UPDATE: Perry has de-committed from Northwestern after receiving an offer from Jim Harbaugh and Michigan.
Jordan Thompson | Jared Thomas | Joe Gaziano | Trent Goens | Nathan Fox | Simba Short | John Moten | Cameron Green | Adam Lemke-Bell | Tommy Vitale | Grant Perry | Zach Allen | Charlie Fessler | Tre Williams | Jelani Roberts | Alonzo Mayo | Steven Reese | Andrew Otterman | Lloyd Yates | Jacob Murray
Following a relatively quiet offseason, Northwestern's football program will welcome members of its 2015 recruiting class to the program on Feb. 4 for National Signing Day. Even with de-commitments from some of the Wildcats' top targets, Pat Fitzgerald and co. still managed to put together a solid class. As of now, Northwestern's crop of new talent ranks 47th nationally, according to 247 Sports, the same rank they had last year. We'll be putting out player capsules like these in the lead up to National Signing Day so you can learn more about this new bunch of Wildcats.
POSITION: Wide Receiver
HOMETOWN: Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
HIGH SCHOOL: Brother Rice
247 COMPOSITE RATING: ★★★ (.8503)
NATIONAL RANK: 868
POSITION RANK: 108
STATE RANK: 12
OTHER OFFERS: Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Nevada
MORE: 247 Profile | Hudl | Twitter
Called the best receiver in Michigan "regardless of class" by The D Zone, Grant Perry has the potential to be a difference maker early in his career in Evanston. He committed in early December, only one day after his official visit to Northwestern, signaling how impressed he was with the school.
With the University of Michigan less than an hour down the road, many recruiting analysts thought Perry would end up in Ann Arbor. 247's Crystal Ball even put the odds at a commitment to the Wolverines at 75 percent, but a strong push late by Northwestern secured the commitment. The D Zone article from late October labeling Perry the best in Michigan does not even mention Northwestern as a possibility, which demonstrates the quick-hitting and efficient recruiting gameplan Fitzgerald and his staff put together. Perry FaceTimed Fitzgerald the day after his official visit to commit. "I had a feeling it was going to happen," Perry told 247.
As we can see in the clip above, Perry is able to get up the field quickly and once he has the ball in his hands, he has quick feet that allow him to operate in space. He's also not afraid of the big moments, hauling in 12 catches for 201 yards and four touchdowns in the Prep Bowl.
Perry had an excellent high school career, setting records for receiving yards and touchdown receptions for a single season at Brother Rice, a school that has sent four players to the NFL. He also set the state record for most receptions in a season with 105. In addition to Perry's on-field exploits, he also graduated from Brother Rice with a 3.7 GPA, a school where 100 percent of the graduates enroll in a four year college. Perry was recently one of 26 players named to the Scout Class of 2015 All-American team, and one of only two receivers.
Perry will look to compete for playing time right away. Obviously the percentage of freshmen that have redshirted under Fitzgerald is high, but NU is shallow at wide receiver. Perry is also ready to work hard, and thinks he can compete for playing time right away. "I feel like if I assert myself, I could definitely see myself playing (early). I just got to keep working, keep grinding," he told 247 after the commitment.
Receiver was a spot of some worry for this year's team. Players like Tony Jones, Cameron Dickerson and Miles Shuler had far too many drops for Fitzgerald's liking, and Perry has a chance to alleviate some of the concern with his sure hands. If Perry impresses over the summer, don't rule out Fitzgerald giving him a shot as a true freshman.