2014 DE Xavier Washington will commit to NU

2014 defensive end Xavier Washington of Cedar Hill (Tex.) will announce his commitment to Northwestern, rounding out the '14 recruiting class.

Less than two weeks ago, Xavier Washington was nowhere to be found on Northwestern's recruiting radar. On Monday, he will complete what is perhaps the program's most important class of commits in years.

Washington, a three-star defensive end from Cedar Hill, TX, becomes the final member of NU's class of 2014 with his pledge. After playing with Clayton Thorson in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, Washington emerged as a viable replacement for Noah Westerfield. Northwestern made an offer on Jan. 28, and it didn't take long for him to reciprocate interest.

A trip to campus and discussions with Pat Fitzgerald, Matt MacPherson and Deonte Gibson put Northwestern in the driver's seat for Washington, per his mid-visit update with PW this weekend. The Wildcats originally offered Washington as a grayshirt, but extended to a full offer Saturday. He and grayshirt Jared McGee become the last-minute additions before Wednesday's Signing Day.

Washington held offers from Houston, North Texas, Yale and four other schools before being pursued by the Wildcats. His stock rose after an impressive senior season, which concluded with nine tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble and Defensive MVP honors in Texas' Class 5A Division II title game. He gives Northwestern much-needed depth along the defensive line, and after losing Westerfield to California earlier this month, the Cats secure another under-recruited pass rusher.

"I fly under the radar, but I think I'm able to compete on the same level as the guys from my state with huge offers," Washington told PW Saturday. "Northwestern would be a great fit for someone like that."

Washington and the rest of NU's sterling recruiting class will be in Chicago Wednesday to sign National Letters of Intent. PurpleWildcats.com will have more coverage as the week progresses.

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