by Chris Johnson (@ChrisDJohnsonn)
If Ben Oxley does not give his verbal allegiance to Northwestern within the next few months, he will have undergone a change of heart.
“Northwestern is my number one school,” the 6’6’’, 260-pound lineman from Avon Lake, Ohio, said. “It’s been that way for a long time.”
Since attending Northwestern’s home win against Indiana in September, Oxley has remained in constant contact with offensive line coach Adam Cushing and head coach Pat Fitzgerald. His experience on campus heightened his already strong interest in the Wildcats, but the attraction to NU began sometime after his sophomore season at Avon Lake High School.
When Fitzgerald leaked word to Avon Lake coach Larry Laird of an intended scholarship offer during a February visit, Oxley was elated. “I was pumped,” he said. The offer was a realized dream for Oxley, who says he values the academics, coaching staff and the architectural beauty of Northwestern’s campus.
“You really can’t compete with Northwestern academics,” he said. “I love the coaching staff, I love coach Fitzgerald.”
Another bonus for Oxley, who relishes the potential balance between a distinct “Midwestern feel” and the hustle-bustle lifestyle of nearby Chicago, is that his older brother works in the city. Having a comfortable familiar presence adds to the overall welcoming warmth he feels when he steps on campus.