Everything you need to know and what actually matters about the 2019 Northwestern Wildcat recruiting class.
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It’s the best class yet under Pat Fitzgerald. The 2016 class might have be ranked a bit higher, but there’s one big difference – Hunter Johnson. Forget about everything else Fitzgerald did this recruiting season – which was also great – but getting Johnson after he chose to transfer away from Clemson was an amazing coup. If he’s not among the most talented quarterbacks in the Big Ten, be shocked.
Fitzgerald just won a Big Ten West title without the top-shelf talent. He still doesn’t have the five-star guys coming in, but all he needs are the guys who can do just enough to be a wee bit better. Find the ones who can buy in and do everything they’re coached to do, and make sure they’ll run through a wall, too.
Other than Johnson, there isn’t a talent like DE Devin O’Rourke from last year’s class, but it’s a slightly deeper group. There might not be the high-ceiling guys, and but there’s a high floor, too. There won’t be a lot of busts.
The secondary needed more bodies, and five were brought in to beef things up in a big way. They’re almost all better than the ones signed last year, with a whole lot of versatile talents who’ll fit wherever needed.
Going after running backs next year will be a must. Considering the problems with the running game overall last year – even with the rise of Isaiah Bowser – the Cats need more guys in the rotation. Only one was signed on this year, and Evan Hull isn’t going to carry the load. He was the one guy brought in on National Signing Day.
Can the new wide receivers make a splash? There was only one brought in last year, and now Fitzgerald has three coming aboard. It would be nice to have a big-time gamebreaker, but size is a big deal here. Wayne Dennis and Genson Hooper are 6-4ish matchup problems.
Northwestern goes more towards the versatile Superback position more than a true tight end. Thomas Gordon isn’t going to be a fullback like blocker, but he’ll be a big receiver to go along with the tall receivers from last year’s class.
Did the rumors of Fitzgerald possibly going to the Green Bay Packers make any sort of a difference? Nah. Fitz got his guys early on in the process.
Fitzgerald has settled in. He has some of the prettiest facilities in college football to pitch, and he has the Big Ten West title pump up. This is when it’s all coming together, and this is the class that’s showing it.