by Chris Johnson (@chrisdjohnsonn)
Leading up to the season, Inside Northwestern will give you a preview of each of Northwestern’s 2012 recruits. Click here for previous entries.
Hometown: Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Star Rating: 4-star, #10 OG
Ht/Wt: 6-4, 275 pounds
Other offers: Boston College, Michigan State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Villanova, West Virginia.
What’s to like:
The combined loss of left tackle Al Netter and center Ben Burkett creates instability along the Wildcats’ offensive line and questions remain as to who can fill those holes. Enter DePietro, who could provide depth at guard as early as next season.
Even though he lacks ideal size, DePietro has drawn rave reviews for his technique and overall fundamentally sound play. Scout. com went as far as to say that DePietro “may be the most fundamentally sound lineman in the state.”
This is a small coup for Fitzgerald, who, in DePietro, is getting a player with huge upside. His size may ultimately limit his positional flexibility, but the Lancaster native should fill out and develop into a truly dominant player. DePietro has the makings of a future Burkett/Netter-type, a stalwart, multi-year starter.
There’s little doubt that DePietro’s commitment was a consideration for Sam Coverdale, Brad North and Blake, three recent three-star OL commits of NU’s 2013 class who, led by DePietro, offer a strong predictive picture for the Wildcats’ line.
Prospects for this season:
The offensive line experienced some turnover this offseason when it lost Burkett and Netter, with no clear-cut successors for either player, meaning that DePietro could get significant playing time, most likely at guard.
What he’s saying:
“All these good linemen are going to change it around and make this a better place,” DePietro told PurpleWildcats. com last June. “I’m really excited, I got a great feeling about the future.”
What they’re saying:
“DePietro is one of the prizes of Northwestern's 2012 class. A four-star prospect, many schools fell in love with DePietro's combination of strength and athleticism. He could compete for a starting spot as a freshman."-- Chris Emma, PurpleWildcat.com/Fox Sports Next
Note: DePietro suffered a dislocated knee cap and torn ligament in January, but is expected to recover in time for preseason practice.