Northwestern Pick-Me-Up: Big Recruiting Weekend
After last night’s completely depressing men’s basketball loss to Penn State (snapping a 19-game conference road losing streak for the Nittany Lions), the Bill Carmody conversation seems to be heading down foregone conclusion status. Today’s Trib article, entitled “NU coach dangling after 66-59 loss to Penn State” by Teddy Greenstein addressed this with Coach Carmody who admitted that his future is very much on his mind. The good news, it seems, is that Jim Phillips will be acting swiftly, one way or another.We’ll be diving in to this next week, at the conclusion of the regular season (Sunday vs Michigan State).
Meanwhile, the women’s team ended an equally disappointing season in the opening round of the B1G Tournament losing again to Iowa, this time by five. Anyone in need of some cheering up? I know I am. Good, then some recruiting news might just be the tonic.
Louie Vaccher reported on WildcatReport.com today that Pat Fitzgerald and company have quite a big recruiting weekend at hand. Granted, it seems that every weekend as of late is a big recruiting weekend, but the five guys on campus this weekend continue the trend of a new level of talent, as they are of the four star variety.
Dareian Watkins, a 4-star Galion, Ohio native just announced that Northwestern has made his final five along with Michigan State, Louisville, Illinois, and Indiana from a long list of offers. I read his interview with Vaccher on yesterday’s post and loved the fact he is the anti-select a hat kind of guy and says when he picks his team he wants to be respectful to the other four. Of course, the coaching staff and the “way” Northwestern approaches things stuck out to him. It’s almost as if we can script the post weekend visits. They love the guys and see them being easy to fit in with, they love Fitz’s passion and they walk away impressed with the entire philosophy and approach. They usually throw in a nice platitude about the beauty of the campus and rate the visit a nine out of ten. Of course, I’ve yet to see a quote from a prospect who doesn’t reference the value of the education. I expect to see a lot of the same from the other four visitors this weekend, including:
- Justin Jackson – 4-star RB – Glenbard North (IL) – Jackson is a familiar name in Illinois as he seemed to be featured every week in the Chicago media as he exploded in his junior season. Jackson has a ton of offers, including half of the Big Ten. Landing Jackson would make waves within the state and well beyond.
- Ian Bunting – TE – Hinsdale Central (IL) – Bunting will likely be a 4-star, but is not yet rated by Rivals. All you need to know is he’s being recruited by Oregon, Ohio State and Notre Dame along with Northwestern and a ton of others. Getting Bunting to visit speaks volumes about the company we’re starting to compete with more regularly.
- Derek Kief – WR – Cincinnati, OH – Another 4-star and another talented player with an enviable list of schools in pursuit including Alabama and Ohio State.
- Cario Davison – S – Galion, OH – Davison is a 2015 prospect and teammate of Dareian’s.
All of the above came from WildcatReport.com. The ‘Cats invoke a bit of a different approach than many of the competitors. They host small numbers of guys as opposed to these massive 20+ group recruiting weekends that many of the top tier programs do. It fits right in with the doing things differently approach that Fitz has so well honed. I’ve read reports of similar type weekends each of the past few weeks. It seems we’ve got an extremely selective approach going on with a focus on creating the atmosphere conducive to really getting to have quality time with each recruit that takes a visit. In the next 90 days, I expect the domino effect of commitments to begin. Once again, I want to remind you that all but two of our 2013 commitments made their pledge prior to the start of last season.
LTP Purple Pledge
Keep on keeping on folks! Richard Rosen took the plunge and purchased four Northwestern football season tickets to get us up to 33 on our 2013 season ticket scoreboard. Oh yeah, and he lives in New York! We’re asking you to help either add to your existing lot to help bring in new fans and friends (known as bundling) or convince folks to step up and buy season tickets, especially knowing two games – Michigan and Ohio State – will be sold out instantly after tickets are made available for single game seats. Why wait? Ensure you can go to these games and every game. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll give you a shoutout and share your story of helping us get closer to our goal of 200 NEW season tickets.