— At this point last season, NU had zero recruits in its 2013 class. Matt Alviti was the first to commit on April 14, 2012, and the core of the class fell into place much later. With only so many spots available in each recruiting class, the early verbals speeds up the entire process. Other interested prospects will likely commit earlier. The next to sign could very well be Ben Oxley, who is visiting NU today.
— While the Wildcats have not been near the top of Big Ten recruiting rankings (partially because NU is a "five-year" program that accommodates several redshirts each season) top prospects understand the value of this community. Scout.com eighth-ranked offensive tackle Quenton Nelson visited NU this week and stayed with Shane Mertz. Afterwards, one of his family members tweeted this to me. Though NU faces tough competition in Nelson's recruitment, high-profile visits signify the growing reputation of Northwestern football. Four-star offensive guard Sam Mustipher also visited earlier this week.
— The three-star prospect Oxley could follow the Tyler Lancaster mold. Lancaster played on the offensive line in high school but will begin his career at defensive tackle. Other visitors tomorrow include four-star linebacker Brandon Lee of Lawrence Central (Ind.) and wideout Avonte Maddox of King HS (Mich.). We'll have more as the recruiting situation progresses.