NU doing "back flips" for Anderson

Running back Auston Anderson opened up about his Northwestern commitment. The Plano West (Tex.) product chose NU over several programs—including Texas itself.

Auston Anderson called Pat Fitzgerald on Tuesday and said he was considering making his commitment to Northwestern.

The 3-star running back from Plano West Senior (Tex.) waited two days longer, and that was it. This time, when he called, the response was less subdued.

"They were all excited, doing back flips," Anderson said. "It all worked out really well."

This verbal in particular earned attention from the media. A Texas running back–and noted speedster–chose NU over all of his in-state offers, including the Longhorns. As the other programs' qualities blurred together, the Wildcats stood out in the usual way.

"They all have great football and great coaches, but the one thing that sets Northwestern apart is academics," he said. "I had to go with the best fit for me."

Anderson's pledge caps another memorable week of Wildcats recruiting. The already strong 2014 class attracted Anderson. Now at eight commits, they can redefine the trajectory of the NU program.

The 10-win season in 2012 paid dividends. Recruits watched and understood that Fitzgerald and NU could do even better. With Tommy Doles, Dareian Watkins and Anderson joining the class in the past week, the back half of the class will have a difficult time matching the front.

"I'm on board with the program and I like the way they're headed," Anderson said. "On paper, it's one of the best recruiting classes they've ever had at Northwestern. I'm looking forward to getting up there and getting to work."

For Anderson, this also marked an important sigh of relief. He dealt with attention and offers from Texas, UCLA, Arizona and more than 10 others before choosing NU. Though he'll work hard in his senior season, he said it was nice to decide on his final destination.

"It was a great feeling, knowing that as an athlete, I don't have as much pressure to perform," Anderson said. "It feels good to have the whole process over with."

He joins the loaded backfield and new-look program. It's another nice day in Evanston, and thankfully for fans, these are becoming increasingly common.

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