Pat Fitzgerald has his Best National Signing Day Ever

Pat Fitzgerald has his Best National Signing Day Ever

Happy National Signing Day. Northwestern’s 21 commits (the largest class of the Pat Fitzgerald era) hail from 10 states. The Wildcats signed 13 of their 21 players from three states—five from Pennsylvania, four from Illinois and four from Ohio. Scout ranks the class 5th in the Big Ten, 44th in the nation. Those numbers are higher than usual in Evanston.

In addition, Northwestern announced this past weekend the addition of highly touted wide receiver Kyle Prater (Maywood, Ill./Proviso West), who is transferring to Northwestern from USC. More on Prater here. His presence beefs up the class quite a bit. And there’s some top prospects in it, we’ll highlight the highlights of it.

Let’s start with the jewel of the class.


IFEADI ODENIGBO (pronounced if-AH-dee o-DEN-uh-bo)

6-3 • 217

Centerville, Ohio • Centerville

Projected Position: Outside Linebacker

High School: four-star (ESPNU 150), Under Armour All-American and SuperPrep All-America selection Ranked as No. 51 overall prospect by … Ranked sixth-best defensive end and No. 1 player in the Midwest Region and Ohio by … Ranked No. 5 linebacker, No. 9 defensive end and No. 109 overall prospect nationally by … Ranked No. 99 in the Rivals 100 … SuperPrep All-Midwest selection, ranked as No. 20 overall prospect in the region and No. 19 linebacker in the nation … Ranked No. 98 overall prospect in the nation, eighth nationally among linebackers and fifth overall prospect in Ohio by 247Sports.

Odenigbo spurned Ohio State after the coaching change in order to come to Evanston. He will major in economics and hopes to maybe one day get a MBA, Kellogg, the university’s prestigious business school.

ADAM DePIETRO (pronounced da-PEET-ro)

6-5 • 270

Lancaster, Pa. • Lancaster Catholic

Projected Position: Offensive Tackle

High School: three-star, SuperPrep All-Midwest offensive lineman … Ranked 14th best player in Pennsylvania and 46th nationally among offensive tackles by … Ranked 18th among Pennsylvania players and 65th nationally by … Ranked 26th among all Northeast players by SuperPrep.

MALIN JONES (pronounced MAY-lin)

6-0 • 205

Naperville, Ill. • Joliet Catholic

Projected Position: Running Back

High School: three-star running back … Ranked 10th overall player in Illinois and 26th nationally among running backs by … Regarded as the 23rd-best running back in the nation and 11th-best prospect in Illinois by 247Sports … Ranked 42nd running back nationally by … Ranked 42nd best player in the Midwest by SuperPrep, earning All-Midwest honors … No. 33 player in the state and No. 87 running back in the nation, according to

GREG KUHAR (pronounced KOO-har)

6-3 • 275

Concord Township, Ohio • St. Edward

Projected Position: Defensive Tackle

High School: four-star and three-star honoree … Ranked 19th overall player in Ohio and 19th nationally among defensive tackles by … SuperPrep All-Midwest honoree … Ranked No. 52 nationally among defensive tackles by


6-4 • 260

Malvern, Pa. • Malvern

Projected Position: Defensive Tackle

High School: three-star honoree … Ranked 64th nationally among offensive guards and 33rd overall player in the state by … Ranked No. 68 overall as a three-star offensive guard in the nation by … Ranked No. 56 overall prospect in the state by 247Sports

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

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