Jordan Thompson Jared Thomas Joe Gaziano Trent Goens Nathan Fox Simba Short John Moten Cameron Green Adam Lemke-Bell Tommy Vitale Montre Hartage Flynn Nagel Charlie Fessler Trae 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: Offensive guard
HOMETOWN: Indianapolis, IN
HIGH SCHOOL: Cathedral
247 COMPOSITE RATING: ★★★ (.8615)
NATIONAL RANK: 608
POSITION RANK: 11
STATE RANK: 8
OTHER OFFERS: Boston College, Cincinnati, Duke, Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Syracuse and Wake Forest.
MORE: 247 Profile | Hudl | Twitter
Thomas took Northwestern's third and final offensive line spot when he committed in late July. As he told 247 Sports' Steve Wiltfong, Thomas chose Northwestern over Boston College because "the football team plays in one of the best conferences in college football, the academics set me up for what I want to do after football. And on top of all that, it's only a three-hour drive from home." Tackle Adam Lemke-Bell and guard Andrew Otterman wrap up NU's 2015 offensive line recruits.
The 6-foot-4, 255-pound Thomas played left tackle in high school where he won two state championships, but wants to play center in college. Thomas' best attribute is his athleticism--he played basketball in high school and can move really well for a lineman as his tape illustrates. He wants to major in sports broadcasting. Northwestern, which has one of the best undergraduate journalism schools in the nation, is the perfect place for him to do that.
Northwestern's offensive line is pretty established for the 2015 season, so Thomas most likely won't see the field at all next season. But come 2016 I fully expect Thomas to be in the fold. He's the best offensive line recruit NU's had in the last two classes so he should have a chance to compete for a starting spot his sophomore season. He'll have to beat out at least three of the following guys to do so: Adam DePietro, Eric Olson, Ian Park, Kenton Playko, Blake Hance and Tommy Doles. But there's reason to believe he can. All season long Pat Fitzgerald called out the second team of the offensive line for not going hard in practice. Fitzgerald rewards hard workers. If Thomas puts on some more weight and competes hard every day of practice he will see the field. And there's no reason he shouldn't because of his athleticism and NU's love for mobile lineman. Thomas may not make an immediate impact, but in a couple years he has a legitimate chance to compete for the starting center position. He just has to put in the work.