Ben Oxley Commits to Northwestern

Purple Wildcats first reported that Ben Oxley will become the fourth member of Northwestern's 2014 class. Read what he had to say in this PW Insider Update.

Ben Oxley woke up on Saturday morning and everything felt crystal clear. He was ready to commit.

The 3-star defensive tackle from Avon Lake HS (Ohio) stayed overnight with Deonte Gibson. He bonded with several players and told Pat Fitzgerald of his final decision following Northwestern open spring practice.

"I've verbally committed to become a Wildcat," he said.

Oxley expects to begin his college career at defensive tackle, following a similar path to 2013 commit Tyler Lancaster. Both played offensive line in high school, but with their athleticism, could fit into plans on defense. currently ranks Oxley as a top-50 offensive tackle. This was a resounding victory not only for the 2014 class, but also for the recruiting practices at NU. Oxley's positive experience during his overnight stay with Gibson helped translate to his commitment. They shared similar sense of humor and bonded over strange connections, as both lived in Northeast Ohio.

"He was best friends with a kid who lived across the street from me," Oxley said. He added that he also previously knew Geoff Mogus, who is currently competing for the starting left guard position.

The biggest factor in his commitment, though, seemed to be Pat Fitzgerald. Players spoke in glowing terms about the head coach.

"Everyone's been telling me the whole time: it starts from the top," Oxley said. "Every single part of the staff is great, and they all respect [Coach Fitzgerald]… He's one of the best coaches I've ever talked to when it comes to player development."

Oxley also emphasized the role of academics in his decision, saying, "A degree from Northwestern means the world."

At this point in 2012, NU had zero verbal commits. At this stage, they have four. With another versatile talent to build around, this is on track to be the team's best class ever.

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