It’s been a while since Northwestern received some positive news related to its football program (No, beating hapless Illinois doesn’t count). That changed on Sunday, when highly touted 2014 recruit Garrett Dickerson announced over Twitter that he had verbally committed to Northwestern. Adding Dickerson is a huge boost to an already highly regarded 2014 class – one ranked 44th nationally in 247 sports’ team rankings. He is one of two top-200 2014 prospects that have drawn the bulk of Northwestern recruiting media attention over the past six months.
The other one is four-star defensive back Parrker Westphal, and he could be on the verge of following Dickerson’s lead and committing to Northwestern sometime over the next couple of weeks. Westphal took an official visit to Northwestern (along with Dickerson) this past weekend, which came two weeks after one of many unofficial visits to Evanston. The Bolingbrook high school senior texted me Sunday about his visit.
“It was good,” he said.
Westphal, who plans to graduate high school early and begin college classes in January, has now taken official visits to his two finalists: Vanderbilt and Northwestern. The Wildcats have long been considered the favorite. All 21 of the 247 analysts – including national recruiting reporter Steve Wiltfong, whose success rate on Northwestern crystal ball picks is 100% -- who submitted their crystal ball predictions on Westphal after August 8 picked Northwestern.
You can sort of see why it would be surprising if Westphal doesn’t commit to the Wildcats. Unless Westphal sets a decision date, it’s impossible to know when he will make his announcement. But given that he’s already taken official visits to both of his remaining schools, and that he plans to matriculate at a college in January, it’s reasonable to think he’s close to announcing his school of choice.
When asked Sunday whether he thinks he will be making his decision within the next couple of weeks, Westphal texted the following.
“It’ll have to be haha. I enroll into school Jan. 6th,” texted Westphal.
(In case you were wondering, both Northwestern and Vanderbilt begin classes on January 6)
Far from a predetermined deadline, Westphal’s text merely indicates his decision will come within the next 14 days. In any case, “Westphal Watch” has officially begun.
School: Bolingbrook (IL)
Other offers: Cincinnati, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Purdue, West Virginia
Crystal ball: 84% Northwestern
Notes: Visited NU first weekend of March; Said NU is one of his favorites