Fred Wyatt Commits to Northwestern

As first reported by Purple Wildcats, Fred Wyatt committed to Northwestern on Sunday. Find out what he had to say in this exclusive story.

Last week, Fred Wyatt told Purple Wildcats that Northwestern led his recruitment. With his lifelong connection to Pat Fitzgerald and commitment to academics, Evanston seemed the obvious stop for the 2014 defensive tackle.

This weekend's visit (with an assist to host C.J. Robbins) locked everything up. The Lawrence Free State (Kan.) prospect gave his verbal to NU—spurning offers from Oklahoma State, Arizona State and Kansas.

"On Sunday night, I decided to talk with Coach Fitzgerald and make the decision," Wyatt said.

It's a commitment far off the map geographically, but one that began close to home. His dad, Buddy (now on the Kansas staff) coached at NU from 1997-98.

Then, Pat Fitzgerald was a graduate assistant. Now about 15 years later, Wyatt is officially an extension of the NU football family.

At 6-4, 255 lbs., Wyatt fills an important spot on the defensive line. Wyatt won't be the flashiest commit for NU–partially because prospects from the state of Kansas receive less attention–but immediately attracted attention from the NU coaching staff.

"Most people think Kansas football isn't known," Wyatt said. "But I'm glad I can go up there and show that we can play ball just like everyone else."

Fitzgerald offered Wyatt following last summer's Junior Day camp. The relationship made sense, but it wouldn't be complete if this staff lacked firm belief in his ability as a player.

If anything, Wyatt's commitment is a testament to the importance of building relationships. He and his family have known Fitzgerald for so many years. They believe in not only the direction of this program, but also in the character of this team—especially its staff.

"Everyone in my family is excited for me and backed up the decision," Wyatt said. "My dad knows what NU has to offer and he was happy for me to make that decision."

The coaches are certainly happy too. With 11 commits already wrapped up for an incredible 2014 class, there's a lot to cheer for in Evanston.

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