The positional needs now look something like this:
This feature ranks what I consider to be the four most likely players to join the final class. This list will be updated frequently.
1) Brandon Lee
Nothing's changed in my opinion of four-star linebacker Brandon Lee, which is that he becomes another member of NU's star-studded class. He's formed strong relationship with the program, loves Pat Fitzgerald and certainly buys into the importance of academics—as evidenced by interviews with him. The Wildcats currently have no serious linebacker targets aside from Lee and Jimmie Swain. Recruiting analyst Randy Withers said NU is up there on Swain's list, but my bet is on Lee—still.
2) Ron Robinson
One of the quietest targets for NU, Ron Robinson–who spoke to PW a few weeks ago–could be an ideal fit. Jerry Brown–in a powerful recruiting move–offered the physical California safety when in-state schools barely budged. These sleeper talents often pay off for NU, and after this many years of evaluating players, Brown must have seen something perfect for this group. Robinson plans to visit sometime this summer, which bodes well for the program—and could result in another commitment.
PW was informed last week that Blankenship's top four consists of Northwestern, Oklahoma, TCU and Arkansas. To be frank, this is one case in which "academics" might be the decisive point. NU far outpaces the rest of his list in terms of academic reputation. There's more appeal, though: Grant's aunt graduated from NU and he has relatives in the area. It would make The Colony (Tex.) standout feel that much closer to home. This unit class could certainly use a 6-6 pass rusher, and a potential summer visit could vault NU to the top.
It'll seem like ages before Dickerson makes his final decision. The superback/defensive end has NU in his top five along with powers Ohio State, Michigan, Stanford and Alabama. Dickerson could be the finish piece to an excellent 15-man recruiting class–which is a firm number–and said he's encouraged by the direction of the program. Of course, the family connections and especially strong coaching staff help his recruitment. It's more of an instinctual call, but I'll predict he ends up No. 15