Identifying Northwestern's top 2014 targets

Northwestern coaches are scouring the country evaluating and wooing some of their top targets for the class of 2014. The Wildcats' recruiting board is beginning to take shape and the class's elite prospects have been identified. PurpleWildcats offers a look at NU's wish list for its 2014 recruiting class.

Name: Justin Jackson
School: Glenbard North (Ill.)
Rating, Position: Four-Star Running Back

Bio: Right in Northwestern's backyard, talented tailback Justin Jackson runs with speed and force, making him one of the Wildcats' top targets. NU is one of several schools in the mix for the local product, who looks to make an early decision.

Name: Nyles Morgan
School: Crete-Monee (Ill.)
Rating, Position: Four-Star Linebacker

Bio: For now, Nyles Morgan is a well-kept secret among Big Ten schools. However, interest from the SEC may make him a national commodity. The four-star linebacker from Crete-Monee is bound to blow up, especially after a championship junior season.

Name: Jamarco Jones
School: De La Salle (Ill.)
Rating, Position: Four-Star Tackle

Bio: Rated the fifth-best offensive tackle in the country, Jamarco Jones is just a short drive from Northwestern, one of his strongest suitors. The 6-foot-5, 285-pounder is still adjusting to his newfound size and will only continue to improve. The interest in Jones comes from the Big Ten and SEC.

Name: Jalen Brown
School: Mountain Pointe (Ariz.)
Rating, Position: Four-Star Receiver/Safety

Bio: Jalen Brown possesses the two-way versatility that Northwestern often seeks, but has the talent to make an impact on either side of the ball. The 6-foot-2, 170-pound prospect has speed and athleticism with playmaking abilities. NU is one of more than 20 schools in on Brown.

Name: Garrett Dickerson
School: Bergen Catholic (NJ)
Rating, Position: Four-Star Tight End/Defensive End

Bio: The younger brother of current Wildcat Cameron Dickerson, Northwestern hopes that four-star prospect Garrett Dickerson will help build a family connection in Evanston. Dickerson, a two-way standout, is near the top of NU's recruiting board. Interest from the Big Ten and Big East is flocking in for Dickerson, but the Wildcats have a good link with Bergen Catholic.

Name: Adoree Jackson
School: Junipero Serra (Calif.)
Rating, Position: Four-Star Cornerback

Bio: A standout from the Golden State, four-star cornerback Adoree Jackson is drawing interest primarily from the Pac-12, though Northwestern is making a push for the prospect. The eighth-best cornerback in the country would start immediately with the Wildcats. Still, to this point, Jackson holds no favorites and is taking the recruiting process slowly.

Name: Parrker Westphal
School: Bolingbrook (Ill.)
Rating, Position: Four-Star Cornerback

Bio: Parrker Westphal is exactly the kind of prospect Northwestern looks for; a standout on the field and off of it. The four-star cornerback was a vital part of Bolingbrook's tremendous season, and that led him to recruiting interest from around the country. NU will continue its push for Westphal.

Name: Peyton Newell
School: Hiawatha (Kan.)
Rating, Position: Four-Star Defensive End

Bio: During the summer of 2012, Peyton Newell dedicated himself to the recruiting process, traveling throughout the country to countless camps and schools to get his name out. With plenty of talent to showcase, it paid great dividends. The three-star defensive end is a steal for whichever school gets him. NU joined the long list of offers late, but still has a shot.

Name: Reilly Gibbons
School: St. Petersburg Catholic (Fla.)
Rating, Position: Three-Star Tackle

Bio: A talented tight end in high school, Reilly Gibbons projects to add size and form into an offensive tackle's frame. The three-star prospect from the Sunshine State is drawing interest from in-state and along the east coast. Northwestern dove in over the summer, impressed by his film and strong transcripts.

Name: Clayton Thorson
School: Wheaton North (Ill.)
Rating, Position: Unrated Quarterback

Bio: With great size and speed, Clayton Thorson will be a tremendous threat in whichever college offense he chooses to join. As a high-school junior, Thorson wore two hats -- playing both quarterback and receiver for his Wheaton North squad. Northwestern, like most of his suitors, hopes he can play quarterback at the next level. With a strong arm and great versatility, Thorson has high upside.

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college athletics and professional baseball for FOX Sports Next since 2009. Emma covered the Nebraska Cornhuskers for Big Red Report, and currently covers the Northwestern Wildcats. He resides on Chicago's north side.
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