Northwestern forced to reopen kicker search

Northwestern missed out on an important target in 2015 Belleville (Ill.) kicker Austin Seibert. The Wildcats still need to find a kicker for the next recruiting class.

They missed the next Jeff.

Northwestern target Austin Seibert committed to Oklahoma on Friday, leaving the Wildcats to reopen their kicker search.

In February, the three-star Belleville (Ill.) prospect told that he expected to commit by May. That usually favors local schools—ones that are easier to visit.

Instead, he grabbed an Oklahoma offer two weeks ago and fell for OU during his visit to Norman.

This marked the first major recruiting setback since former safety commit Jordan Thomas broke his pledge with NU and went to Oklahoma instead.

NU will land one kicker from the 2015 class. The kicker position could be rough this season, with Jack Mitchell and Hunter Niswander fighting for duties. Niswander will be the long-term punter, but the ‘Cats need help replacing Jeff Budzien.

Seibert was one of the best kicker prospects in recent years, and it hurts more considering he was in NU's backyard. Still, with nine commitments already locked up for 2015, the Wildcats can take solace in their strong start to the class.

They have no other kicker targets currently listed.

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