Lee readies for Northwestern visit in July

Four-star linebacker Brandon Lee prepares for a pivotal Northwestern visit. Find out more in this PW Insider Update.

After landing Nathan Hall, Northwestern made one message particularly clear. The coaching staff spoke with another outside linebacker target, and insisted there was a spot for him.

Don't take this for granted. With three commitments left for the class of 2014, NU sent an especially powerful message by extending its unwavering support to four-star prospect Brandon Lee.

"[Fitzgerald] said they have a spot for me," Lee said. "They're holding the last spot for me."

NU appeared to halt its recruitment of all offensive targets when in-state offensive lineman Blake Hance committed in May. They then filled up at defensive tackle–opting to focus on some areas of need.

One of those was in question when Hall pledged to Coach Fitzgerald just more than 24 hours after receiving an offer. But the message to Lee was honest; the coaching staff just told him to visit. He will travel to Evanston sometime in July, aware of NU's positive qualities.

"One of the major things [about NU] is the academic side of it," he said. "I feel like I have a pretty good chance to play there, but not right away, because everyone has to work for their position."

Coaches from his list of nine schools–which he announced on June 14–have pulled him in different ways. Lee said he likes the NU staff "a lot," and that Randy Bates, Dennis Springer and Coach Fitz figure largely into his recruitment.

They're gradually convincing the Lawrence Central (Ind.) linebacker that he could be among the finishing touches of an excellent class. Lee has an impressive final list that includes schools such as Oregon, Kentucky and California.

He told Anna Hickey of Scout.com that he "[was] not sure" whether he'd visit Iowa or Missouri—others on his list. The Wildcats could gain ground on their competitors simply by sticking around. That visit might prove influential.

"I want to get to know more of the players," he said. "I got a chance to meet a couple at spring practice, but I want to meet some more and get some time with the coaches."

It's been an unsurprising lull in NU football recruiting, with very little to note. They need to get it right in this final stretch by closing on some top talents. The staff made sure they let Brandon Lee know he could be one of them.

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