The process could take years. Its impact begins now.
Keith Washington of Freeport (Tex.) Brazoswood recently became a crucial target for Northwestern. It makes sense for the Wildcats. They tend to recruit dual-threat players, with Washington a defensive back and quarterback.
This weekend, they offered Washington as an athlete. Though he wants to play quarterback at the next level, he understands that the staff needs to see him throw in person.
"I was still ecstatic to get the offer," Washington told PurpleWildcats.com on Monday. "That's a big time school. It's a real confidence booster."
Part of that appeal came from the facilities plan. NU's lakefront plan will push the Wildcats ahead in recruiting—with Washington another testament to that.
"They pitched to me the new practice facilities they were installing," he said. "It's definitely going to be huge for their football program … It's going to be one of the top football facilities in the country."
Washington had an overnight stay with redshirt freshman quarterback Matt Alviti, calling him a "great host." Coming from down South, he was surprised by the lack of culture change.
"It was a friendly environment with the coaches and players," he said. "They welcomed me as if I were one of their own."
Washington did not name favorites, but holds other offers including Duke, Miami (Fla.) and North Carolina. Since his visit, the Wildcats reeled in eight quick commits, moving into the top-25 of team recruiting rankings.
Much of his decision still hinges on position choice. He's adamant about playing quarterback, and if the Wildcats decide to offer him there, Washington may lean toward the ‘Cats.
Until then, they can rest on a solid visit, in good position for one of their most athletic and versatile recruits.