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Northwestern Brings in the Best Recruiting Class in School History

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Northwestern has announced a very strong 2014 recruiting class of 15. The haul was impressive according to the Chicago Tribune's Teddy Greenstein.

Northwestern live streamed Pat Fitzgerald's press conference on NUSports.Com. Fitzgerald was excited about his newest players and relayed some information about the class in general.

They will enter Northwestern as one of the best academic classes in NU history. Their cumulative Grade Point Average is 3.65. All 15 recruits were high school captains. They already have been getting to know each other. Ten of the 15 took their official recruiting visits together and per Greenstein all but tailback Auston Anderson have spent time in group text.

The Wildcats did an outstanding job identifying their targets and get the players they wanted to commit to Evanston. Fifteen of the 66 players they offered scholarships to signed a National Letter of Intent. That comes out to a 22 percent hit ratio. Much higher than most other schools according to Fitzgerald.

He also stressed the importance of social media in the modern day recruitment process. All 15 signees are on facebook and 14 of the 15 are on twitter. Northwestern was in constant contact with all of its newest players via both mediums.

Despite its relatively small size, this is the best recruiting class of the Fitzgerald era (on paper). Five (or a third) of the class are four star recruits for the first time. Three of the players are in the top 300 nationally. NU ranks ahead of Rosebowl and Big Ten Champion Michigan State and Gator Bowl Champion Nebraska. The Wildcat class ranks 36 nationally. A bigger class might have pushed them higher in the national rankings.

Northwestern has announced a very strong 2014 recruiting class of 15. The haul was impressive according to the Chicago Tribune's Teddy Greenstein.

Northwestern live streamed Pat Fitzgerald's press conference on NUSports.Com. Fitzgerald was excited about his newest players and relayed some information about the class in general.

They will enter Northwestern as one of the best academic classes in NU history. Their cumulative Grade Point Average is 3.65. All 15 recruits were high school captains. They already have been getting to know each other. Ten of the 15 took their official recruiting visits together and per Greenstein all but tailback Auston Anderson have spent time in group text.

The Wildcats did an outstanding job identifying their targets and get the players they wanted to commit to Evanston. Fifteen of the 66 players they offered scholarships to signed a National Letter of Intent. That comes out to a 22 percent hit ratio. Much higher than most other schools according to Fitzgerald.

He also stressed the importance of social media in the modern day recruitment process. All 15 signees are on facebook and 14 of the 15 are on twitter. Northwestern was in constant contact with all of its newest players via both mediums.

Despite its relatively small size, this is the best recruiting class of the Fitzgerald era (on paper). Five (or a third) of the class are four star recruits for the first time. Three of the players (according to ESPN) are in the top 300 nationally. NU ranks ahead of Rosebowl and Big Ten Champion Michigan State and Gator Bowl Champion Nebraska. The Wildcat class ranks 36 nationally. A bigger class might have pushed them higher in the national rankings.

The three Chicago area players appear to be the crown jewels of the class. Justin Jackson, Clayton Thorsen and Parrker Westphal all have ratings above 90 according to 247Sports.Com.

Westphal is a four star corner from Bolingbrook high school in Chicago’s Southwest Suburbs. He ranks 134th overall, 13th at his position and as the fifth best player in the state. He scored highest at eight in length, reactive quickness and tackling. He’s got excellent size for a corner at 6’1 186. He has already enrolled in school.

Jackson brings some gaudy numbers to Evanston. He rushed for 6,531 yards and 85 touchdowns in his prep career at Glenbard North High in Carol Steam, west of Chicago. He played both cornerback and running back in high school. He is projected as an all-purpose back in college. He was rated 159th nationally, fourth nationally at his position and sixth overall in the state of Illinois.

Thorson comes to Northwestern from Jackson’s conference rival Wheaton North. Wheaton North is the same school that produced former NFL Quarterbacks Chuck Long and Kent Graham. Thorson is the nation’s 188th ranked player, the ninth best pro style quarterback and seventh best player in the state of Illinois.

Defensive End-Tight End Garrett Dickerson (brother of WR Cameron Dickerson) and cornerback Solomon Vault are the other two four star recruits who signed. Dickerson is projected as a superback at Northwestern.

Cameron Quiero and Nathan Hall also come to Evanston to join their older brothers. Quiero’s brother Kyle is a freshman safety and Hall’s brother Jimmy a junior safety.

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