Hytchye hopes to visit Northwestern

La Salle (OH) High School defensive back Jaleel Hytchye has received strong interest from Northwestern, which he hopes to go visit this summer. The three-star believes the Wildcats' closeness is an attractive element to the program.

Earlier this spring, Jaleel Hytchye attended workouts at Ohio State and Michigan, two premier destinations for the nation's top high school players. Coach Brady Hoke and the Wolverines in particular took a long, hard look at Hytches as a candidate for a spot in their star-studded 2013 class.

Hoke told Hytchye he was a "Michigan man", a player with all the requisite tools, both mental and physical, to thrive in Ann Arbor. Hytches had long since considered the Wolverines one of his preferred destinations, only to learn days after the camp that Hoke and staff had their eyes set on another cornerback prospect, Channing Stribbling, who committed to the school June 21.

"It was pretty tough," Hytchye said. "They were really interested, but they just told me they found someone else. I guess that's how this works."

The dalliance with Michigan was discouraging on many levels, but the unexpected benefits outweighed any immediate frustration. Hytchye held his own against highly-touted, nationally prominent players at his position and validated his rising reputation soon after with a strong performance at Ohio State's one-day camp.

After a busy spring and early summer, Hytchye plans to begin preparing for his senior season at La Salle (OH) High School, for a summer without camps, combines, official visits. Yet there is one visit he's planning for later in the summer, one he's been trying to arrange for quite some time: Northwestern.

"I've been wanting to get out there for a while," he said. "It has a great reputation academically and I hear good things about it."

It comes as no surprise that Hytchye considers NU one of his top potential destinations. An aspiring journalism major, Hytche is intrigued by the esteemed Medill School and its reputation as one of the country's top journalism programs. He also strongly believes, after watching several youtube videos and game footage, the Wildcats are a close-knit group that behaves as a "family." It's the kind of welcoming vibe that resonates strongly with Hytchye as he deliberates over 10 offers this summer.

"From what I can tell, they seem like a really close group," he said. "Coach Fitzgerald talked about it too. It's definitely one of the main things I like about Northwestern."

The 5-11, 165-pound Hytchye has yet to compiled a list of favorites, though he mentioned Pittsburgh, Arizona State, Kentucky, Indiana, Vanderbilt, Purdue and NU as schools that will factor largely into his decision. He has no set decision date, but he would like to pick his landing spot before his senior season.

While he's open to playing in any conference, Hytche said he feels attracted to the SEC and Big Ten, the two leagues he spent the most time watching growing up.

His visit date hasn't been confirmed, but Hytchye hopes to get on campus before August.

"I'm excited," he said. "I want to make an impact on the Big Ten conference. Northwestern seems like it has a great coaching staff. It's going to be excited to watch them this season and I can't wait to go down there and see it [the campus] myself."

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