Ellwanger's Jaw Drops At NU

Brother Rice (MI) defensive back Cody Ellwanger grew up knowing all about Northwestern. His two sisters graduated from NU, and one of those sisters graduated with Pat Fitzgerald. But Cody had never been to Northwestern until today, when he took a campus visit. He was blown away by the experience.

"Everything was better than I expected," said Cody Ellwanger. "I grew up hearing everything about Northwestern and when I got there, my jaw just dropped. It was unreal."

Thus far, Ellwanger has received interest from Northwestern as well as Ball State, Indiana, Miami, Western Michigan, Indiana, and others.

However, Northwestern already had an edge on the other schools that are recruiting him. Ellwanger grew up a Wildcat fan, but had never seen campus. After his visit, his love for Northwestern only grew, and they are his clear favorite.

"By far, Northwestern is definitely number one," he said. "Everything, the architecture is really sweet. I took the tour and everyone who goes there loves it, everyone's really upbeat, and everyone loves it there. It felt so much more at home. You feel like you're at the right spot. I got that feeling today. I finally got to see what Northwestern is truly like, and I was very, very impressed."

During his tour, Ellwanger and his parents met with the coaching staff, sat in on position meetings, and took in practice. The defensive back was very impressed by how the meetings went, and found himself understanding everything.

"I sat in the position meeting, and that was very cool," Ellwanger said. "I actually can relate to all that stuff, there was a connection between me and the coaches, and I knew what they were saying. It was great."

At the conclusion of practice, Ellwanger got the chance to talk with his sister's old Northwestern classmate, and now current head coach, Pat Fitzgerald.

He was able to meet with Fitzgerald during his appearance at Brother Rice High School, but didn't get to have an in-depth conversation like today.

"We were just talking about practice, and how it's really individually-based, and working out the kinks. We talked about Dan Persa, and how he'll be back pretty soon. (He said) I got to keep working hard, and keep doing my thing."

After his visit, Ellwanger's next step is to continue to boost his stock with Northwestern. He talked with Coach Matt MacPherson about what needs to be done for an offer.

"I talked to Coach (MacPherson), and he told me to keep my grades up and come to camp. If things happen from there, they're going to be taking six defensive backs for scholarships. If I do well at camp, that's a big part of it.

Before it was suggested, Ellwanger had already planned on coming to camp. When MacPherson told him again today, the defensive back was already excited to go.

"As soon as I heard that, I just wanted it to be June," Ellwanger said.

Ellwanger has seen both of his sisters have success in Evanston, and he has always held Northwestern on a high pedestal.

"Northwestern has always been that place," he said. "If you want to do something with your life, and you want things to go well, that's the place to start at. The opportunities are endless if you go there. I've always found that very appealing because it's so true."

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