Parsing elite recruits’ school options is, even for the most discerning recruiting folk among us, a disorienting process. 2014 Frisco, Texas, Defensive End Noah Westerfield made the whole ordeal patently obvious. He contacted Northwestern, and no one else.
The response from Wildcats coaches, running backs coach Matt MacPherson in particular, was glowing. MacPherson quickly passed Westerfield’s game tape along to Pat Fitzgerald and the rest of the coaching staff, and before long Northwestern had coach Marty Long was visiting Westerfield at Wakeland High School. Westerfield talked with Long Tuesday and had nothing but positive feedback to report.
“It went great,” he said. “We talked for a brief moment and he accepted my test scores and said he would get that process going soon.”
Basic expectations from Westerfield are that Long, if everything goes smoothly with his transcripts, could be receiving an offer sometime in the next few weeks. Westerfield always saw the Wildcats as a strong potential candidate. They offered strong academics, a rising football program with recent bowl game staying power and the added bonus of a nearby contingent of family members living in the area.
“It’s a great school,” he said. “It’s in the Big Ten. That’s a great conference to play in. Coach Fitz is bringing the program back.”
Now closer than ever before to potentially receiving a scholarship offer, Westerfield considers the Wildcats one of his top three schools, along with SMU and New Mexico. Oklahoma State, Baylor, Boise State and LSU are among the other schools to have shown interest in the 6’4’, 220-pound pass rusher.
A decision is not imminent – partly because Westerfield wants to get a feel for Northwestern’s campus, which he plans to do sometime this summer (he mentioned July 4 as a tentative date). Westerfield considers himself a pass rusher by trade, but after consulting with coach Long, he believes the Wildcats could also use him at linebacker.
“Coach Long said they could use me at a bunch of different positions,” he said.
Until (if) Westerfield receives an offer, deciphering his place in the 2014 class – his immense upside as a speedy edge force in the Deonte Gibson/Ifeadi Odenigbo mold – is a hollow judgement. Westerfield is clearly intrigued with Northwestern. Matter of fact, they were the only school to receive his own recruiting pitch.
Gauging school-specific interest is tricky in today’s hyperanalyzed recruiting environment; Westerfield’s actions and words are anything but. They’re simply comprehended.