Last week was hardly one of those slow, boring, out-of-season news weeks for Northwestern football. Despite this being summertime, news abounded in Evanston.
To go along with landing a big-time receiver prospect in Rashad Lawrence – more on him later – the Wildcats of course gave coach Pat Fitzgerald a contract extension. Sources around the country picked up the story, including ESPN.com, Sports Network, Chicago Tribune and United Press International, among others.
Judging by the Ryan Field message board, people seem to like the move by Northwestern to lock up Fitz through 2015. And Fitzgerald, likewise, has been unabashed about declaring his excitement for the extension.
Some quotes from Fitz:
It's no secret that I want to be the head football coach at Northwestern for many years to come. Our football program is succeeding both on and off the field, and we're proud of our recent accomplishments. We have greater aspirations, however, and I'm thankful to our administration for helping us support that vision.. . .
I'm humbled and very appreciative. I hope to have the opportunity to be here for a long, long time.(The Twitter version of that last one was shortened to: I am humbled and appreciate the opportunity to be at NU! GO CATS! Fitz)
Speaking of Fitz, here is an article from Athlon about him being asked to participate in a 15-member commission to discuss not tackling or the spread offense or recruiting, but instead "solving Illinois' ethical shortfall" in its state government. Pretty interesting…
"Although I had never met Pat at all, from afar you could see how he conducts himself and his strong sense of right and wrong," said Chicago-based lawyer Patrick Collins. "He was a young leader. That was an important element to his profile that was meaningful to me."
Then-Lieutenant Gov. Pat Quinn (who succeeded Blagojevich upon his impeachment) asked Collins to chair a commission on solving Illinois' ethical shortfall. Collins, who didn't want a group overrun by political types, called to ask the Class of 2008 College Football Hall of Fame inductee to join the 15-person committee. "I was humbled by that," Fitzgerald says. "And that's not just because of me, it's because of our entire program."And of course, the recruiting trail…
Rashad Lawrence, an Orlando receiver and teammate of Trevor Siemian – a quarterback who committed to NU last week – will join Siemian in Evanston, becoming the fourth member of NU's 2010 recruiting class. The Orlando Sentinel and Daytona Beach News-Journal picked up the story, although this article from Purple Reign is the only one that includes a conversation with Siemian, who said that he was in Lawrence's ear about joining him at NU.
Also, ESPN.com takes a look at a few incoming recruits.
And finally, ESPN.com explores the prospects of the increasingly-discussed proposal of NU hosting a game at Wrigley Field.