[We chose to delay the news so Gaziano could contact college coaches—at his request—and announce the decision on his own terms.]
Regardless, the Westwood (Mass.) Xaverian Brothers HS defensive end had already spoken to PW on Sunday about his growing NU interest.
"They set themselves apart because of what Coach Fitz is preaching and what happens after football," he said. "He emphasizes being together throughout the process."
The Wildcats are psyched about this one: They gave Gaziano an early offer (in February) and sent defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz to visit him in person.
"From right then, I could tell that they wanted me as a prospect," Gaziano said. "They were really interested in me."
He visited for NU's first spring practice and praised the team's work ethic. He also identified the "family" principle of NU—and that it fit with what he looked for.
More tellingly, Gaziano told PW that he planned an early commitment to avoid his spot being taken. The Wildcats were considering several other defensive ends but hoped to land the rising prospect. Brian Dohn—our Scout.com Northeast recruiting expert—said Gaziano could have massive upside as a prospect.
Yesterday, Gaziano dialed up Pat Fitzgerald and gave the head coach more good news. He chose the Wildcats over other offers from Rutgers and Boston College. It also forced the hand of Trent Goens and Zach Allen, both of whom committed to NU as defensive ends.
After a rough year and quiet start to the recruiting season, NU seems to be back.