Class builds around the King

Blake King was just Northwestern's second verbal commitment, and didn't make his decision until May 1st. After his decision was made, the Wildcats' 2013 recruiting class took great shape. King was a key part of its formation, building relationships along the way.

Blake King wanted to play with the best.

And as an early Northwestern commit, the Minooka HS offensive lineman watched this strong group of recruits materialize. Just the second player to verbally commit to the Wildcats 2013 class, King could not be more pleased with his decision.

Northwestern won a bowl game. The athletics department announced its unique partnership with Wrigley Field. His class boasts exceptional talent, and King knows he has the chance to play immediately.

"I've known I've wanted to go to Northwestern for almost a year," King said. "Today is the day."

After a strong season, the NU offensive line graduates three starters. The projected tackle sees this as an opportunity.

"It gives me a better chance to play," King said. "I want to get on the field as early as I can."

Brandon Vitabile and Jack Konopka return as starters on the offensive line. At the other three spots, newcomers – including the group of 2012 redshirts – will be counted upon to fill the void.

This season, the Wildcats ran a balanced offense to great success. Venric Mark had a dominant season at running back, and much of that was facilitated by surprise performances from offensive linemen. King noticed the focus and concentration on the offensive line. He can learn a great deal from the returners.

"There's good leadership on the offensive line," King said. "You need depth at a position like that."

King seems to be one of the social links in this recruiting class. He raves about his teammates, and has enjoyed the chance to interact with them.

When he gave his verbal on May 1, only Matt Alviti had done the same. He worked not only as an informal recruiter, but also created bonds with the new group. He holds frequent discussions with fellow commits.

"In the next chapter of Northwestern football, we will be the team," he said.

There is one great coincidence. One of King's best friends from high school moved to Allen (TX) HS — the school of fellow NU offensive line commit Brad North. King's friend and North also became great friends, and this helped the two linemen develop a bond.

In fact, they spoke yesterday.

"Brad North and I were just talking about winning a Big Ten Championship last night — over FaceTime," he said.

King is ready to help the cause.

Follow on Twitter: @NicholasMedline

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