Kevin Trahan
By (@k_trahan)
May 16, 2013

We did one of these “who to watch” updates last week, but with Auston Anderson and Justin Jackson coming off the board, and Matt Sokol committing to Michigan State, we already had to make some changes. We’ve also updated the sections of some top NU targets, and one could even be closing in on a decision. As always, keep up with our 2014 recruiting board for more general updates.

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Noah Westerfield

School: Wakeland (TX)
Position: OLB
Stars: 3
Other offers: Boise State, Duke, Fresno State, Navy, New Mexico, SMU
Profiles: ScoutRivalsESPN

The analysis: Westerfield is an interesting case in that he initiated contact with the Northwestern coaches. They liked what they say and extended an offer this week, and NU definitely looks like one of the favorites to land him. He had the Wildcats in his top three before he got the offer. Westerfield isn’t likely to commit soon, since he wants to see NU’s campus before making a decision — he’ll likely visit in July — but the Wildcats seem to have a very good chance with him.

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Garrett Dickerson

School: Bergen Catholic (NJ)
Position: DE/TE
Stars: 4
Other offers: Alabama, Arizona, Boston College, UConn, Florida State, Maryland, Michigan, NC State, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Carolina, Stanford, Syracuse, Tennessee, Toledo, Vanderbilt, Wisconsin
Profiles: ScoutRivalsESPN

The analysis: If NU can get Dickerson, the hype of the Wildcats’ “best class ever” might go through the roof. Of course, it’s a big “IF” that NU can get him to come to Evanston, considering the other members of his top five are Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State and Stanford. However, the Wildcats do have some “ins.” Dickerson’s brother, Cameron, is currently an NU wide receiver. His teammates — Kyle and Cameron Queiro — are members of NU’s classes of 2013 and 2014, respectively, and the latter has been recruiting him heavily. Again, this will be a tough get for NU, but the Wildcats will get a fair shot. Dickerson has liked what he has seen so far, particularly from the coaching staff: “I feel like they’re my coaches,” he said. “I know just about all of them pretty well.”

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Ladarius Wiley

School: Los Angeles, Cathedral (CA)
Position: CB
Stars: 3
Other offers: California, Cal Poly, Fresno State
Profiles: ScoutRivalsESPN

The analysis: Wiley only has one other major conference offer — Is this year’s opener the “Wiley Bowl?” (just kidding, seriously) — and despite his California ties, his mom is actually encouraging him to choose a school out of state. That would bode well for NU, and not any of the other schools to offer him. He’ll visit in the summer and said he could commit on that visit, since he currently has NU as his No. 1 school.

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Antonio Woods

School: Summit Country Day (OH)
Position: ATH
Stars: 3
Other offers: Akron, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Indiana, Kent State, Miami (OH), Toledo, West Virginia
Profiles: ScoutRivalsESPN

The analysis: Woods is another under-the-radar player with an NU offer. Interestingly enough, he also has mid-major offers to play basketball. He has visited Evanston and has the Wildcats in his top five, according to Rivals (insider only).

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Brandon Lee

School: Lawrence Central (IN)
Position: OLB
Stars: 4
Other offers: Ball State, Cal, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State, Missouri, NC State, Purdue
Profiles: ScoutRivalsESPN

The analysis: Lee would be yet another high-profile recruit for NU, and he’s certainly giving the Wildcats heavy consideration. He’s an ESPN Watch List player and ranked as the No. 25 outside linebacker in the class of 2014. He visited Evanston in early April, but hasn’t narrowed down his list and isn’t expected to make a decision soon, according to Scout (insider only).

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Blake Hance

School: Jacksonville (IL)
Position: OT
Stars: 3
Other offers: Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Missouri, Nebraska, NC State, Northern Illinois, Purdue, Vanderbilt, Western Michigan, Wyoming
Profiles: ScoutRivalsESPN

The analysis: Hance has some good offers, and even though Northwestern got in on him late, but he’s still high on the Wildcats:“It felt great to know I’m high on their list,” he said Wednesday. “I’ve been wanting that for a long time.” Hance is being recruited as both a tight end and an offensive tackle, but NU sees him as the latter. The Wildcats have recruited the offensive line well recently, and they likely won’t have a huge offensive line haul in this class. A commitment from Hance in addition to Tommy Doles would be a success for such a small class.

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Jalen Brown

School: Mountain Pointe (AZ)
Position: WR
Stars: 4
Other offers: Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Boise State, Cal, Kansas State, Michigan, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, Utah, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Yale
Profiles: ScoutRivalsESPN

The analysis: I’m hesitant to include Brown on this list for a couple reasons. First, he’s not likely to commit for awhile, so he’s not really “one to watch.” Second, NU certainly has some tough competition for Brown, and he has yet to put out a top five. However, at the urging of a commenter, I included him. He’s visiting in June, and according to Rivals, his mom really likes NU. Keep an eye out for how his visit goes. After that, we should get a clearer picture of where the Wildcats stand with him.