Princeton running back Ronde Worrels committed to Northern Illinois University Saturday.
Princeton running back Ronde Worrels committed to Northern Illinois University Saturday. — BCR photo/Mike Vaughn

Ronde Worrels' path to launch his collegiate career is taking a new flight.

One week after verbally committing to the Air Force Academy, the Princeton High School senior all-state running back has reversed course, opting to stay closer to home and attend Northern Illinois University instead.

He announced Saturday via Twitter that "My recruitment is closed. I'm staying in the 815 and I'm 100 percent committed to Northern Illinois University."

Worrels explained to the Bureau County Republican and Friday Night Drive his reasons to decommit from the Air Force Academy in favor of Northern.

"NIU has always been high on my list. They are close to home and the competition they play with in their conference is very competitive," he said. "I also have a grandma who has a huge impact on me that would be hard for her to get out to Colorado to watch me play, and it’s important for me to have her see me play."

Even when Worrels announced last week that he was 100 percent committed to Air Force, his cover on his Twitter account showed him dressed in a Huskies uniform with a big NIU banner behind him.

He shattered the PHS school records with 1,654 yards rushing and 34 TDs last season, leading the Tigers to a 3A semifinalist appearance and Three Rivers Mississippi Conference championship. He has totaled 3,667 career yards already.

Worrels earned All-State unanimous all-conference honors and was named as a BCR co-Player of the Year and was a consensus selection to the All-Friday Night Drive Team.