On Saturday, the Wildcats play their annual open spring practice at Ryan Field. How the media feel about practice is one thing; how the prospects feel is another.
NU hosts Keith Washington this weekend. Beginning in March, he emerged as one of the fastest rising prospects in the South. Duke and Miami offered this week, and NU could easily follow suit in the coming days.
"I'm really interested in Northwestern," Washington told PurpleWildcats.com on Wednesday. "I'll be up there to watch the spring game, for a campus tour and to visit the school."
The 2015 Clute (Tex.) Brazoswood standout can play either quarterback or defensive back—and NU's approach to his recruitment could sway his interest.
"I want to really play quarterback in college, but most of my recruiting is coming from the defensive [side]—some schools at corner and some schools at safety," Washington said.
Regardless, NU is showing clear interest in another Texas player. The Wildcats have successfully recruited down south in recent years, persuading crucial targets to consider its rising program status.
Washington marks the highlight of an otherwise quiet recruiting weekend. Last year, Ben Oxley committed immediately following the game. Though there will likely be no such excitement this season, the Wildcats can continue to make an impression.
"I want to see what the environment up there is like, and their intensity on the field during practice" Washington said. "I also want to get to look at some classes and how they would work, too."
At this rate, Washington can take his time in making a decision. He plans to be a late commit, and with interest flying in from new schools each week, there's no reason for him to hurry.
Perhaps before his visit, Northwestern will need to establish its approach. The Wildcats' coaching staff can make a unique pitch by offering Washington at quarterback—or at least considering him there.
Regardless, this one's important. He's rising up the target list at many schools, including Northwestern. With the race to build relationships on, NU has some critical decisions to make.