WEIGHT: 225 pounds
HOMETOWN: Plain City, Ohio
HIGH SCHOOL: Jonathan Alder
247 COMPOSITE SCORE: .8580
NATIONAL RANKING: 652
POSITION RANKING: 29
STATE RANKING: 28
OTHER OFFERS: Arkansas, Cincinnati, Duke, Illinois, Kentucky, Miami (OH), Michigan, Nebraska, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Syracuse, Toledo, Wake Forest
Pugh, an early enrollee, is one of Northwestern’s most celebrated recruits in the class of 2017 and its top skill position commit of 2017. He chose Northwestern over the impressive list of schools back in April. At 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds, he’s a massive target, and his highlights certainly show just how good he can be.
Pugh is simply bigger, stronger and faster than his high school opposition, but the way he goes up for and catches the ball is impressive. To be that big and that fast is certainly helpful. He posted 52 catches for 730 yards and six touchdowns his junior year. Unfortunately he suffered a shoulder injury that limited him to about half of his senior year, but a significant part of his rehab will be done under Northwestern’s supervision because he enrolled early.
Pugh was on board to enroll early before the injury, and you can see what Northwestern likes about him. Depending on how he heals, Pugh isn’t necessarily in line for a redshirt year. After Jayme Taylor retired from football, Northwestern was pretty thin at superback, using starter Garrett Dickerson almost exclusively and moving Cameron Green and James Prather to the position as well. Additionally, the Wildcats will have Eric Eshoo, who redshirted this season, available.
Pugh is a really talented and promising prospect. He could be a downfield threat to complement Dickerson’s game, which is played more closer to the line of scrimmage, and certainly has a shot to be a playmaker as a true freshman. If he recovers well enough to participate in winter and/or spring workouts, he’ll be on the right track to contribute sooner rather than later. Regardless of when he does see his first game action, Pugh is an exciting prospect for this offense moving forward.