Northwestern Football Recruiting Notes

It wasn't the most exciting week, but there's not a whole lot to worry about.

— Three-star prospect Noah Furbush listed Northwestern as one of his favorite schools before an unofficial visit this past Sunday. Though an unofficial tends to precede more serious interaction, Furbush gushed about NU's academic prestige and aggressive defensive mentality. Though he's in the process of being courted by schools such as Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue, Furbush is very much in the running to join the Wildcats. The team views him as another excellent pass rusher, and with this need at defensive end, NU hopes to land one of its primary targets at the position.

— With the 2014 recruiting class almost complete—and only a handful of serious targets remaining–it's almost time to flip the page. Ideally, there will be no more offers extended for the 2014 group, barring some intense setbacks or a simply stunning performance. They offered their top guys, and many of those recruits have some high-level interest.

— Some bad news: Jimmie Swain left NU off of his top five. This leaves fans pinning hope on Brandon Lee to join the team as an outside linebacker. Still, there's nothing urgent and with four guys remaining, they can afford some misses. Derek Kief cut the Cats as well, stranding NU fourth (or fifth) in what is now a three-horse race. It is true, though, that NU doesn't need another offensive commit. This could even qualify as a blessing in disguise.

— Speaking of Brandon Lee: In an entirely unsurprising move, he placed the Wildcats in his top nine. When PW spoke to Brandon Lee a while back, he seemed more up on the NU program than "top nine" would indicate. He loves Pat Fitzgerald, maybe more so than any prospect left in this class. Those relationships–in my opinion–will vault NU to the very top of his list, and perhaps to a commitment. He would be another major recruiting coup for the team.

— After attending part of Thursday's Chicagoland Showcase, I realized how difficult it is to evaluate some top prospects. Coaches from across Illinois were on hand to witness Chicago's best. This marks a great opportunity for the kids, as well as a chance for NU to build its reputation. They can interact with some local coaches, gain exposure and test more than 600 of the state's best players. It's an exciting venue, and we'll have more from (a quieter) camp on Monday.

— One of the first major 2015 prospects to watch: safety/linebacker Tyriq Thompson of Detroit King HS. He's considered among the top players in the Midwest, and NU has staked a claim in his recruitment. Though his dad attended Michigan, Thompson told our own Sylvan Lane that NU currently stands out the most. It'll be a difficult and competitive recruitment, but NU refuses to shy away from that. Thompson, with his intense play and versatility, is certainly deserving of this early attention.

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