Since there’s no game to look forward to this weekend, checking up on some of Northwestern’s biggest recruiting storylines – the stuff we spent barrels of digital ink on all summer – feels like a good way to pass the time. Here are a couple to consider:
- Parrker Westphal commitment watch is officially on high alert. The four-star 2014 cornerback from Bolingbrook (IL) is expected to make his decision sometime in the coming weeks, and Northwestern is believed to be the favorite, with Michigan State and Vanderbilt rounding out his top three. A 2015 defensive back I spoke to Sunday said a Northwestern coach told him he expects a senior (2014 prospect) to commit this week, which could mean Westphal (or another 2014 prospect, obviously) will make his decision within the next few days. It’s been difficult to track Westphal’s recruitment, because his interaction with the media has been sparse; the amount of reliable on-the-record information about Westphal’s priorities is meager. But most recruiting experts, including the crystal ball forecasters over at 247, seem to believe the Wildcats are the favorite to land him. We might find out this week whether or not that inkling is correct.
- I reached out to another of Northwestern’s 2014 defensive back targets Sunday night, and he had a few interesting things to say. Adam Soesman, a three-star safety from Clovis (CA) who received a Northwestern offer in July and was long considered to have the Wildcats either tied for first, or alone at the top of his list said Oregon State is his current favorite. “After going up to Oregon State, I’d say they’re my first choice right now,” he said over text message. Soesman wants to take an official visit to Northwestern, but said he has not been able to lock down a date for his trip, because Wildcats coaches “said they’re only taking local unofficials for a while” and that, if allowed, he will “get up there, but I don’t want to wait around too long before I commit somewhere.”
That seems simple enough. More than two months ago, weeks before he committed to Northwestern, 2014 defensive end Noah Westerfield named SMU his frontrunner after visiting the school. Westerfield’s visit to Evanston changed his mind. Soesman considers the Beavers his top choice right now, but a visit to Northwestern, like Westerfield's, could change his mind. But if NU coaches aren’t allowing official visits – as Soesman claims – Soesman, at the risk of missing out on a decision-altering visit to Evanston, may be compelled to commit to Oregon State sooner rather than later. Soesman also holds offers from Arizona State, Washington State and Fresno State, among others.