The substantial interest Trevor Ruhland has in Northwestern dates back to his eighth grade year. Ruhland knew he had the potential to become a Division I football player, so he began thinking about where he might attend college. Northwestern, a local school with great academics, was an obvious option.
“That’s when I started to realize that, if I worked hard, I might be able to do it [play D1 football],” said Ruhland, who has attended a camp for recruits at Northwestern the past three summers.
Ruhland’s most recent trip to Evanston was this summer, when he watched the Wildcats practice a few days before they traveled to Kenosh, Wis., for their annual preseason mini-camp. He toured the facilities and talked with coaches during and after practice. One experience Ruhland, a 6-4, 260-pound offensive guard, remembers from that day is listening to offensive line coach Adam Cushing describe the various drills his unit was doing during practice.
“He was pointing stuff out,” Ruhland said. “That was helpful.”
Ruhland said he received a scholarship offer from the Wildcats during the middle of his junior season at Cary Grove High School (IL). Duke, Illinois, Northern Illinois and Minnesota round out his offer list. Ruhland has also drawn interest from Michigan State, Rutgers, Notre Dame and Iowa and believes there’s a good chance any of those schools could eventually offer him.
Though Northwestern lost seven games and fell well short of expectations last season, Ruhland believes the Wildcats’ 10-win 2012 is more indicative of the program’s current state. Ruhland believes Northwestern is trending upward.
“Two years ago was a positive step forward,” Ruhland said. “This year must have been a real tough year for the players. So many close losses, but those games could have gone either way.
“I think the program is on the rise.”
Ruhland considers Northwestern’s location a strong selling point. “It definitely is,” Ruhland said. “I have a very supportive family. If they could come down to watch me play, that’d be great.”
It’s not clear when Ruhland plans to visit Northwestern again, but he said it could happen in the early part of next year.
School: Cary Grove (IL)
Offers: Duke, Illinois, Minnesota, Northern Illinois, Northwestern
Notes: Has liked NU for more than three years, has visited multiple times, planning to visit again