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Northwestern football 2020 recruiting update

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An early look at the state of NU’s future freshmen.

NCAA Football: Holiday Bowl-Northwestern vs Utah Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Tomorrow is national signing day for the class of 2019. Of course, the day has lost a large portion of its significance since the NCAA adopted an early signing period two years ago. A majority of recruits signed their letter of intent back in December, and likely all but one of Northwestern’s 2019 commits did the same. Barring any shocking pickups, the only player that will be signing with the ‘Cats is Evan Hull, a running back out of Minnesota. With that being said, let’s evaluate the outlook of Northwestern’s next recruiting class.

As it stands

Northwestern currently has four players committed to the class of 2020.

-Aidan Atkinson:

Position: QB

247 Composite: .8839

Commitment Date: 11/11/2018

Atkinson is a three-star out of Boulder, Colo., and is the 16th-ranked pro quarterback in the nation. He had offers from South Carolina, Ole Miss, Nevada, Boise State, and Colorado, among others. Here are Atkinson’s sophomore year highlights.

-Cameron Porter

Position: RB

247 Composite: .8739

Commitment Date: 12/08/2018

Porter is a three-star out of Cincinnati, OH. He is ranked as the 38th running back in the nation and attends the same school as ex-NU standouts Jeremy Larkin and Jordan Thompson. Porter had offers from Iowa, Cincinnati, Minnesota, and Purdue, as well as many group of five offers. Here are his highlights from his sophomore year, in which he was the Greater Catholic League running back of the year.

-Abdur-Rahmaan Yaseen

Position: WR

247 Composite: .8739

Commitment Date: 12/28/2018

Yaseen is a three-star out of Walled Lake, MI. He is ranked as the 87th-best wide receiver in the nation and a number of offers including Washington State, Nebraska, Iowa, and Purdue. Yaseen is the third-highest rated WR recruit in program history, only behind Northwestern’s two WR commits in the 2019 class, Bryce Kirtz and Genson Hooper-Price. Here are Yaseen’s sophomore year highlights.

-Jaheem Joseph

Position: CB

247 Composite: .8333

Commitment Date: 12/10/2018

Joseph is another three-star out of Opa Locke, FL. He is the only defensive signee of the class thus far, and is the 68th ranked CB in the country. Joseph had offers from Michigan, Syracuse, Louisville, and Vanderbilt. He attended the same high school as one of the best defensive players in program history, Anthony Walker Jr. Here are Joseph’s junior year highlights.

In terms of the national landscape, this is where Northwestern’s class ranks right now, per 247Sports.

Pat Fitzgerald and his staff are known to fill their class out earlier than most programs, resulting in higher ranked classes at the beginning of the recruiting process, but there are a couple of reasons for optimism with this class.

First, the four players that currently make up the class of 2020 have an average rating of .8662. That would be the highest average in the history of the program. While it is inevitable that the class will begin to fill out with lower-rated players, Northwestern doesn’t have an offer out on a player rated below a .8299.

Second, the program has a significant amount of momentum to carry into the recruiting trail. Not only does Northwestern now have state of the art facilities that can compete with any program in the country, it is coming off of its first Big Ten West title in team history. Oh, and Pat Fitzgerald turned down Aaron Rodgers and the allure of the Green Bay Packers in favor of Evanston (at least in the form of an interview). Never before has Fitz had this type of leverage in recruiting.

It’ll be interesting to see how those factors play into the class of 2020, but as of now, the class has the potential to be one of the best in program history.