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Northwestern Recruiting Roundup, 3/22: Commitments Coming Soon?

Northwestern has been off of spring practice this week because of finals, and the Wildcats won't return to practice until the first week of April. That means things have been relatively slow around the football team, and no recruits have been on campus. However, NU got a commitment from four-star quarterback Clayton Thorson, and we also caught up with a couple of NU targets this week who could be making their commitments soon.


- Thorson's commitment was NU's second for the class of 2014, but from the looks of it, another one could be coming soon. One possibility: offensive lineman Ben Oxley. Here's what he told us earlier in the week:

“Northwestern is my number one school,” the 6’6’’, 260-pound lineman from Avon Lake, Ohio, said. “It’s been that way for a long time.”

Oxley has no decision date, but will be visiting NU the weekend of April 5 and 6 — NU's first weekend back to spring practice — and said, “I could see myself making a decision then." He also visited campus for the NU-Indiana football game in the fall and is receiving interest from Illinois, Louisville and Michigan State.


- All of the hype surrounding NU's running back recruiting this year has been centered on Justin Jackson, a four-star running back from Glenbard North, who said NU is currently his leader. However, running back Auston Anderson, from Plano, Texas, is also in the mix. He has a number of good offers, including Stanford, UCLA, Washington, Arizona and Texas Tech.

Anderson has NU in his top four, along with Stanford, UCLA and Texas Tech, but he is visiting NU the weekend of April 5 and 6, and that may end up making or breaking where the Wildcats stand in his commitment.

“For the most part, other than Northwestern and Stanford, all of my favorite schools have equal academics,” he said. “Campus life will be the determining factor.”

Anderson has no timeline for his commitment, but would like to go into his senior season committed.


- NU was looking at three quarterbacks for the class of 2014 — Deshone Kizer, Clayton Thorson and Chris Durkin — but it looks like Thorson is probably going to be the lone QB to commit to NU. He did that earlier this week, committing to the Wildcats over Ole Miss, Penn State, Iowa and a number of others.

Thorson is a big quarterback, who has the build of a pocket passer, but is also perfectly capable of taking off and running. It's a skill set that fits perfectly into NU's spread offense, which isn't married to any set group of plays — NU will air it out (Kafka era), go majority run (Colter era) or both (Persa era). It's tough to compare Thorson to either Kain Colter or Trevor Siemian, because he has a skill set that combines what both do. We break down what he commitment means for NU, as well as how the dynamic could work with Matt Alviti already coming in at quarterback.


More Nuggets

- Northwestern won't hold a true spring game this year, but it's having an open practice on Saturday, April 6. Expect lots of visitors that weekend, including Oxley and Anderson. We'll try to compile a more comprehensive list of who is coming.

- Check out this week's "Who's That Wildcat" posts: superback Jayme Taylor and linebacker/safety Brett Walsh.

- Be sure to keep checking our recruiting board for updates.