ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO)–Rockford Jefferson’s football program has produced at least four college players from this year’s senior class. Four young men signed letters of intent with colleges on this second big National Signing Day.

Joey Alvarez signed with Augustana. Alvarez was a NIC-10 All-Conference linebacker for the J-Hawks.

Diallo Buois signed with Ripon College. Dubois is a special mention all-conference defensive lineman.

Nicks James signed with Carthage College. James was a receiver in the J-Hawks’ potent passing attack.

Another receiver Tyler Gaines has committed to Northern Illinois University. He’s going as a preferred walk on which means he’ll have to earn a scholarship once he arrives on campus. Gaines set school records last season with 50 receptions and 12 touchdown catches.

He tells me the NIU coaching staff first took notice of him last summer.

“We went to NIU summer camp seven-on-seven. Bascially you know, I did good, and they hit me up. Coach Jackson (Derrick Jackson, NIU’s associate head coach) we connected over the offseason, and after that I got invited on a visit and when I took the visit I knew that I was going to go there.”

What do NIU’s coaches like about Gaines besides his 6’3 frame?

“The physicality,” said Gaines. “I’m aggressive, and I like to fight for extra yards.”