Kief keeping NU in his plans

Three-star wide receiver Derek Kief has a number of scholarship offers, with Northwestern included in the list. The 6-foot-5 standout target is working to identify his top options. Are the Wildcats in that grouping? PurpleWildcats offers an update.

Standout receiver Derek Kief first visited Northwestern's campus as a high-school sophomore. He immediately felt like part of the program.

Kief was warmly welcomed by the Northwestern coaching staff and felt he fit in with the players. Now set for his senior season, that experience left an indelible impression in his mind, which he hopes carries into an upcoming spring visit.

"The more you fit in, the easier it is to come in and do what you want to do quicker," Kief said. "If you go somewhere where you don't fit in, you're not going to be comfortable."

A talented 6-foot-5 target, Kief has received scholarship offers from Northwestern plus Boston College, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio State, Vanderbilt, plus several others. While he's staying patient with the recruiting process, he admits Kentucky, Northwestern and Ohio State currently standout the most.

Northwestern entered the mix for Kief in the fall, following a steady evaluation of the receiver. Since receiving the offer, Kief has closely monitored the Wildcats' progress.

"They've been on an upswing lately in their football program," Kief said. "I feel like I'd fit in around there.

"I just know that, the program, they only accept kids that are better kids, because it's a good institution."

Kief is evaluating all factors in his options, but he's looking for a little bit of everything from the perfect school.

"It just has to have a good balance of everything—academics, athletics, how I like the coaches," he explained.

Kief is still working to set up his spring visits, but is planning a stop in Evanston, among others, for his schedule. He hopes each visit along the tour helps him work toward a summer decision.

"I just want to get it out of the way, so I don't have to worry about it during the season," he said. "But that's not set in stone."

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college athletics and professional baseball for FOX Sports Next since 2009. Emma covered the Nebraska Cornhuskers for Big Red Report, and currently covers the Northwestern Wildcats. He resides on Chicago's north side.
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