Northwestern announced today that freshman linebacker Eric Wilson will transfer. There was no reason given from NU, just a statement from Pat Fitzgerald:
"We thank Eric for his contributions to the program and wish him nothing but the best in the future," Fitzgerald said.
Wilson came into Northwestern as a safety, but switched to linebacker once he got to school. Fitzgerald has often said that he prefers "big safeties who can play linebacker" and Wilson certainly fit that mold. He's an athletic player who could have potentially seen some time as a third-string linebacker this year and almost certainly would have played on special teams.
As far as what it means for NU, Wilson wouldn't have had a big impact on this field this year, but this hurts the unit's depth. The Wildcats have four very capable, starting-caliber linebackers, and in addition, redshirt freshman Joseph Jones made some noise in spring ball, while Timmy Vernon seems capable as a backup. Wilson would have battled with Jaylen Prater to be next in line. As long as NU doesn't sustain any injuries, this won't be a huge loss, but if there are a couple injuries to the Wildcats' outside linebackers, NU could miss his presence.
The release did not indicate whether Wilson has chosen a new school yet.