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Northwestern football 2017 National Signing Day profiles: Safety J.R. Pace

The Georgia native is ranked as the 4th-best recruit in the class.



@jrpace9 on Twitter

Quick Hits

POSITION: Safety

HEIGHT: 6’1”

WEIGHT: 190

HOMETOWN: College Park, GA

HIGH SCHOOL: Woodward Academy

247 COMPOSITE SCORE: 0.8624

NATIONAL RANKING: 573

POSITION RANK: 41

STATE RANK: 57

OTHER OFFERS: Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Boston College, Charlotte, Colorado State, Duke, Fresno State, Georgia Southern, Kansas State, Maryland, Miami (OH), Minnesota, Navy, Purdue, Southern Miss, Troy, Tulane, Tulsa, USF, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest

MORE: 247 profile | Hudl | Twitter

Background

Pace committed to Northwestern last May with an awesome video. If you haven’t seen it or just want to watch it again, check it out:

Pace played wide receiver in addition to safety at Woodward Academy, located just outside of Atlanta, but committed as a defensive back. He has great hands and ball-hawking ability in addition to top-notch speed and athleticism. His senior season highlights are below.

Outlook

Pace seems like he could turn into a heck of a player. His tape reminds me a lot of Godwin Igwebuike in that he’s a hard-hitting, versatile playmaker at the safety position. There’s always the possibility he could switch to wide receiver at some point, but that seems unlikely at the moment.

In terms of recruiting rankings, Pace trails only defensive linemen Earnest Brown IV, Sam Miller and Trevor Kent in the 2017 class. He’s rated higher than the other two safety commits in the class, Austin Hiller and Bryce Jackson, not to mention 2016 commit Travis Whillock. Pace will have to fight for playing time early in his career, but with both starters, Igwebuike and Kyle Queiro, being seniors, he should have plenty of opportunity to contribute in a couple of years.