(CBS) Northern Illinois head coach Dave Doeren announced the signing of 31 players to his 2012 recruiting class Wednesday.

Sixteen players are from the state of Illinois, with 10 of them coming from the Chicagoland area.

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“I am very excited to see a year of hard work come to fruition today,” Doeren said in a statement. “We definitely improved our football team in every area that we targeted.  We felt it was extremely important to build a fence around as many in-state players as we could and we did that with 16 Illinois players joining our football team.  Part of the emphasis of this class was the offensive and defensive lines and we feel like we made a great impact on those two position groups.”

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The Huskies have won 11 games in each of the last two seasons and Doeren says their recent success has helped recruiting efforts.

“Back-to-back 11-win seasons opened doors for us with many of the kids we recruited,” he said. “We were able to compete against BCS level schools for many of our signees. There were definitely doors open this year that weren’t the year before. Recruits took notice that we have had the Player of the Year in the MAC in five of the last six years and we were also able to use the excitement over the new Chessick Practice Center in our recruiting. Our APR and graduation rates were important to the people we talked to.”

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For more information on NIU’s 2012 recruiting class, click here.