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Which NU Recruits to Watch in the Coming Months

Northwestern has had quite the week in recruiting, pulling in three-star offensive tackle Tommy Doles and four-star wide receiver Dareian Watkins for their sixth and seventh commitments for the class of 2014. This class could end up being the Wildcats' best ever, and it's already close to being halfway finished. NU isn't expected to have a big class this year — roughly 15 players is the general estimate — and the Wildcats still have a number of solid players on the board. Here we'll detail who you need to watch in the coming months, and as always, check our 2014 football recruiting board for updates.

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Justin Jackson

School: Glenbard North (IL)
Position: RB
Stars: 4
Other offers: Boston College, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Missouri, Purdue, Syracuse, Vanderbilt
Profiles: ScoutRivalsESPN

The analysis: Jackson, a four-star running back, he has had the Wildcats ranked as his No. 1 school for awhile, with Vanderbilt and Iowa next in line. He reiterated to us last week that NU is "out in front," and had some interesting things to say about the offense and the program in general. It's tough to say when he will commit, but NU seems to be a pretty solid favorite to get him. That would make an already stellar class even more impressive.

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Auston Anderson

School: Plano West (TX)
Position: RB
Stars: 3
Other offers: Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Baylor, Cal, Georgia Tech, Navy, Nebraska, Rice, Stanford, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech, UCLA, Washington, Washington State
Profiles: RivalsESPN

The analysis: Jackson has garnered a lot of the attention when it comes to NU's targeted running backs, but three-star running back Auston Anderson would be a big get, as well. He's a three-star, but arguably has better offers than Jackson. He visited Evanston in mid-April and said NU was his No. 1 at that point — he had Stanford, Arizona and UCLA offers then — and kept the Wildcats at No. 1 even after adding a Texas offer. He's added some solid offers since then, but definitely has the potential to choose NU. Keep an eye on him as his recruitment continues to heat up.

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Noah Westerfield

School: Wakeland (TX)
Position: OLB
Stars: 3
Other offers: Boise State, Duke, Fresno State, Navy, New Mexico, SMU
Profiles: ScoutRivalsESPN

The analysis: Westerfield is an interesting case in that he initiated contact with the Northwestern coaches. They liked what they say and extended an offer this week, and NU definitely looks like one of the favorites to land him. He had the Wildcats in his top three before he got the offer. Westerfield isn't likely to commit soon, since he wants to see NU's campus before making a decision — he'll likely visit in July — but the Wildcats seem to have a very good chance with him.

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Ladarius Wiley

School: Los Angeles, Cathedral (CA)
Position: CB
Stars: 3
Other offers: California, Cal Poly, Fresno State
Profiles: ScoutRivalsESPN

The analysis: Wiley only has one other major conference offer — Is this year's opener the "Wiley Bowl?" (just kidding, seriously) — and despite his California ties, his mom is actually encouraging him to choose a school out of state. That would bode well for NU, and not any of the other schools to offer him. He'll visit in the summer and said he could commit on that visit.

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Antonio Woods

School: Summit Country Day (OH)
Position: ATH
Stars: 3
Other offers: Akron, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Indiana, Kent State, Miami (OH), Toledo, West Virginia
Profiles: ScoutRivalsESPN

The analysis: Woods is another under-the-radar player with an NU offer. Interestingly enough, he also has mid-major offers to play basketball. He has visited Evanston and has the Wildcats in his top five, according to Rivals (insider only).

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Brandon Lee

School: Lawrence Central (IN)
Position: OLB
Stars: 4
Other offers: Ball State, Cal, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State, Missouri, NC State, Purdue
Profiles: ScoutRivalsESPN

The analysis: Lee would be yet another high-profile recruit for NU, and he's certainly giving the Wildcats heavy consideration. He's an ESPN Watch List player and ranked as the No. 25 outside linebacker in the class of 2014. He visited Evanston in early April, but hasn't narrowed down his list and isn't expected to make a decision soon, according to Scout (insider only).

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Garrett Dickerson

School: Bergen Catholic (NJ)
Position: DE/TE
Stars: 4
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: ScoutRivalsESPN

The analysis: Even considering his ties to Northwestern, landing Dickerson would be a major coup for the Wildcats. Dickerson's brother, Cameron, is a sophomore wide receiver and his teammates at Bergen Catholic — Kyle and Cameron Queiro — are members of NU's classes of 2013 and 2014, respectively. It takes more than just family ties to get a recruit, but Dickerson has been to Evanston a few times and has NU in his top five along with Ohio State, Michigan, Alabama and Stanford. It can't be considered a huge surprise or disappointment if Dickerson goes elsewhere, but he makes this list because NU is definitely in the running.

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Matt Sokol

School: Rochester Hills, Adams (MI)
Position: SB
Stars: N/A
Other offers: Illinois, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, Michigan State
Profiles: ScoutRivals

The analysis: Sokol has yet to receive a Northwestern offer, but he told us he has the Wildcats "very high" on his list. He's a high school quarterback, but has a big frame and would presumably switch to tight end — or superback — in college. If NU wants a superback in this class, Sokol would be a decent bet. It's tough to judge when he hasn't received an offer, though there is definitely mutual interest between Sokol and NU.