Northwestern received a commitment from OLB Cameron Queiro, brother of 2013 safety recruit Kyle Queiro, on Thursday night. Queiro becomes the third commitment for the Wildcats in the class of 2014, joining wide receiver Jordan Thomas and quarterback Clayton Thorson. We’ll have quotes from Queiro this afternoon, but first, here’s the next entry in the class of 2014′s “Take a Seat” series. Check out the last entry (Thorson) and our updated 2014 recruiting board.
Name: Cameron Queiro
School: Bergen Catholic (NJ)
Other offers: Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt
Profiles: Scout, Rivals, ESPN
Notes: Committed on April 4; Brother, Kyle, is a member of the class of 2013
What’s the Hype?
Northwestern is digging into its family connections in New Jersey for the class of 2014. Queiro’s brother, Kyle, is part of the class of 2013, and NU is also in the mix for 2014 recruit Garrett Dickerson, brother of current wide receiver Cameron Dickerson. All four went/go to Bergen Catholic High School. Because of the connection, NU had a leg up on Queiro all along, and really, this commitment is no shock.
Queiro figured to be NU’s next commit, and as he told us last week, the Wildcats were his top choice. Here’s what he told us: “If I saw another atmosphere that really shocked me at another school, then I might change my mind. But the way I feel about the coaches and the people here [Northwestern], It’s probably going to stay my number one.” Apparently no other school could sway him. As he said, “It just fits me.”
So how does Queiro stack up? He’s to as highly rated as NU’s last commit, but he’s certainly talented and has the athleticism to fit in well in NU’s defensive scheme. He’s a three-star recruit with offers from Vanderbilt and Pittsburgh, as well as interest from other high-major programs in the Midwest. He’s quick for a linebacker and played safety in high school at times, but he’ll be an outside linebacker in college.
A Fit for NU’s Defense
“He’s a linebacker body, but he has the speed of a safety.”
That quote comes from an announcer on Queiro’s highlight video, and it’s why he’s such a good fit in NU’s system. Queiro has experience playing both safety and linebacker, which should help make him a solid linebacker in the Wildcats’ defense. The positions tend to blend together when NU looks for recruits.
“We’re trying to bring in big safeties who play linebacker, and we’re trying to bring in really, really athletic safeties who play safety,” Pat Fitzgerald said earlier this spring.
Recently, a number of players have made the switch. Redshirt freshman Joseph Jones came in as a safety, but switched to outside linebacker this spring, as did redshirt freshman Eric Wilson. True safety Jimmy Hall has also seen some time at nickelback and outside linebacker.
“(Playing linebacker is) kind of like playing safety in our defense,” Hall said, “because we kind of have to know both linebacker and safety kind of, because we have to play both.”
Queiro has a similar skill set to some of the safeties who have switched to outside linebacker. He’ll come in strictly as an outside linebacker, so his path will be a little different from Jones’ and Hall’s, since neither of them had much prior linebacker experience. However, Queiro is quick, versatile and a big hitter, meaning he really fits the mold of a “big safety who can play linebacker.” His mixture of athleticism and speed would be useful anywhere, but it’s a big plus for a defense that places such an emphasis on having speed and safety-like players at outside linebacker.
Queiro could have been a good player at a number of different schools, but considering his skill set and his background playing both linebacker and safety, he’s a good fit at NU, family ties aside.