Fred Wyatt's Northwestern Connection

2014 defensive tackle Fred Wyatt will visit Northwestern. Though he said the Wildcats are the frontrunners in his recruitment, Wyatt has family ties that make this process interesting. Find out more in this Purple Wildcats Insider Update.

Northwestern began its recruitment of Fred Wyatt in 1997.

His dad Buddy worked on the NU staff for two seasons before journeying through the coaching ranks. Pat Fitzgerald–then a graduate assistant–kept tabs on Fred, who grew into his own on the football field.

"The connection has gone way back," Wyatt said.

Wyatt will travel to Evanston this weekend. His most recent visit was cause for celebration, as Fitzgerald offered the defensive tackle during last year's Junior Day.

The Lawrence Free State (Kan.) 2014 prospect is unique in just about every way. No player on the current roster is from Kansas. He's also torn between two football families—something equal parts exciting and difficult.

Buddy Wyatt now serves as defensive line coach for Kansas. Even with that family tie, Fred noted that his family wants him to make the most informed decision.

And from far away, he's still aware of NU's recruiting surge. It helps that Fitzgerald sends him a message via Twitter every time someone commits.

"I keep a close eye on Northwestern," Wyatt said. "I look into who else is committed and who they're going after. I make sure I know what's going on."

Wyatt said academics weigh heavily on his final decision. For now, that–among other things–has put Northwestern at the "top" of his list. The Wildcats are followed by Kansas, Oklahoma State and Arizona State.

"It's pretty much between those four," he said. "I'm still keeping my options open, and I'm hoping to make a decision sometime this summer."

Though Wyatt's recruitment has been somewhat quiet, his commitment would fill an important need for this 2014 class.

NU will only take five more players to round out the group, and all figure to play defense. Wyatt, at 6-4, 255, adds to the defensive line depth—one of the last lingering concerns on this team.

It's another interesting application of the NU football family. Wyatt's an extension of this branch and could be the next signee in a class loaded with exciting talent.

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