For a while now, Northwestern has called itself "Chicago's Big Ten Team." It's a smart marketing ploy as it taps into a city so rich in athletic tradition in an attempt to both gain recognition within the metropolis and nationally. Both the football and men's basketball programs have made a public effort to put Chicago and the state of Illinois at the forefront of recruiting efforts. For head football coach Pat Fitzgerald and his staff, in particular, recruiting locally serves as a point of pride.
Last December, as Northwestern's 2015 recruiting class was coming together, the program tweeted out the following, oft-used mantra:
In Northwestern's 2015 class, 5 of its 20 players hailed from Illinois, and, since 2002, over 60 Northwestern commits (almost a quarter) have come from the Land of Lincoln.
But in the 2016 class, just two players come from Illinois: Libertyville wide receiver Riley Lees and Loyola Academy superback Eric Eshoo.
In lieu of the hometown commits, Fitzgerald and co. hit their established pipelines in Ohio and Texas, with seven and three players coming from each state, respectively.
The map below features the 2016 class and where each recruit comes from. The interactive feature can be adjusted to include all of Northwestern's recruits since 2002 or in selected years. The map can also be sorted by name, position, city, state and stars.
Click here to make the map full screen.