Colter to PR: "NU is the front-runner"

Purple Reign caught up with Englewood, Colo., quarterback Kain Colter, who, after a recent decommitment from Stanford, could become one of Northwestern's biggest gets of the 2010 class. Colter discussed which schools he is considering, why he decommitted from Stanford and why Northwestern is currently at the head of the pack.

Does Northwestern have a legitimate chance of nabbing a commitment Englewood, Colo., quarterback Kain Colter?

Well, the NU coaching staff seems to think so.

Purple Reign's interview Tuesday night with Colter was put on temporary hiatus when Colter's call-waiting revealed a buzz from Northwestern offensive coordinator Mick McCall. But after chatting it up with McCall, Colter took some time to talk about his recent decommitment from Stanford as well as what his plans are for the future.

Turns out McCall and Co. have every reason to be optimistic about Colter coming to Northwestern.

"Northwestern's the front-runner right now," Colter, a three-star recruit, told Purple Reign. "You know, I feel by far they have the best education. And if you're going to get your education paid for, you might as well get the best one."

Colter, though, is still a football player. And along with education, there are gridiron-related reasons that Northwestern is the current front-runner.

"Not only do they have the best education, but they're football program is coming up."

Colter has long held an offer from Northwestern, but he committed to Stanford back in April after a visit to Palo Alto. However, the 6-1, 190-pound quarterback – rated by Scout as the No. 46 QB in the nation – reopened his recruitment at the end of December.

That Colter already committed to Stanford reinforces the import he places on education. But according to Colter, the cachet of a degree from Stanford wasn't worth the headache of going through the Cardinal's drawn-out admissions process.

"Through the whole process, I could feel there was something going on," Colter said of why he decommitted. "They couldn't admit me until after my first semester grades were in, and our first semester doesn't end until mid-January. They couldn't get me in and I just didn't understand why and I didn't want to have to worry about it. I was doing all the right things and Northwestern and Nebraska were coming in, and they're great schools."

Colter made a visit to Evanston the week before Christmas, and that trip – coupled with frustration over the Stanford admissions process – now has Northwestern sitting as the No. 1 choice.

"You know, I loved it," the well-spoken Colter said of his trip to Northwestern. "Evanston is a great town and Chicago is its neighbors and that's also a great city. I got to be around the players, and I got along really well with all of them."

There was more.

"The most impressive thing was the coaching staff. A lot of other coaches, during the whole recruiting process they'll tell you what you want to hear. But coach Fitz, he'll shoot you straight. He's not trying to be conniving and say this or that. And (Northwestern's players and coaches) are all like coach Fitz."

Encouraging, indeed. But this isn't a done deal. Colter confirmed that he still plans to take a visit to Nebraska, and he already made a trip to Arizona State. Those two, plus TCU, are the four schools that Colter is considering.

Along with the education, one thing that's attractive to Colter about Northwestern is the offense. None of Colter's other suitors have as quarterback-friendly of a system as the Cats. NU's quarterbacks threw it 528 times this season for more than 3,700 yards. Also, between Mike Kafka and Dan Persa, NU's quarterbacks ran for 727 yards. Even when you factor in lost yardage on sacks, those two still ran for 462 net yards. And of course there was the 78-throw, 532-yard, four-TD Outback Bowl.

For Colter, who said that he ran and threw for more than 1,000 yards last season, McCall's offensive system is an enticement.

"The offense is definitely something I am considering," Colter said. "I love Northwestern's offense. I would fit in there perfectly. The spread is my thing – I can get back there and sling it or get back there and run. So their offense is perfect."

Compare Northwestern's offense to Nebraska, TCU and ASU and, well, there's no comparison.

Northwestern: 531 pass attempts, 3,725 yards
Nebraska: 364 pass attempts, 2,460 yards
TCU: 326 pass attempts, 2,823 yards
ASU: 418 pass attempts, 2,582 yards

Enough about the offenses, though. Back to Colter and his decision. He said that no official date for the Nebraska trip had been set, but that he would be making the jaunt to Lincoln sometime soon. And as for an ensuing decision:

"I definitely want to get it done sooner than later. I don't want it to be a thing where I'm picking on signing day. I'm going to pray about it and when I feel comfortable, then I'll make a decision."

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