The 2018 Northwestern Recruiting Class. The basic overview of the class, the relative strength, what you need to know if you don’t care about recruiting, the star, and the depth chart hole going into the season.
Northwestern Recruiting Class Overview
As always, Northwestern has a specific type of player it’s going after. Coming off a terrific season, and with improved facilities, head coach Pat Fitzgerald’s program has the upside to go along with the stability.
The lines are upgrading, there’s hope among the pass rushing prospects, and finding the next great quarterback is a must right away, with the hope for Jason Whittaker to be an option from Day One after star Clayton Thorson suffered a torn ACL in the bowl game.
There might not be a whole lot for the passing game – especially at receiver – and the running backs are just okay. However …
The Northwestern Class Is Heavy On …
Considering the offense is used to dealing with a Superback, do-it-all type, it’s strange that some of the best players are good enough to see time early on at tight end. Charlie Mangieri is a 6-4, 230-pound prototype, but 6-7, 210-pound Brian Kaiser has the size and upside to be dangerous – if he stays at tight end.
The Star of the Northwestern Class Is …
DE Devin O’Rourke, FrankforT, IL
A great get who committed early in the process, he was wanted by most of the Big Ten including Wisconsin and Penn State, along with Notre Dame. There was never much of a question, though, where he was going. The 6-6, 230-pounder is a potential devastating pass rusher with the type of relentless drive needed to be on Fitzgerald’s D. He needs to beef up, but he’s quick off the ball.
The Northwestern Biggest 2018 Depth Chart Hole Is …
The entire offensive backfield
RB Justin Jackson was everything for the ground game over the last four years, and Superback Garrett Dickerson is done, too. Jeremy Larkin will get the first look at the tailback gig, but he’s going to need help. Toughest of all, Thorson will need at least a little while to get back to 100%, if not half the season, and the quarterback situation is a big, big problem going into the spring.