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.
HOMETOWN: Coppell, TX
HIGH SCHOOL: Coppell
247 COMPOSITE RATING: ★★★ (.7989)
NATIONAL RANK: 2049
POSITION RANK: 158
STATE RANK: 266
OTHER OFFERS: Air Force, Navy, Nevada, Northern Illinois, UTSA
MORE: 247 Profile | Hudl | Twitter
Another recruit from Texas, Murray committed in July after an official visit to Evanston. While he has good size, many recruiting services think he will have to switch to cornerback in the more competitive Big Ten. This is due primarily to his merely average speed, but his instincts were enough to make up for his lack of speed at the high school level. It may take some time for him to adjust to the college game because of this.
He does show good instincts and discipline on the field, reading plays well and reacting positively and aggressively. He is a physical player, running through blocks to make tackles. Murray is also smart, and plays well as a zone defender, but may not possess the foot speed to stick with quicker receivers on the outside.
Coach Pat Fitzgerald does not generally play true freshman and this will probably hold true for Murray, especially if he switches from safety to cornerback, a transition that will certainly have an adjustment period. Murray's ability to read of the game should help him where other inexperienced players falter for lack of understanding, but he's likely a few years away from playing.
Despite that, Murray is a resilient, physical player who should find a way to make plays and get on the field for the Wildcats eventually. Fitzgerald has shown a propensity for recruiting and developing above average defensive backs, and Murray should benefit from coaching and collegiate experience.