2014 safety Jared McGee commits to NU

2014 safety Jared McGee of Mansfield (Tex.) committed to Northwestern on Sunday, becoming the first gray shirt of the Pat Fitzgerald era. But where's the last commit coming from?

Twelve days ago, Pat Fitzgerald pulled Jared McGee out of his high school classroom, defying the major tenet of Northwestern football.

Turns out it was worth it.

McGee, the 2014 safety from Mansfield (Tex.) committed to Northwestern after his weekend campus visit. The UTSA commit flipped and opted to accept his gray shirt offer to NU. He informed PurpleWildcats.com and WildcatReport.com in a text on Sunday evening.

For the first time in the Fitzgerald era, the Wildcats will technically "over sign" for their 2014 recruiting class. The '14 group is expected to be finalized with one more commit today.

With McGee expected to arrive on campus in Jan. 2015, his commitment only indicates the faith NU's coaching staff has in him. They had no incentive to over sign, or to create any extra PR burst for National Signing Day. Rather, they identified a sleeper by accident and couldn't let him slip away.

Last Tuesday, Fitzgerald and Matt MacPherson walked into Mansfield Legacy High School looking for a "2015 defensive lineman," McGee said. When they mentioned that there was one spot remaining in the 2014 class, head coach Chris Melson said he had a safety.

They checked test scores, watched film, and were immediately sold on McGee being worth it. Fitzgerald contacted his parents the following morning and planned his official visit to campus. It proved enough.

Another important point: In the majority of recent seasons, NU has had a player leave the team for one of many reasons between National Signing Day and fall camp. There's a high likelihood that McGee joins the team before next January if the circumstances align.

McGee replaces another Texas safety, Jordan Thomas, in the grand scheme of NU recruiting. He'll add sleeper depth a strong position—and perhaps begin the 2015 recruiting class on a positive note.

Subscriber update: 2014 defensive end Xavier Washington is expected to pledge to Northwestern this afternoon.

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