The week brought in a number of talented recruits to Evanston, but that was just the beginning. This weekend, Northwestern will host many of their top prospects in for the Pat Fitzgerald Football Camps. There are a number of campers who are hoping to impress the NU coaching staff and leave camp with an offer.
It was a busy week, and it will be an even busier weekend. Here's a look at the madness in our NU Recruiting Notebook.
Dean Lowry is number five
Northwestern thought they may have had Tyler O'Connor as their fifth commit in the 2012 recruiting class, but he instead chose Michigan State over the Wildcats. But just shortly, NU picked up their fifth commit. Rockford Boylan defensive end Dean Lowry became the fifth commit of the recruiting class.
Lowry picked up an offer this spring, and had already done two visits to Evanston. Northwestern was always Lowry's top school, but he was just waiting for the time to be right. In the end, Lowry admitted it was just too hard to pass up.
"I felt that the whole value of the Northwestern education was hard to pass up," Dean Lowry told PurpleWildcats.com on Tuesday. "I know all the coaches and have a connection with all those guys. I feel with the combination of the athletics and academics, it was hard to pass up."
Lowry is a talented three-star prospect with great size and speed. He stands at just 230-lbs. but he's likely to add on some more size between now and fall of 2012.
One door closes, another door opens
After Northwestern missed out on Tyler O'Connor, their search for a quarterback continues. Now, the Wildcats have a number of options.
NU has been showing strong interest in a number of different quarterbacks. Three quarterbacks—Gunner Kiel, Patton Robinette, and Bilal Marshall—each hold offers, though Northwestern has already counted themselves out of the Kiel sweepstakes.
Robinette picked up an offer in May, and admitted his interest in Northwestern has only increased. Marshall said he plans on waiting to make his decision, but does like NU.
While waiting on those two quarterbacks, Northwestern is likely exploring who else is worthy of an offer. Possible candidates for an offer include Austin Appleby, Matt Dobson, Steve Donatell, Jeff Lockie, Anthony Maddie, and potentially a few others.
Off to camp
Northwestern hosted their first of six summer camps this Friday morning, and a number of prospects were on hand. We'll have updates with Friday campers throughout the day today and on Saturday and Sunday.
This is a big period for Northwestern recruiting. The coaches will get a first-hand look at a number of prospects who are deemed "borderline" for an offer. After today, and throughout the next few weeks, a number of these borderline prospects will receive an offer.
After today, NU's next camps will take place on Monday and Tuesday mornings. PurpleWildcats.com will bring you coverage of that.
Mooney getting closer
Malvern Prep offensive lineman Michael Mooney is getting closer to making a decision. He will be in Evanston next weekend, and he will see campus for the first time. He is expected to make a commitment by the end of the month.
Mooney admitted that seeing each school first-hand will likely make all the difference in his decision-making process. He's narrowed down his list to six schools—all with very strong academics. He's hoping to find a school that feels right.
You can see the latest on Mooney here
Azubike finally picks up an offer
Nashville defensive end Caleb Azubike admitted he was very relieved to pick up an offer from Northwestern. The three-star defensive end has been hearing from the Wildcats for a while, but his test scores weren't up to par for NU standards. He was able to bring that score up, and an offer soon followed.
The 6-5, 240-lb. defensive end has a number of offers on the table, but admits he thinks "very highly" of Northwestern. You can see the story on Azubike's offer by clicking here
Updating Ifeadi The highly-touted four-star linebacker Ifeadi Odenigbo took a study break to update us on his recruitment. Odenigbo is setting up a number of visits, which will be a big part of his decision-making process. Northwestern remains one of his favorite schools, with California, Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, and Stanford also in the picture.
Odenigbo told PurpleWildcats.com, "(The visits) are probably what are going to decide my commitment. Once I visit these schools, I'll be able to decide where I'm at."
The four-star linebacker says visiting Northwestern is a high priority, and he plans to do so in the next few weeks. You can see the scoop on Odenigbo by clicking here
Trace Clark stops by
Three-star defensive end Trace Clark stopped in Evanston for a visit on Wednesday. He told me the visit went well. We'll have an update on him later this week.
PW.com will be out and about
Busy times for Northwestern mean busy times for me. I will be out and about this weekend tracking down recruits. Tomorrow, I will be out at Northern Illinois for the day, and watching a number of recruits at the NIU 7 on 7 tournament. Throughout the week, I'll have updates on NU campers. As always, if anything breaks, we'll bring it to you.