Northwestern landed a commitment today from 4-star TE/DE Garrett Dickerson, making him the second or third 4-star (depending who you ask) to commit to NU this year. He becomes the 13th commitment of the Wildcats' 2014 class. Visit and subscribe to 247 Sports for more.
School: Bergen Catholic (NJ)
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: 247, Scout, Rivals, ESPN
What's the Hype?
The 2014 class has been very successful for Northwestern, possibly the Wildcats' best ever. There have been some great commitments, and there might be another one to go — it's officially time for Parrker Westphal watch — but Dickerson is the guy NU fans wanted the most all along.
Why? Well, by all accounts he's a great player, but so are fellow four-stars Justin Jackson and Clayton Thorson. However, Dickerson commanded the most hype from early on. NU was his first offer, but his offer list quickly grew to include Michigan, Stanford, Ohio State and Alabama, which combined to be in his eventual top five, along with NU. It was another Ifeadi Odenigbo kind of situation, which got fans saying, "If we can get him, we'll be on the national radar."
When Dickerson announced his top three, things looked bleak for NU. Stanford was his top choice, then Michigan, then NU. But then, something happened, and Michigan was no longer in the running. Then, circumstances changed again and the Wildcats looked to be in the lead. Recruiting is a nutty game; don't ever count anyone out.
This has been a long haul for NU. Michigan and Stanford really wanted him, at least at the beginning — in fact, he was visiting Michigan when NU played in Ann Arbor last year — so getting him to end up in Evanston over Ann Arbor and Palo Alto (oh, and don't forget Columbus and Tuscaloosa) would be difficult. And when you put it this way, it's pretty incredible to think about:
Familiarity likely played a big role, as Dickerson has known this coaching staff for awhile.
“I feel like they’re my coaches,” he told us. “I know just about all of them pretty well.”
It's not just the coaches, though. Dickerson is the brother of current NU wide receiver Cameron Dickerson. He was also high school teammates with freshman safety Kyle Queiro and 2014 linebacker recruit Cameron Queiro. That's now four players from New Jersey's Bergen Catholic High School that will play for NU next year, forming quite the pipeline.
Given the family and teammate ties, if there was ever a top recruit that NU "should have," or should at least have an advantage with, it was Dickerson. Now, after a long recruiting process, Pat Fitzgerald and staff finally got him to Evanston.
Where He Fits In
It's always tough to project early playing time, but Dickerson is certainly a candidate. However, a lot of it depends on where he'll play. He was recruited by schools as a defensive end, tight end and outside linebacker. It's unclear what he'll play at NU — he was recruited as both a DE and TE — but for what it's worth, he did mention in his commitment tweet that he'll be a tight end (superback):
However, things change. Last year's 4-star recruit, Godwin Igwebuike, went from safety/running back to likely running back to safety. We'll see what happens, but NU has a possible star at either position.
Tight end: NU's offense will be very pass-oriented in the coming years, with Trevor Siemian, Matt Alviti and Clayton Thorson expected to be among the next group of quarterbacks. At 6-foot-4, Dickerson is a big target that will come in handy in a pass-heavy offense.
Defensive end: With Ifeadi Odenigbo, Deonte Gibson and Dean Lowry, NU is going to be loaded at defensive end. Add Dickerson to that equation and that group will be unbelievably talented.
Guessing on position without hearing from Dickerson is just that, a guess, so we won't speculate. However, no matter where he ends up, this is a big pick-up for NU.