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Northwestern inks 18 players on National Signing Day

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No surprises on signing day for Northwestern.

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

As expected, Northwestern signed 18 players Wednesday on National Signing Day, all of whom were previously verbally committed to NU.

The December Signing Day is the earlier of the two signing days, though the December date has quickly become the true signing day for Northwestern, a program that typically finishes its recruiting relatively early and doesn’t have many players commit on signing day itself.

Here is the positional breakdown of Northwestern’s signees.

Northwestern Class of 2019 Positional Breakdown

Position Number
Position Number
Quarterback 0
Running back 0
Wide receiver 3
Superback 1
Offensive line 4
Defensive line 3
Linebacker 2
Cornerback 2
Safety 2
Athlete 1

Here is the state-by-state breakdown of Northwestern’s signees.

Northwestern Class of 2019 State-by-State Breakdown

State Number
State Number
Texas 5
Illinois 3
Georgia 2
Missouri 2
Florida 1
Indiana 1
Maryland 1
Massachusetts 1
Michigan 1
Ohio 1

Northwestern’s recent signing days are a microcosm of the program’s recruiting. Northwestern, which offers scholarships to fewer players than most power conference schools, is intentional about who it recruits, and there isn’t much drama in the recruiting process. That’s not to say Northwestern doesn’t recruit players who are verbally committed elsewhere (NU does), or that Northwestern commits don’t ever de-commit (they sometimes do). Pat Fitzgerald has said before that he and the program place great emphasis on a commitment, though, and it does seem that a commitment to Northwestern is usually meaningful.

Pat Fitzgerald will likely try to add more players to fill out the class, as he did last year, but most of the class is now signed. 247 Sports has Northwestern’s class ranked as the No. 44 class in the country and the No. 11 class in the Big Ten, and the average player rating is .8586. Here’s how this year’s class compares to past Northwestern classes.

Northwestern Recruiting Year-by-Year Comparison

Class National ranking Big Ten ranking Average rating
Class National ranking Big Ten ranking Average rating
2019 44 11 0.8586
2018 58 14 0.8543
2017 50 11 0.8504
2016 52 10 0.8453
2015 55 10 0.8407
2014 47 8 0.8579

This year’s class (so far) is about the size of a typical Northwestern class; some classes have had more players, some have fewer. It’s important to note that most schools aren’t done with their classes, so Northwestern’s rankings could decline a bit once more players commit elsewhere.

Here are individual breakdowns on the signees.