teammates did, how they shaped players there," Keion Battle said.

Battle said he was recruited mostly as a wide receiver, but he could potentially wide up at defensive back.

As a senior Battle caught 37 passes for 438 yards and eight touchdowns. He played five games defensively, with 27 tackles, three for a loss, five pass break ups and a fumble recovery.

Battle had a scholarship offer from Western Michigan before his senior season, but both available spots were filled. He'd also talked to fellow MAC school Bowling Green, who extended a preferred walk-on offer. Illinois State and Northern Iowa were among other schools to show interest.

"I think it's a good fit for him," Oswego East coach Tyson LeBlanc said. "Obviously it's a good program, close to home, they've been good to the guys we have here. I'm not sure what their plans for him are, whether offense or defense. He's started both ways for us."

Battle attended NIU's Junior Day last year. He visited NIU this morning, and made his commitment.

"I like their attitude toward winning and being better and accepting anybody to the program," Battle said. "With their coaching staff, they shape players into better people."

Battle as a senior was a Kendall County Newspapers All-Area, and a Southwest Prairie All-Conference selection.

"He's athletic, he's got great size, he runs well and he's physical," LeBlanc said. "There is no question in my mind he can play at the next level."