Logan Building Bonds With NU

Tallahassee, Florida junior defensive back Austin Logan is working to build relationships with Northwestern coaches. He frequently calls head coach Pat Fitzgerald for a conversation, often unrelated to football. Logan speaks with PurpleWildcats.com in this recruiting update.

Austin Logan hasn't visited Northwestern, but the 2013 Florida State University School product has already experienced the best and the worst of Chicago.

Logan and his family took a trip to the Windy City during the spring of his eighth grade year. It was supposed to be a fun-filled family vacation and a respite from the scorching Tallahassee heat. For the most part, everything went as planned. Logan enjoyed several aspects of Chicago, including the traffic, the buildings, and the commotion—what he calls the "hustle and bustle."

"It was a lot different from home," Logan said. "I felt like there was always something going on, and I really liked that aspect of the city."

But when it came to the most highly anticipated part of his trip—a Cubs-Giants game at Wrigley Field—Logan couldn't help but feel disappointed. He had long been a fan of the historic ballpark, a visit to which serves as a rite of initiation into the Chicago community. What's more, Tim Lincecum was the scheduled starter for San Francisco—the miniature-sized power pitcher and master contortionist who would go on to win the Cy Young award later that season (2009). Unfortunately for Logan, a poor seat location kept him from witnessing Lincecum's awkward delivery and wicked pitching repertoire.

"I went there all excited to see this guy pitch," he said. "But every time he started his wind up, I'd have to jump up because there was this stupid bar in my way. The stadium was cool and all, but that wasn't a fun afternoon."

Logan isn't the first defensive back from Florida State University School to draw the interest of NU coaches. That honor belongs to Daniel Jones, the rising sophomore who saw limited time at cornerback last season for the Wildcats and figures to be in the mix for a starting spot this fall.

Jones and Logan only played one season together, when the two DBs developed a master-apprentice relationship. Logan was one spot behind Jones on the cornerback depth chart, a situation that allowed Jones to work with him almost every day in practice.

"I thought I could play, even as a freshman," Logan said. "But even though I didn't get to start at corner that first year, I learned a lot from DJ [Jones], he taught me a lot about the position."

Logan played nickelback that season, and—following Jones' departure to NU—moved to cornerback the next two seasons. While "DJ" had left high school for good, Logan is still affected by the Jones family on a daily basis.

Daniel's sister, Avery, currently attends Florida High, the common moniker for Florida State University School. Like Logan, she is undecided on her college choice. But as he ponders his future life in collegiate football, Avery's presence highlights NU as one of his likely destinations.

"She's always walking around wearing all of this purple Northwestern stuff, talking about how great of a school it is," he said. "She talks about how much DJ loves it there, how it's the best place for him. I'm always interested to hear what she has to say."

Daniel also speaks highly of NU, raving about the facilities, campus and journalism program—Logan's intended major.

"He tells me all these great things about the campus," Logan said. "It's not just football. I plan to go into journalism, and there's no place better to study that."

Besides NU—who offered Logan six months ago—he has received offers from Duke, Florida International, South Florida, Georgia State, and Vanderbilt, among others. College football has been on his mind since grade school, but the Tallahassee native is not yet ready to make a decision, nor has he begun to narrow down his lengthy list of offers. He plans to talk with his parents in the near future, and announce his destination on July 31.

"I'm just trying to get done with school right now," he said. "I'm pretty excited for spring practice, which starts this week. I've been working hard since the season ended so I'm ready to get out there."

At 6-1, 185, Logan—despite his experience as a cornerback—Logan is expected to play safety at the next level. He excels in one-on-one coverage, but is better known for his ballhawking tendencies and his helmet-rattling hits.

Logan has been in contact with NU defensive backs coach Jerry Brown in recent weeks, who is impressed with Logan's physical talents and ability to bring down ball carriers in the open field. Brown will have the opportunity to watch Logan in person this Tuesday, as he plans to visit Florida High for the first day of spring practice.

"It shows me that they're really interested in me," he said. "To have them come out and see me up close, that's a big deal."

Logan's physical exploits extend beyond the football field. He runs both the 400 and 4 x 400 relay for Florida High's track team. While he was excited over his team's second place finish at the FHSAA 2A District 2 Championship, Logan's mindset has changed in recent weeks.

"I realized that I need to start sitting down and thinking about making a decision," he said. "It's coming up fast."

Logan speaks with coach Pat Fitzgerald on a weekly basis, but their conversations are not limited to football. Much less a recruiter than a friendly conversation partner, coach Fitz articulates both his admiration for Logan as a player and a "young man."

"Sometimes I call him, and sometimes he calls me," Logan said. "He says all the normal recruiting stuff, but we talk about so much more. He talks to me about how when he recruits players, he recruits them as people, not just as players. Other coaches don't tell me that."

With spring practice on the horizon, Logan is excited—not only because he is looking to improve on his team's 5-5 record from last season but also because of Brown's planned visit. He sees Tuesday's practice as his first chance to make a real impact on NU coaches and plans to visit Evanston this summer for the Wildcats' one-day minicamp.

While he maintains that he is yet to whittle down his list of suitors, Logan said that NU will loom largely in his decision making process.

"It's a place I can see myself going to, a place that I can wake up four or five years from now and not regret making that decision," he said. "With coach Brown coming the first day of practice, it makes me feel important. I may have to pay them back with a favor in the future."

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