Preps Talk

Northwestern in-state recruiting class recap

Northwestern in-state recruiting class recap

EDGY's Northwestern Wildcats grade: C

The Wildcats Class of 2017 was again a bit light on in-state commitments, which was also the same case in 2016. Northwestern signed two scholarship players, along with adding three preferred walk-ons. The Wildcats were also able to add some real quality with its in-state recruiting class, but the overall lower number of in-state scholarship players hurts the overall grade. 

Headliner of the in-state class?

Glenbard North three-star ranked wide receiver Jace James (6-foot-0, 182 pounds) was a standout two-way player for the Panthers over the past few seasons in Carol Stream. James played receiver, safety, kick returner and was simply an impact player in all phases. James has terrific strength and hands, runs very good routes and has more than required speed. James has a chance to develop into a longer term contributor for Northwestern and will be a nice addition to an always strong Wildcats receiver rotation.

[RELATED: Illinois in-state recruiting class recap]

The one who got away?

Loyola Academy three-star ranked tight end Jake Marwede (6-foot-5, 240 pounds). Marwede, who last year told Rivals.com that he grew up a Wildcats fan, was one of two in-state tight ends that Northwestern offered. In the end, Marwede pledged to Duke and the Wildcats missed out on one of the state's most versatile athletes and top players.

Final thoughts on the Wildcats recruiting efforts:

I would love to see Northwestern ink a dozen in-state kids each class. Yet, the reality is that Northwestern recruits nationally and in a year like 2017 they needed to go out of state pretty heavily. Overall, I like the kids who signed scholarship papers on Wednesday and I equally like the three preferred walk-ons, including UHigh kicker/punter Luke Otto.

Northwestern's football program is just at a good place these days. The Wildcats are winning in more ways than not. The new lakefront athletic complex will be another huge selling point. Add in the overall stability of Pat Fitzgerald and staff, exceptional academics and the positives for Northwestern still remain high in Evanston. While the in-state numbers haven't been as strong as they could be for Northwestern, those overall in-state recruit numbers haven't waned because of a lack of effort.

Edgy's recruiting news and notes: LWE's Dzioban commits to Miami (OH)

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USA TODAY

Edgy's recruiting news and notes: LWE's Dzioban commits to Miami (OH)

Lincoln-Way East junior kicker Dominic Dzioban (6-foot-1, 180 pounds) added a recent scholarship offer from Miami of Ohio and has since given the Redhawks and head coach Chuck Martin his verbal commitment. 

"I just had a great visit on Saturday to Miami of Ohio and I was able to get every question I had about the school and the program answered on Saturday," Dzioban said. "When I was first offered by Miami (Ohio) I had no idea what they had to offer or what they are all about. Miami (Ohio) has a historic campus and they also offer an amazing education. It seems like every facility at Miami (Ohio) is brand new and Oxford is just a great small college town. Miami (Ohio) really offers everything I was looking for in a school and having a chance to go to Miami on a full scholarship is a huge opportunity I couldn't pass by at all."

Lake Forest sophomore linebacker Cal Uihlein (6-foot-1, 205 pounds) was able to add his first offer recently from the Wisconsin Badgers, and Uihlein also made a visit to the University of Wisconsin this past Saturday. 

"I had a great visit to Wisconsin on Saturday," Uihlein said. "It wasn't a usual recruiting type of visit, it was much more low key and I was able to just see everything behind the scenes including seeing the team scrimmage. I was able to get a good feel for the team and the coaches after the scrimmage. I was also able to talk with some of the coaches at Wisconsin including head coach Paul Chryst and linebacker coaches. Everyone at Wisconsin seems very excited about me and it was just good to get to know them a bit better. I was able to just basically see the stadium and I didn't get to see too much of the facilities or the campus. I'll definitely head back again to Wisconsin soon and see more of the school and the facilities and overall it was a great visit."

Warren Township junior three star ranked defensive tackle Willis Singleton Jr. (6-foot-2, 285 pounds) was able to add an offer from the University of Illinois last Saturday while on a visit to watch the Fighting Illini's spring game. 

"I was hoping that an offer (from Illinois) was coming but I still had no idea," Singleton Jr. said. "I know that Illinois is on the rise and have added some really strong players from my recruiting class. My Dad also went to Illinois and just telling him over the phone that Illinois had offered me was an amazing felling and experience."

Singleton Jr. also said that "Illinois is definitely on the top of the spectrum. My recruitment is open, but there are definitely one of the top schools because of how they went about things with me on the visit."

Bolingbrook sophomore safety Justin Walters (6-foot-1, 170 pounds) has also seen more and more schools take notice of him this spring. Walters is currently holding six FBS level offers and growing by the day. 

"I have six scholarship offers now," Walters said. "I have offers from Bowling Green, Western Michigan, Army, Iowa, Iowa State and now Minnesota. Minnesota is my latest offer and they offered me a few weeks ago."

Walters has also been hitting the road and visiting a few schools this spring and plans to see even more soon.

"I've made visits already to Iowa and Iowa St and Wisconsin. I also visited Northwestern awhile ago. I'm also planning to visit Michigan State sometime this spring."

Breaking: Northwestern adds another in-state pledge

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Breaking: Northwestern adds another in-state pledge

It didn't take Wheaton North junior outside linebacker Xander Mueller (6-foot-3, 205 pounds) long to give the Northwestern coaching staff his verbal commitment today. Mueller — whose older brother (junior linebacker Erik Mueller) is already on the Wildcats roster — attended the Wildcats final spring practice today. He picked up a scholarship offer and then gave head coach Pat Fitzgerald his verbal commitment on the spot. 

"I didn't expect it (adding a Northwestern offer) and I was very surprised," Mueller said. "Northwestern is the place for me because of the incredible academics, the location, having my brother already on the team and the amazing coaching staff and football program. I'm super happy."

Mueller is the second in-state name for the Wildcats and the seventh known verbal commitment for the Northwestern Class of 2020. Mueller joins Lake Zurich tight end Hunter Welcing (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) as the Wildcats in state commitments so far in the 2020 class. 

Mueller was also the Wildcats second overall verbal commitment today as Groveport (Ohio) Madison three star ranked offensive guard TeRah Edwards (6-foot-3, 295 pounds) also committed to the Wildcats after today's final spring practice.