‘Cats Land RB Warren Miles Long For 2013 Commit #11!

Wow! Louie Vaccher of WildcatReport.com just posted that NU landed 6-0, 190-pound RB Warren Miles Long yesterday.  It marks the second California RB to commit to NU in a week (Xavier Minifield committed a week ago).  Long told the Contra Costa  Times that NU’s coaching staff sealed the deal by being so open and welcoming from the get-go. Yet again, Northwestern was the first to offer Long, a theme that has resonated with so many of the commits. Long, who runs a 4.5/40, was also sold on the academics as a difference maker in his decision. The RB has run for 2800 yards in the last two seasons out of a pistol formation spread offense. Long chose NU over Colorado and several Pac12 schools that were courting him. Welcome aboard!

Prater Update

One of the biggest buzzes this recruiting season was Kyle Prater.  Prater, the former top-ranked WR in the nation coming out of high school, chose to transfer from USC to Northwestern to be close to home for personal reasons. The 6-5 injury-plagued receiver made only one reception at USC, but he is the most decorated player to come to NU since I’ve been following the ‘Cats. Northwestern petitioned the NCAA for a waiver which would enable Prater to not sitout the customary one year and play this fall. This much most of you know. Now, thanks to Teddy Greenstein’s piece in the tribune, we can at least find out in the next few weeks.

Considering the season starts in just two months, that’s not exactly breaking news, but you have to think things are hopeful based on the fact there have been so many other waivers granted, including his former teammate, RB Amir Carlisle who got cleared to play this year at Notre Dame.  Recently an Illini FB got granted a similar release to play at Auburn, near his ailing mother. Prater’s actual reason has not been disclosed other than the fact it is a personal family issue.

‘Cats fans are pretty excited about this for obvious reasons. It’s rare to have a 6-5 WR target who is so talented and a true gamebreaker. Personally, I see Prater as a safety valve, meaning, when in doubt, jump ball it his way, much like Denard Robinson does at Michigan. It will add a whole new dimension to our already loaded WR corps. I have little basis for it, but I’m just optimistic based on precedent of so many waivers being granted as of late. I’m really curious to find out what took so long. Fingers crossed.

Congrats to Jim Phillips!

Northwestern AD Jim Phillips was named the 2011-2012 AD of the Year for the Central Region by his colleagues at NACDA, the governing body of college athletic directors. Just wait until we complete the fundraising for our several hundred million dollar facilities makeover and he’ll be a shoe-in for the national AD of the Year. Congratulations Jim! Click here for the story at NUSports.com.

  • CEBPD

    Ha…Ha…Ha…(evil laugh)

    If you think Prater will be used in any capacity that will TRULY utilize his special skill set, think again. Siemian and Oliver can only use his skill set, but when they are coming in for obvious passing situations, the surprise of him going long(as opposed to being in on every play) is gone. The offense is so predictable based on what personnel we have in. Colter/Prater? probably a shorter throw or a run by colter. Siemian/Prater? maybe a long ball.

    This is all predicated on the fact that the QB has enough time to throw, which he wont considering we had one of hte most experienced O-Lines in the country last year and it was also the most porous.

    Frankly, as good as it is that Prater will play this season, I would MUCH rather him not play this year, in a rebuilding year, and allow him to contribute in years where we have legit chances of winning the B1G.

    The whole fact of the matter is that Prater is not gonna change Fitz’s predictability, his conservatism, his poor clock management, or an awful defense. the changes start with getting a young enthusiastic, yet proven, defensive staff, a New OL/RB coach(both groups have severely underperformed), and committing to a QB that will truly utilize the strength of the team, i.e. Siemian/Oliver/Alviti.

    Colter is a talented athlete, but hes not a B1G QB. he severely limits the offense and makes it predictable when he is in. He can’t stretch the field and he can’t make throws that take advantage of the fact that we have a couple receivers over 6’3″!!!

    People point out Colter’s passing “accuracy”. this stat is similarly inflated like Persa’s. when he wasn’t sure of the throw, he tucked it and ran. not saying its a bad thing, but you can’t miss a pass if you dont attempt it. it’s all well and good against EIU and BS teams, but when you play against the “big boys” it doesn’t work, and you need an actual QB.

    • cece

      oh, it’s the weekend, enough with the buzz kill! the commit is awesome, the potential of Prater is amazing, it’s all good. watch some fireworks and be happy.

    • gocatsgo2003

      You do know that Prater will be able to play in 2013 and 2014 regardless of whether he plays in 2012, yeah? He has three years left at NU — the NCAA has to decide if he will be able to play all three or only the final two.

    • NUBobby95

      CEBPD,

      What does Pat Fitzgerald have to do with the offense? The defense was limited by a lack of a pass rush and awful communication in the secondary. There is some young talent on the D-Line and speed at the linebacker position. Who would you suggest they go out a get to run the defense? There is some great recruiting momentum at NU and that needs to be celebrated! Be part of the solution not part of the problem. Quit complaining about Fitz, he’s the best guy to run this program, period! He has the enthusiasm and drive to build a consistent winner at NU. They won a total of 7 BIG games while I was at NU. I’ll take the way the team is trending now that what has been the norm historically.

  • Db

    I unfortunately agree…no idea what gives us the best chance to win, but it doesn’t really matter how big or talented our wideouts are if colter is the qb. He may ultimately be the best for our offense, but you aren’t going to see one way or the other how good those guys are running the option and 12 yard outs. Would love for us to do something that emphasizes our advantages.

  • Hdb

    The McCall offense is really a running game that uses short passes and QB run/pass options. Opponents have adjusted by packing the box. That is way our experienced offensive linemen and running backs look so poor when they attempt a QB/RB handoff play. If you look at McCall’s record at NU and previously, his offense usually scores about 21-24 points a game if everything is clicking right. This offense will only result in a win if you have a strong defense that can hold the other team to under 21 points. Defense is another story.

    The recent recruiting has attracted some promising long passers, very fast downfield receivers and quick running backs. This would suggest that McCall would change his offensive strategy to a more open spread offense that previous coaches used to develop top rated running backs and long pass receivers with scores well beyond 21-24 points per game. Some coaches, however, adamantly refuse to change their approach. Others adapt their approach based on the available talent. We’ll see this coming season into which category McCall falls.

    Go Cats!