He first visited Northwestern in November to attend a game, and stopped by again in April for a spring practice. Both visits gave the lineman a very positive view of NU.
"I like Northwestern a lot," Aurand said. "The campus is excellent, it's a friendly atmosphere. Kind of city-like, but kind of rural as well. It's not a downtown campus but it's not out in the middle of nowhere either."
While on campus, Aurand met with several coaches, including his lead recruiter Matt McPherson and head coach Pat Fitzgerald. Aurand was pleased with his conversation with Fitzgerald.
"I like him a lot, meeting him was very good," he said "The stuff he was saying was very in line with what my family and I believe. Family very important to me and I felt that it was with Coach Fitzgerald as well."
In addition to family, Fitzgerald's emphasis on academics was in-line with Aurand's feelings on that aspect of college life. A potential engineering major, Aurand was impressed with the Northwestern faculty and facilities.
"When I was there in November, I took a tour of the engineering department," he said. "I really like the faculty. Speaking with them made me feel like I was already there; already part of the group."
But in addition to the campus and academics of the school, Aurand would attend NU as a student-athlete. And for the athlete half, Aurand sees NU as a solid fit on the gridiron.
"Their pace that they play the game at is just incredible compared to almost all other schools I've seen," he said. "Practices are up tempo, the game tempo is very quick. That's important because if you're in better shape, when fourth quarter roles around its very nice to not be dying, not out of breath. I really like the pace NU plays and practices at."
Between campus, academics, and the football team, Aurand sees a lot of potential at Northwestern.
"I like Northwestern a lot," he said. "They are definitely on the top part of my list that I'm speaking with at the moment."