Few class of 2015 running backs have received as many scholarship offers from upper-echelon BCS programs as Bryce Love. The Wake Forest (NC) native counts Ohio State, Clemson, South Carolina and Stanford on his growing list, and plenty of other programs – from Florida State to Georgia to Oregon to Michigan to UCLA – are showing interest.
As of this writing, Northwestern belongs in the second category, but that could change soon. The Wildcats began contacting Love about a month ago, and running backs coach Matt MacPherson recently visited him at Wake Forest-Rolesville high school. Love was impressed.
“It went well,” he said of MacPherson’s visit. “He talked about the program, about the education, all the benefits.”
What separates Northwestern from most of Love’s other offers is the school’s academic reputation. The Wildcats’ most recent four-year Academic Progress Rate was 996, the highest in the nation, and ranked No. 12 in US News & World Report’s latest edition of national university rankings. Love said he would be interested in studying “some major in science,” and that business was his fallback plan. Love’s father said Bryce maintains a 4.5 GPA.
After visiting multiple schools this year, Love said he would like to see Northwestern at some point.
“It’s possible we can do it during the season,” he said. “We just have to plan it.”
Love is also impressed by the program’s recent rise under coach Pat Fitzgerald, and said the idea of playing football in Chicago, where a number of close relatives reside and his father often visits for business trips, is something he is open to.
Other schools located far away from home that don’t have family members nearby may be at a disadvantage in his recruitment, Love said.
“Distance varies,” Love said. “As long as there’s family around the place, people to come and visit.”
During his sophomore season at Wake Forest-Rolesville, Love rushed for 1,043 yards and 12 touchdowns and was invited to the U.S. All-American Combine. A four-star prospect according to 247’s composite rankings, Love (5’10’’, 180 pounds) has quickly surfaced as one of the premier running back recruits in his class. He is easily one of its fastest. Love said his best 40-yd dash time is 4.30 seconds; he has been clocked at 10.68 in the 100-yd dash.
No plans have been made for a decision date, and Love does not have a list of top schools. A successful visit to Evanston, though, could land Northwestern on his early list of favorites.
School: Wake Forest-Rollesville (NC)
Offers: Clemson, Ohio State, Stanford, South Carolina, Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, others
Notes: Visited by NU assistant, hopes to make unofficial sometime in 2013