Recruiting Notebook: On the Map

In this Purple Wildcats overview, we take you through Northwestern recruiting updates from the past week. With a strong group of local prospects and wide-ranging interest, this appears to be a strong start.

- Bill Greene posted an entertaining interview with four-star quarterback DeShone Kizer of Central Catholic (OH). He spoke with Nick Saban earlier in the week and received an Alabama offer. Still, Kizer wasn't prepared to rule out Northwestern, which remains in his top six schools. Here's all you need to know about Kizer: 6-5 with good intangibles and mobility. It's early in the process, but it also marks a positive sign that Kizer is paying attention to the Wildcats.

- Scout posted its updated Top 100 for 2014 on Thursday. The list included five players from Illinois – another positive for NU. Ten of the 100 are listed as having Northwestern interest, though that seems fringe in many cases. One to keep an eye on is Parrker Westphal. The local four-star cornerback visited Ann Arbor for the NU-Michigan game. We know how that ended, but NU continues to be in the mix. He told Bob Redman of Fightin' Gators that two of his top qualities in a school are "coaching stability and good academics." While his recruitment is only intensifying, don't dismiss the possibility of Westphal joining NU as the highlight of the 2014 class.

- Dareian Watkins – who expects to play wide receiver or defensive back in college – visits Northwestern this weekend. His father told Allen Trieu that Watkins has narrowed his list to five, and that included the schools that have recruited him for the longest time. He said he wants to make his decision by May 1st. The Wildcats could end up on top. That begins with this crucial weekend visit.

- Four-star wideout Derek Kief tweeted that he had a "successful visit" to Northwestern this past weekend. With his recruitment blowing up in recent weeks, Kief likes the Wildcats for now. That would be a tough get.

- Anna Hickey posted an informative feature about Cameron Polk earlier this week. The Hamilton Southeastern (IN) target was in Evanston on Thursday. He said his top two options were Louisville and Northwestern. Will be interesting to check in and see if NU strengthened its case this past week.

- Rob Howe of Hawkeye Insider checked in with three-star linebacker Tori Millender, who also visits NU this weekend. We'll see if he leaves with an offer. Beth Long also noted that four-star Justin Jackson of Glenbard North (IL) is in Evanston.

Steven Goldstein and I will be busy on the phones this week bringing you more updates from the Northwestern recruiting scene. It's starting to heat up, and NU looks to grab some steals.

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