NU Targets Eight in Illinois?

Last year <b>Northwestern</b> fans were disappointed when the Cats didn't sign any prospects from the Chicago area or even Illinois. This year, it seems that NU is working harder than ever in their backyard for prospects.<br><br> Yesterday, Chris just gave us the <b>Illinois Top 25</b> - here are the <b>NU Prospects</b> from that list.

Here are the Current Top 25 Illinois Prospects with apparent interest in Northwestern. [My comments are in italics]

On Offense:
Two big Linemen and a Running Back make our Northwestern - Illinois prospect list.

18. Jim Jadron - Joliet (Catholic) OL 6-5, 280, 5.0

He's a top prospect, Benches 365, squats 510, but he's witing to hear from Notre Dame. Also has offer from Illinois and interest in Nebraska and Northern Illinois

21. Akeem Hunter - Chicago (Leo) RB 6-0, 210, 4.4

Three year starter at tailback for Leo. Has an offer from Navy - also interested in IL, IA, MSU

23. Alex Rucks - Lincolnshire (Stevenson) OL 6-5, 285, 5.3

Another 3 year starter - at 285 has size. NU has offered and listed NU as #1 last August. - also offered by Central Mich, some interest in WI,MSU,BC

On Defense:
It seems that more defenders are showing interest in Northwestern - could be who is recruiting the area for the Wildcats?
4. Nate Lyles - Chicago (Hubbard) – DB 6-0, 185, 4.5

Insiders' Top 10 CB - could play Corner or Safety at Big 10 Level. Offers from NU, IL, ND, WI and Iowa - expecting offers from Nebraska and Michigan too. No Leader yet.

8. Sam Carson - Downers Grove (South) LB 6-2, 230 4.8

He looks like a linebacker - might be a hair slow? visiting Illinois in December - has offers from NU, IL, IN, Louisville and NIU.

13. Tim Johnson - Flossmoor (Homewood-Flossmoor) DL 6-5, 240, 4.8

Projected as a DE, and at 6-5 maybe a DT. No offers yet, but this former basketball player lists NU as one of his favorites. Is hearing from IL, MI, OSU, and KY

22. Marques Walton - Chicago (Hubbard) DL 6-2, 280, 4.9

One of the top ranked Hubbard kids - already has size and speed to play DT in Div I - Benches 365, squats 535. Coming off surgery last season.

Father a former pro basketball player - has NU offer, along with Illinois and Oregon. Some interest in ND, IA, IL, Michigan, OK

24. Ryan Tuggle - Bartlett TE/DE 6-5, 260, 4.9
Interested in IL, IA, WI, NIL, NM

There you have it - Chris' top 25 with Northwestern Interest.

You can see that the local focus seems to remain on the defensive side of the ball, as NU keeps working to add to as well as upgrade the players on defense.

You also can see a trend developing in the offers over on offense, NU appears to be working on the top running backs and O-Linemen in the Chicago area.

Now the question remains - How many of these guys will the 'Cats sign?


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