Northwestern picked up its first verbal commitment from the 2015 class on Friday. 3-star linebacker Nathan Fox became the first of six players to give verbal pledges to NU over a four-day span. The latest, 3-star defensive end Trent Goens, came Monday night.
Goens picked NU over offers from Miami, Washington, Arizona and Cal, among other programs. The 6-foot-3, 245-pound Chino Hills, Calif., native recorded 35 solo tackles and seven and a half sacks in his junior season. Goens visited NU two weeks ago, according to WildcatReport.com, and decided to commit when, knowing that NU had only two scholarship spots available for defensive ends in this class, he learned that another DE had also committed. The identity of that player could become public as early as today.
A week ago, NU had zero verbal commitments and was unranked in 247Sports’ team rankings. Goens’ pledge bumped NU’s class to 29th, ahead of Florida, Ole Miss and USC, among others. We’re still more than nine months away from Signing Day, so you probably shouldn’t put too much stock in the rankings at this point. NU might not be ranked in the top 30 next February.
If you’re going to take anything away from the team rankings, it should be the speed with which NU ascended them. Picking up six (and quite possibly seven) commitments within the span of a week is a big deal. Stay tuned for analysis/reaction to NU’s next commitment.