Northwestern 2011 Recruiting Class Synopsis

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Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald and the Northwestern University football program announced today the signing of 17 recruits to National Letters of Intent.

This year’s class features 11 offensive players and six defensive players. Northwestern’s 17 commits hail from seven states. The Wildcats signed five players from Illinois and four from Ohio. Northwestern also landed players from the football-rich states of Florida, Texas, California, Louisiana and New Jersey.

“Top to bottom, this might be the deepest class we’ve brought in to Northwestern in quite some time,” said NU Coach Pat Fitzgerald. “They all come from great families and academically, they were all perfect fits for Northwestern and what we stand for. We fully expect them to come in and help us with the goal of achieving a Big Ten championship.”

Northwestern graduated 14 student-athletes from its 2010 bowl squad, seven of them offensive players and the other seven on defense or special teams. The Wildcats are returning 16 starters in 2011.

“Most importantly, I want to thank our coaching staff and players, who deserve a great deal of credit for attracting our recruiting class this year,” said Fitzgerald. “Our coaching staff, led by recruiting coordinator Adam Cushing, did another fantastic job. I also want to thank our talented staff who assisted with the recruitment process: Bill Rees, David Reitz, Cody Cejda and Nolan Jones.”

Signing Day Notes:

• The breakdown on NU’s signees, by position: offensive line (4), defensive line (3), wide receivers (3), running backs (2), defensive backs (2), quarterback (1), linebacker (1) and superback (1).

• Northwestern signed five Illinois student-athletes, which gives the Wildcats 28 players presently from the Land of Lincoln, which leads NU’s long list of states represented on the Wildcat roster. Northwestern also added four more student-athletes from Ohio, giving the Wildcats a total of 18 players from Ohio, which ranks second behind Illinois.

• For the second straight year, Northwestern added a pair of players from the same high school—Geoff Mogus and Deonte Gibson from Ohio state champion St. Edward in suburban Cleveland. Last year, NU snagged Trevor Siemian and Rashad Lawrence from Olympia High School in Orlando.

• Northwestern received oral commitments from 11 of its 17 signees prior to the start of their senior football season (before Aug. 15).

• Facebook played a role in the recruitment of 16 of the 17 signees.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net. He doesn’t have a real nickname, but he is also a regular contributor to the Tribune’s Chicago Now network, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com

He does a weekly radio segment on Chicagoland Sports Radio.com and Cleveland.com

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