Northwestern hasn't picked up a commitment since two weeks ago, when Nathan Hall became the 12th member of the class of 2014. However plenty has been happening on the Wildcats' recruiting front in the past few weeks. We'll break down everything you need to know as the calendar gets set to turn to July, which is sure to be a crazy month of NU recruiting. As always, check out our 2014 recruiting board for more information.
Westerfield visit will be key
In a recent story from PonyStampede.com, Frisco Wakeland defensive end Noah Westerfield made clear that Northwestern has not separated itself from his other offers. The Wildcats are behind SMU right now, and Westerfield confirmed that sentiment by text this week.
“Yeah, just based off what I’ve seen,” he said when asked if SMU was ahead of Northwestern on his ordering of schools.
Notice the clarification Westerfield makes. Based off what Westerfield has seen so far, SMU is his top choice. That distinction could change once he visits the Wildcats – who he prizes for their prime academic offerings, and their location next to Chicago – on July 5.
We have long stood by our contention that Westerfield is one of the more likely candidates to fill out Northwestern’s 2014 class. His visit to Evanston will go a long way toward confirming or debunking our opinion on the matter.
Michigan filling up with cornerbacks
Why do Michigan cornerback recruits matter to Northwestern? Well, they could go a long ways in deciding the outcome of Parrker Westphal's recruitment. Westphal lists NU as one of his favorite schools, but the Wildcats have stiff competition with Michigan. NU's chances were thought to have risen a month ago when top cornerback Jabrill Peppers committed to the Wolverines, and today NU got some more help, as Brandon Watson committed to UM. This isn't a guarantee for the Wildcats — Ohio State, Florida and, still, Michigan are all tough competition — but it definitely can't hurt their chances of landing Westphal.
Shifting defensive backs picture
A few weeks ago, Northwestern's defensive backs picture looked relatively clear. Ron Robinson was considered likely to commit to NU, as was Ladarius Wiley. There was still a chance for Parrker Westphal, too. Now, things a much more muddled.
Robinson announced last week that UCLA is now his leader after he picked up an offer from the Bruins, meaning it was back to the drawing board for the Wildcats. When a player didn't commit like he was expected to (Robinson) that left room for Adam Soesman, another California defensive back, to get an offer, and he currently lists NU in his top two with Oregon State.
It's unclear what will happen with Soesman, Wiley and Westphal, but after it looked like there was a chance for NU's class to fill up early in July, that timeline seems to have moved back a month. Wiley and Soesman could potentially commit on their visits, but those won't come until late July or early August. Westphal is planning on deciding before his season starts, which likely means sometime in late July or early August. We'll know a lot more once Wiley and Soesman's visits have taken place, but right now a lot is unclear.