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Looking at Northwestern’s offers to 2020 recruits

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Where do Pat Fitzgerald and his staff currently stand?

NCAA Football: Big Ten Conference-Football Championship-Northwestern vs Ohio State Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, we looked at the four recruits that Northwestern has signed to the class of 2020. While the 2020 recruiting outlook is positive, there is still a long way to go in terms of filling out the class. Additionally, as we have now passed the National Signing Day for the class of 2019, Fitzgerald and his staff’s focus will shift mainly to the class of 2020 (though it’s probably been there a while), so we thought we would take a look at which recruits the Northwestern staff has their eye on. This does not include any players that are already committed.

Class of 2020 offers

Running Backs:

- Lawrance Toafili

247 Composite: .9404

Other offers: Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State, Auburn, Florida, Notre Dame, Nebraska, others

- Michael Drennen II

247 Composite: .9309

Other offers: Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State, Miami, Michigan State, Georgia, others

You look at the names that these two four-star running backs have offers from and you would think that Northwestern has no shot at either player. In all honesty, that’s probably true. The Northwestern offense just isn’t that appealing for an athlete looking to play for a high-powered offense, making it extremely difficult to crack this market. Plus, Cam Porter is already committed at running back.

Wide Receivers:

- Johnny Wilson

247 Composite: .9909

Other offers: Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State, UCLA, USC, Texas, Florida, others

- A.J. Henning

247 Composite: .9404

Other offers: Notre Dame, LSU, Michigan, Penn State, Wisconsin, others

- Mike Wyman

247 Composite: .9460

Other offers: South Carolina, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Oregon, USC, others

- Collin Sullivan

247 Composite: .9177

Other offers: Oregon, Texas, Baylor, Arizona, Boston College, others

- Xavier Watts

247 Composite: .8556

Other offers: Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa State, Purdue, others

Northwestern has three solid WR commits in the classes of 2019 and 2020 currently, but it could use one more from this class. The two most realistic gets from this group are A.J. Henning and Xavier Watts. Henning is a four-star with plenty of the same blue-chip offers as other players of his caliber, but he is from Illinois and went to the same school as Devin O’Rourke, the only four-star commit in the last two years for Northwestern. Watts is a three-star that doesn’t have the same ranking as the others in the group, but is a much more reasonable get.

Tight Ends:

- Lukas Ungar

247 Composite: .9000

Other offers: Clemson, Michigan, Stanford, LSU, Virginia, others

Hey, have any of those other teams that have offered Ungar ever made a Big Ten Championship? Oh, Ohio State offered him as well, never mind.

Offensive Linemen:

- Chad Lindberg

247 Composite: .9531

Other offers: Alabama, Oklahoma, Georgia, Auburn, Miami, Ohio State, others

- Zak Zinter

247 Composite: .9450

Other offers: Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Miami, Nebraska, Duke, Dartmouth, others

- Michael Carmody

247 Composite: .9309

Other offers: Ohio State, Penn State, West Virginia, Michigan, Duke, others

- John Young

247 Composite: .8890

Other offers: Ohio State, Michigan, Kentucky, Oregon, Penn State, others

- Jimmy Christ

247 Composite: .8789

Other offers: Clemson, Florida, Duke, Boston College, Michigan, Michigan State, others

- Tosh Baker

247 Composite: .8689

Other offers: Alabama, USC, UCLA, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, others

- Jeffrey Persi

247 Composite: .8639

Other offers: Michigan, Oklahoma, USC, Washington, Nebraska, others

- Terah Edwards

247 Composite: .8366

Other offers: Michigan State, Indiana, Purdue, Pittsburgh, Ohio, others

Again, it would be surprising to see Northwestern land any of the four-star players that are being offered. Any players in the .8-.9 range are more likely targets for Fitz’s staff. Terah Edwards is the most feasible target based on the offers that Northwestern is competing with. This is a group that’ll fill out a lot more later in the recruiting process.

Defensive Linemen:

- Rylie Mills

247 Composite: .9466

Other offers: Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson, Duke, Florida Georgia, others

- Jay Hardy

247 Composite: .9024

Other offers: Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Georgia, others

- Braiden McGregor

247 Composite: .8939

Other offers: Alabama, Clemson, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, others

- Deontae Craig

247 Composite: .8689

Other offers: Ohio State, Michigan State, Tennessee, Purdue, Washington State, others

- Lance Keneley

247 Composite: N/A

Other offers: Utah

This group has a similar feel to the offensive line, but Keneley and Mills are intriguing cases. Utah and Northwestern are the only two schools to offer Keneley, so the ‘Cats might have a solid shot at the Californian (and the Holiday Bowl can’t hurt NU’s chances). Mills is from Illinois, so it’s much more likely the ‘Cats can pull him than the other four-stars in the group.

Linebackers:

- Kalel Mullings

247 Composite: .9535

Other offers: Clemson, Stanford, Penn State, Notre Dame, others

- Kaden Johnson

247 Composite: .9396

Other offers: Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Purdue, Vanderbilt, others

- Josh White

247 Composite: .8852

Other offers: Alabama, Auburn, Duke, LSU, North Carolina, others

Johnson is an interesting case in that he’s a +.9 recruit but he doesn’t have blue chip offers. It’ll be a good test of the “new facilities and Big Ten West champions” mantra that I’m sure Fitz will pitch.

Cornerbacks:

- Ayden Hector

247 Composite: .9123

Other offers: USC, Stanford, Oregon, Washington, Florida State, others

- Collin Gamble

247 Composite: .8366

Other offers: Boston College, Rice, Air Force, Tulane, others

Hector is likely to stay on the west coast, but Northwestern is certainly one of Gamble’s strongest offers thus far. Jaheem Joseph is already signed to the class, but it would be nice to have at least one more corner to round out the unit.

Safeties:

- Makari Paige

247 Composite: .9226

Other offers: Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Notre Dame, others

- Gunner Maldonado

247 Composite: N/A

Other offers: Arizona State, Arizona, Indiana, Memphis, South Dakota State

See above. It’ll be immensely tough to pull Paige out of the west coast, but it’s more likely Northwestern lands Maldonado, although it will be tough to remove him from Arizona as well.

Athletes:

- Cameron Martinez

247 Composite: .8678

Other offers: Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan State, others

- Chayce Bishop

247 Composite: .8416

Other offers: Vanderbilt, Tulane, Ball State

- Ethan Wright

247 Composite: N/A

Other offers: Duke, Iowa State, Rutgers, Iowa State, others

All three of these players are reasonable targets for Fitz, but Northwestern is listed as “warm” for both Martinez and Wright, so take that as you may.

Overall, a significant portion of the players that Northwestern has offered thus far are being recruited by premier college football schools, so they are not really in play for a school like Northwestern at this point. It’s still fairly early in the recruiting process for the class of 2020 and it’s important to remember that there are still so many players left to be offered and fill out the class.