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: Morristown, NJ
High School: Delbarton School
247 Composite Rating: ★★★ (.8215)
National Rank: 1545
Position Rank: 94
State Rank: 39
Other Offers: Northwestern, Syracuse, Fordham (only Yahoo! Sports had Syracuse, and the Daily Record reported Fordham)
More: 247 Profile | Hudl
In terms of weight, Otterman is Northwestern’s biggest 2015 recruit. As you can see above, however, Otterman had few offers. He committed to Northwestern on June 7, 2014--just a few days after his first visit to Evanston--making him Northwestern’s 12th member of the class. Following the trend of most other Wildcat recruits from the northeast, Otterman said Ivy League schools were interested (although none were officially listed as schools that had given him an offer).
Otterman has an interesting story. He primarily played hockey and lacrosse growing up, but decided to play freshman football as he continued to grow, figuring his size could be helpful on the gridiron. By the end of his junior year, he was an All-Daily Record first teamer, and he repeated on the first team this year, too.
Otterman, who said "life after football" was of primary concern while choosing a school, is a smart guy in the classroom. He sports a 3.85 GPA and plans to go down the pre-med track. He even said this about Northwesten’s academic environment: "I came and saw Northwestern and what they do, and their level of academics is equal to or greater than a lot of the Ivy’s."
Otterman was also really under-the-radar coming out of high school. At the time he committed, he didn’t even have a 247, Rivals, or Scout profile. Still, however, Pat Fitzgerald and the rest of the staff think Otterman has high upside. He shows decent mobility and good power in his Hudl video (he’s #74), and in some highlights, it looks like he’s playing with a cast on his left forearm, meaning he certainly has some toughness to him. He also threw shot put for the track team in high school.
Otterman’s tape looks impressive, but it’s in part due to the simple fact that he was bigger and stronger than most of the kids he competed against. The size difference is obvious. Against bigger, stronger, quicker athletes, it will be interesting to see how he fares, how his footwork holds up, and how well he uses hands while blocking. In most cases in high school, he could just push forward. That won’t be the case in the Big Ten.
Still, he has great size considering he is still yet to spend a year in a college weightlifting program. He will probably be able to put on considerable muscle mass, which is always helpful. Northwestern returns both of its starting guards from last year, so a shift to tackle or center may be in line down the road, but for right now, it’s probably safe to assume Otterman will redshirt this coming year while improving strength and technique.