Travels planned

There are visitors galore this week in Evanston. From quarterback to offensive line to defensive end, the Wildcats are playing host a handful of top prospects. Read about some of the players stopping by, and learn about their other travel plans beyond Evanston.

There are visitors galore this week in Evanston. From quarterback to offensive line to defensive end, the Wildcats are playing host a handful of top prospects.

The most notable may be Jordan Walsh, the No. 2-ranked guard in the nation, according to Scout. In an early-March interview with Purple Reign, Walsh confirmed a March 28 visit -- his third trip to Evanston -- and spoke highly of NU in general, and the team's coaching stability in particular.

"I am looking for a good education and I want to have a good relationship with the coaches," said Walsh, who, like NU hoops star John Shurna, is from Glen Ellyn, Ill. "I know nowadays – well, maybe not ‘nowadays,' but recently – a lot of coaches have been leaving and switching schools or going to the pros. I know that's going to happen a lot, but for right now I am looking for a coach that I'll be comfortable with and who will be there for the next four or five years....

"I like (NU's situation) because, you know, (Fitz) could be a coach who I can look up to who can be my mentor for years, call him, ask him questions, talk to him," Walsh said. "But that should be a big factor – not a real big factor, but a strong factor in my decision."

The 6-foot-4, 270-pound Walsh said that Northwestern was the fourth school to offer him a scholarship; some other schools to officially offer are Arizona, Purdue, Indiana, Illinois and Duke. He is also being recruited by Notre Dame and more than half the schools in the Big Ten – Iowa, Michigan State, Wisconsin and among them.

He recently visited Notre Dame, although the Irish still haven't offered. Indiana and Ohio State are on the tentative spring travel itinerary.

Also stopping by Evanston this week is Zack Oliver, a 6-3 quarterback from Baton Rouge, La. Oliver's father told Purple Reign that Oliver would be Evanston-bound on Thursday, and Oliver confirmed as much to LSU's Scout page this week.

Oliver, who holds a scholarship offer from Northwestern as well as Arkansas State and Tulsa, will make a return trip to hometown LSU this summer. He said last month that he anticipates an LSU offer by the summer.

On the other side of the ball, James Adeyanju, a defensive end from Chicago's Curie Metropolitan High School, told Purple Reign that he stopped by Evanston on Tuesday.

At the beginning of February, Adeyanju had but four offers: Ball State, Illinois, Toledo and Indiana. But in the past two months, that number has swelled more than three times over. Northwestern is one of the numerous schools – along with Stanford, Wisconsin, Boston College and Duke, to name a few – that have offered in recent weeks.

Northwestern will be the first stop in Adeyanju's upcoming swing through the Big Ten, a tour that will include a visit to Illinois for their Junior Day, Iowa on April 11 and, if Adeyanju can find time, Wisconsin at some point as well.

At 6-3 and 225 pounds, Adeyanju is a bit of a "tweener" for defensive end. But he has talked with Fitz numerous times, and the two have panned out where exactly Adeyanju would play should be opt for NU.

"Coach Fitzgerald talked about how a lot of people want to put me at outside linebacker," Adeyanju said, "but he thinks I have the speed and skill to play defensive end….

"It's really cool talking to (Fitz)," Adeyanju added. "He liked my highlight tape, he said he liked my moves. It's real great talking to him."

Adeyanju's older brother is Victor, who starred at running back at Indiana and now plays for the St. Louis Rams.

Finally, four-star running back Justice Hayes is another player in Evanston this week. Hayes -- who attends Grand Blanc High School, the same school as 2010 NU commit Tony Jones -- is one of the most sought-after backs in the region. The 5-11, 175-pound back holds offers from at least eight Big Ten schools as well as Notre Dame. He has already made visits to Michigan, Notre Dame and Michigan State -- each of which has offered.

Purple Reign will be checking in with these and other NU targets in the coming days.

You can comment on this story at the Ryan Field Message Board.


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