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Football 2023 recruiting class preview: Skill players

We will see you at the lakeside, lads.

@coachfitz51 on Twitter

Northwestern football’s 2023 recruiting class won’t arrive in Evanston for another year, but Pat Fitzgerald and his recruiting staff have something to be proud of in the next batch of players they’re bringing in. In mid-May, several recruits explored NU on their joint official visit, and as of now, nearly all of them have committed to the ‘Cats, leaving Fitz and company with 247 Sports’ 18th ranked 2023 class in the nation. Here’s a look at some of the skill players who have set their sights on Evanston (all star values courtesy of Wildcat Report):

Aidan Gray, 3-star QB

6 foot 3, 200 lbs, Naperville North High School (Naperville, Ill.), chose NU over Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, Miami (OH), Northern Illinois

As always, the purple pull is strong in Chicagoland. Gray committed less than a week after visiting the campus in May, and boy, does this kid have an arm. His junior season at Naperville he threw for over 1,500 yards for 16 TDs with the highest completion percentage (68%) among Illinois Division 8A quarterbacks. Though his senior year stats are yet to be seen, Gray is shaping up to be a solid addition at the helm.

Frank Covey IV, 3-star ATH

6 foot 2, 185 lbs, Prospect High School (Prospect, Ill.), NU was first and only official offer

Another Chicagoland grab, Covey brings a unique blend of quarterback and wide receiver — to put it simply, he’s the one player your high school football team would be concerned with stopping but he would probably still find a way to run you into the ground. It’s not totally clear where he would fill in once on campus, whether it be at the helm or out wide, but it’s clear the Covey IV brings a lot to the table.

Ricky Ahumaraeze, 3-star WR

6 foot 4, 195 lbs, Liberty High School (Liberty, Mo.), chose NU over Iowa, Kansas, Kansas State

The first wideout in the class to announce his commitment to the ‘Cats, Ahumaraeze is an offensive threat with experience on the other side of the ball as well. Along with 556 yards and five scores brought in through the air his junior year for Liberty, the Missouri native notched 54 solo tackles and three interceptions as a free safety. He already harbors some swift feet and adding an advanced understanding of coverage and how to penetrate it makes Ahumaraeze even more of a threat.

Chico Holt, 4-star TE

6 foot 5, 220 lbs, Strake Jesuit (Houston, Texas), chose NU over Cal, Michigan, Duke, Indiana, Michigan State, Texas, Wisconsin and others

Everything is bigger in Texas, including the 19th-ranked tight end in the nation. Holt chose Northwestern over five Big Ten schools and 20 other competitors, eventually deciding Mike Bajakian’s offense was his final destination. He pulled in five touchdowns his junior campaign at Strake Jesuit, his large frame not giving way to his athletic abilities. Holt has the aggressive, strong play capable of building up to Big Ten blocking standards — oh, and he can catch and run, too.

Camp Magee, 3-star TE

6 foot 6, 210 lbs, Edgewater High School (Orlando, Fla.), chose NU over Indiana, Maryland, Rutgers, Pitt, Iowa State, Boston College and others

Another recruit from somewhere winter doesn’t exist, Magee sits only 10 spots behind Holt in national TE rankings at No. 29. Six of his 18 passes caught in the 2021 season for Edgewater were touchdowns — Magee can act almost as a wide receiver, except two times as terrifying because he still has the body of a tight end. He has the skills to become a real threat should his blocking abilities reflect his play on ball by the time he enrolls.