If left completely untouched, any prospect’s 19-strong list of scholarship offers can feel sort of unwieldy. Four-star Indianapolis (In.) Brandon Lee thought so, and Friday, after teasing the announcement on Twitter, sliced down his list to nine schools – Northwestern among the group he listed “in no particular order.”
But even this group is subject to change. Lee could receive a new offer or two over the next few months (Texas A&M could be a possibility), and he plans to come up with another condensed version of final choices sometime this summer.
Whether Northwestern will make the next cut is anybody’s best guess.
“Within the next two months, I’ll probably narrow it down again sometime,” he said.
Somewhere between now and the start of senior season, Lee will visit his nine lucky finalists – California, Indiana, Oregon, Virginia Tech, Northwestern, Louisviille, Iowa, Kentucky and Missouri. Those trips, he believes – some of which (Lee mentioned Cal and Oregon) will be official visits this fall – will help him move closer towards a decision.
Until he makes the rounds this summer, that list of nine will stand, and every school will officially sit on an equal platform. The biggest thing Northwestern has going for it right now?
“Considering academics is probably going to be pretty big in my decision, possibly,” he said. “Northwestern, I like them a lot with that.”
Besides academics, which Lee acknowledged was the common point of attraction for most Northwestern recruits, Lee spoke highly of NU’s coaching staff, Pat Fitzgerald in particular. He also mentioned the certain positive “feel” he had on his campus visit this spring, when Northwestern offered him a scholarship.
His list of schools has since bloated, thanks in part to a two-day period in which he received four offers from Rutgers, Purdue, Minnesota, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.
The Wildcats are recruiting Lee for the WILL linebacker spot, but he also mentioned the possibility of playing on the strong side (SAM).
“They like me on the weakside more so than others [schools],” he said.
Communication with Northwestern coaches began as early as his sophomore year in high school, picked up after his junior season and has remained fluid through Friday’s announcement of his final nine choices. The Wildcats may survive his next reduction. They may not.
“I want to take another visit to Northwestern,” he said.
The tweet declaration that saw Lee’s list compacted into a more comfortable single-digit grouping kept Northwestern in the hunt, and right now, on Friday June 14, that’s the most anyone can really say about the Wildcats chances of adding Lee to their 2014 class.