Surely, Pat Fitzgerald's Wildcats have dropped off a cliff, right? After years of steadily increasing wins, the Wildcats entered 2013 as a ranked team, only to flop into a 1-7 season. And the offseason brought a divisive union battle, that pitted coaches against players and players against players.
It would not be surprising if after a terrible year, all the momentum the Wildcats had slowly built year after year on the recruiting trail quickly dried up. Nobody would want to play for these Wildcats, right?
Well, apparently not. In fact, so many players are committing to the Wildcats that nobody's really on the same page about how many players are committed to the Wildcats.
Is it eight?
Is it seven?
Is it six?
Is it... eight (6)???
Talked to #Northwestern commit No. 8 (6) yesterday. It's his announcement to make, but it's another long day ahead.— Nick Medline (@NickMedline) April 15, 2014
This required parsing, so here goes. On April 11th, Northwestern had zero announced commits in the 2015 class, before linebacker Nathan Fox committed. Today, on April 15th, they have seven, and the general consensus is that an eighth will be announcing today.
And it's not just random dudes:
Northwestern's class of 2015 (as of 11:13 a.m. central time, April 15)
David Dowell, CB, Lakewood, Ohio
Consensus 4-star, offers from Cincinnati, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, West Virginia, Purdue
Andrew Dowell, RB, Lakewood, Ohio (yes they're brothers, yes they announced via speakerphone)
Consensus 4-star, offers from Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, West Virginia, Iowa State, Syracuse
John Moten, RB, St. Louis
3-star, offers from Mizzou, BC, Illinois, Syracuse, Purdue
Nathan Fox, LB, Houston
3-star, offers from Mississippi State, Utah, Wake Forest
Zach Allen, DE, New Canaan, Connecticut
3-star, offers from BC, UConn
Tommy Vitale, LB, Wheaton, Illinois (Yup, Dan's brother)
Unrated thus far, offers from Syracuse, NIU, Toledo, Western Michigan
Trent Goens, DE, Chino, California
2-star, offers from Cal, Washington, Miami (Florida), Washington State, Colorado, Boise State
* * * * * *
Not the craziest craziest class by terms of opposing offers, but it is rather early in the process. (#LOLlinois tracker: the Wildcats have three commits with Illinois offers, Illinois has two commits... total... neither with NU offers.) With two four-stars under the belt and only seven (eight?) guys committed, they're doing pretty well: last year NU had four four-stars amongst their 15 recruits, which was the best class in school history to date, so, they're on pace here.
The one problem: we're talking about recruiting in April, and as we found out last year, the only time it really makes sense to talk about recruiting is the few days directly before signing day. But considering how hectic everything surrounding Northwestern is right now, and how doom and gloom things have been on occasion, this is... encouraging. Very, very encouraging.
However, this ignores the most important recruiting battle NU faces. The battle to be the most Turnt Up.
You see, people in the NU athletic department have decided that the way to term Northwestern's recruiting ventures on Twitter is with the hashtag "Turn Up 15:"
Turning up it is…here we go! #ChicagosB1GTeam is on fire! #TurnUp15 #B1GCats! The race is on! #WhosNext?— Chris Bowers (@NU_Bowers) April 15, 2014
The domino effect. The Wildcat Way! #B1GCats #TurnUp15 @NU_Bowers— Ray O'Connell (@Raymond_OC) April 13, 2014
(You see, if you work in an athletic department, you can't actually talk about recruits on Twitter, but you can use code words, a la Kevin Sumlin's YESSIR.
#TurnUp15 Can’t stop. Won’t stop. #B1GCats pic.twitter.com/FRfN9ne57X— Paul Kennedy (@PK9) April 15, 2014
However, Texas Tech also lays claim to the concept of turning up, under the premise that "TTU" stands for "Too Turnt Up." Hence Kliff Kingsbury's t-shirt.
Sirs, we remember the 2011 TicketCity Bowl. We will not let this banner fall.
May the Wildcats continue to turn up on the recruiting trail, and may we continue to be unsure about what could cause them to turn down.