Texas RB Auston Anderson commits to Northwestern

Northwestern’s incredible recruiting week continued Thursday as Pat Fitzgerald secured his third commitment this week in the form of three-star running back Auston Anderson of Plano, Texas. The symbolism of this commitment is almost as big as the player coming in.

Anderson is a three-star prospect according to the recruiting Web sites, but he had offers from in-state power Texas, UCLA and Nebraska among plenty others. There were a whole ton of good schools going after the speedy, but diminutive running back. There is no denying though that Pat Fitzgerald and Northwestern know how to get the most out of talent regardless of size at the running back position (see: Mark, Venric). Those comparisons have already begun.

The commitment was announced when a Rivals message board user under the name manderson4676, presumed to be a family member, posted this message:


We are proud to announce that Auston committed to Coach Fitz this morning. After many hours of review, discussion and prayer, he has chosen Northwestern for his future. He had the pleasure of meeting with some of the top coaches in the nation throughout this process and we are very grateful to them all for their interest and professionalism.


At the end of the day, the allure of attending an elite academic institution combined with a Top 25 Football program led by men of high character and values was just too much too ignore.


This was not a vote against any of the great schools pursuing Auston but rather a vote for Northwestern and what we believe to be the best fit for Auston and his future.


Our thanks to the entire Wildcat Nation for making Auston feel welcomed and appreciated.


Get ready Wildcat nation….Here we come!


Go Cats!!!!


The decision was later confirmed by Kevin Trahan Chris Johnson of Inside Northwestern and on Anderson’s Twitter account. Kevin Trahan of Inside Northwestern provided a nice scouting report of Anderson.

But beating Texas for a recruit from Texas at a skill position says something about Northwestern’s growing stature in recruiting circles. Northwestern is not afraid to take on and beat the big boys for the players they want and players are not afraid to take whatever perceived risks there are in attending Northwestern. The family theme hinted at in the message board post has been prevalent in several comments from other recruits. These guys are very clearly happy to be part of the family and feel welcomed by the entire community.

Anderson ran for 1,156 yards and 13 touchdowns, averaging 6.88 yards per carry for Plano West last season, splitting carries with junior Sotonye Jamabo, another target of Texas along with Michigan and Ohio State. Anderson is clearly very good to gain the Longhorns’ attention and split time with a junior that is gaining the attention of several big-name programs.  Unlike this class’ other running back recruit, Solomon Vault, Anderson is likely to stay at running back whereas Vault is likely to move to slot receiver.

More than that, even before we hit the end of the spring quarter Northwestern has a strong class of eight commitments. That is already more than half of the anticipated 15 the Wildcats are expected to welcome on Signing Day in 2014. This is already considered one of the most talented classes in Northwestern history. And there is still more work for Fitzgerald to do to complete the class.

  • chan Peterson

    WOW! Just keeps getting better and better!
    Go ‘CATs

  • Unreal. Simply unreal. We’re tracking towards a top 15 recruiting class. Again, note the language used in the quote in this post..just like we’ve discussed…the character theme + academics + Top 25 + respect for coaches formula. It’s as if NU scripts these quotes.
    Welcome aboard Auston. Thrilled to have you in Under Armour purple. Only 7 scholarships left for 2014. Who’s next?!!!

    • Justin Jackson. Garrett Dickerson. Parker Westphal. Brandon Lee. Derek Kief. Noah Westerfield. Ladarius Wiley. Matt Sokol.

      I’m not sure which one is next, but that’s the list….(I hope).

    • Unfortunately, a lot of those recruiting rankings care about the size of the class more than the quality of the class. Since Northwestern heavily uses redshirting, a 15-person class is not likely to rank in the top-25. Still, this recruiting class as it stands at the halfway point is ridiculously strong.

      • Richard

        Who cares what the recruiting rankings think.
        Average stars going up is a plus (of course, by average stars, NU wasn’t as bad in the past either).

  • Icehockeycat

    We are Allen fans but will hope Auston has a big game against them on 10/18. Good luck to this young man.

  • BobbyD

    I saw him play in a playoff game vs. Westlake HS last fall. Plano West had a dominating running game but a terrible defense. Westlake won a close one because they were able to score at will. Though I love the Longhorns, very happy that Auston Anderson chose the Cats over UT. The 2014 class is breaking barriers for Northwestern.

    • BobbyD

      A little more about Auston Anderson’s Plano West high school. They play in arguably the most competitive district in the country due to the extraordinary enrollment figures (shown below). Also, district rival Allen won the Texas 5A Division I title last December. 2013 Northwestern signee Brad North played on that Allen team.

      District 10-5A
      Plano East (6,016)
      Allen (5,388)
      Plano (5,315)
      Plano West (4,945)
      McKinney Boyd (2,900)
      McKinney (2,121)

      Also, looked up the box score for the Plano West vs. Westlake regional final last Fall. Auston Anderson had 156 yards rushing against a very good Westlake defense. The Plano West QB had four interceptions. That, along with a porous defense, doomed Plano West in a close game.

  • cece

    welcome to the Wildcats, Auston! looking forward to watching you in action at Northwestern, on the field, in the library and, who knows, maybe you have a few singing or dance or comedy moves like many players have shown in the talent show and at the dance marathon. we can’t wait to meet you!

    • ctya

      I think watching him in the library would qualify as creepy.

      • cece

        ok, find a better way of saying that he will be hitting the books.

        • vaudvillain

          Do not thump the Book of G’Quan.

  • TK98

    Bowl Win Bump, anyone?!
    Pretty sure every other team in the B1G West, if not the entire conference, just shat themselves. Seriously, think about the headaches that multiple guys like Auston will give D coordinators! Somewhere in the depths of the Nicolet Center (?), Mick McCall is sitting back and whispering, “Excellent……” a la Monty Burns. And it looks like Mr. Anderson just might fit in alright with Wildcat football. !!
    Welcome, Auston! We’re thrilled to have you, and you’re certainly going to be in tremendous company.
    Go ‘CATS!!!

  • Catatonic Joe

    I was able to catch just the headline and opening paragraph or two earlier today and I was pretty happy. I just had the time to go back and watch the video and now I’m giddy about seeing Auston on the field. Welcome, Auston!

  • CliffG

    What a classy statement from the family! Welcome, Auston!

  • Purple to Pasadena

    Welcome to the Wildcat family, Auston! You are a perfect fit for our team and university. Looking forward to seeing you in purple!

  • Sasser

    Wow, that is a motor right there. Nice to watch Auson create using every move in the playbook — outside, inside, option pitch, dump-off across the middle. Could probably use some work on his blocking, but if that’s all I can complain about…? Welcome, Auston! Hope to see you do great things in purple.

    • Sasser

      I meant AUSTON… (ack, spelling)