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February 5, 2014
Meet the Class of 2014
Pat Fitzgerald announced on Wednesday (Feb. 5) his program's incoming freshman class as part of National Signing Day festivities. The highly regarded 2014 class features 15 signees -- eight on offense and seven on defense -- and draws from eight different U.S. states.EVANSTON, Ill. -- For the eighth time since becoming Northwestern head coach in 2006,
Fitzgerald also took advantage of today's Signing Day to introduce three student-athletes who will join the Wildcats as walk-ons this fall.
"This is always a memorable day for our signees and their families as they get set to embark on the next big phase of their lives as part of the Northwestern Football Family," Fitzgerald said. "In most cases, these are young men who our coaching staff has gotten to know very well over a period of several years. We have the utmost confidence that they have the drive and determination required to thrive at Northwestern academically, athletically and socially. I wish all of our signees the best of luck in wrapping up their successful high school careers and look forward to welcoming them to Chicago's Big Ten Team this summer."
The 2014 class is among the most highly rated in program history, ranked No. 38 nationally by ESPN and boasting a composite player rating of 85.37 according to 247Sports--best in recent memory.
Last fall, Northwestern said goodbye to 14 Wildcats who completed their playing eligibility in 2013, but only five who were regular starters in their senior seasons (two on offense, two on defense, one on special teams).
Northwestern opens the 2014 season on Saturday, Aug. 30, at home against California.
Signing Class Notes
One of Northwestern's signees today, four-star cornerback Parrker Westphal (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook) has already ingratiated himself with the Wildcats program. After committing to NU on Dec. 20, Westphal completed his high school tenure in December and enrolled at Northwestern in time for the first day of classes on Jan. 6. Westphal, the first player to enroll early during Fitzgerald's head coaching tenure, has begun participation in NU's winter workouts and will be on the field for upcoming spring practices.
Of the 15 signees in this year's class, 10 gave verbal commitments to Northwestern prior to the start of their senior year in high school. QB Clayton Thorson (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton North) was the first student-athlete to verbally commit for the fall of 2014, doing so on March 17, 2013.
Northwestern added plenty of brotherly love to the program in 2014, with three incoming freshmen set to join their older brothers as Wildcats. SB Garrett Dickerson and SAF Cameron Queiro, both of powerhouse Bergen Catholic in New Jersey, signed on to accompany their siblings Cameron Dickerson (Jr., WR) and Kyle Queiro (R-Fr., CB), respectively. (Their signing also means NU has signed a pair of high school teammates in the same class for a fourth time in five years.) In addition, LB Nathan Hall (Toledo, Ohio/Southview) will enjoy one year of overlap with his brother Jimmy Hall, a rising senior safety in the Wildcats secondary.
DL Fred Wyatt is a signee with a substantial tie to Northwestern. Fred's father, Buddy, spent two years (1997-98) as the Wildcats defensive line coach under then-head coach Gary Barnett. Buddy, a veteran of 23 years as a Division I assistant, is now entering his fifth year as the D-Line coach at the University of Kansas.