After Andrew Scanlan gave his verbal commitment to Northwestern on Tuesday morning, the humble high school senior was trying to keep the news from spreading throughout the school.
Surely enough, word got out, and by the end of the school day, classmates and teachers were all congratulating the future Wildcat.
Just two days after his visit in Evanston, and the morning after discussing the visit with his family and coaches, Scanlan called NU head coach Pat Fitzgerald and gave his verbal commitment.
“It was very exciting when I did it,” Scanlan said. “I called Coach Fitz, who’s out in New York right now, and he was fired up. It just gave me another reason why I’m excited I decided on Northwestern.”
Scanlan, who will play receiver at Northwestern, impressed Wildcat coaches at a summer camp, and has been on their radar ever since. He waited patiently for an offer; his patience was rewarded in October.
Northwestern became Scanlan’s top school from the start, thanks to its academic prestige.
“Growing up, I had a very tough mother—in a good way,” said Scanlan. “She was on me with academics. You can’t go wrong with Northwestern, for academics or for a graduate degree. It stands out far and above everyone else.”
Scanlan also held offers from Akron, Northern Illinois, and Delaware, and had received interest from Boston College, Maryland, and many others.
However, Scanlan was drawn to Northwestern’s combination of strong academics and football, which is what led him to the decision.
“I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to get a great education, play in a great system and play for a great coaching staff,” said Scanlan. “They have great players there and they build character. I want to build character, and be successful.”
During his official visit over the weekend, Scanlan spent time with NU freshman receiver Cameron Dickerson and running back Treyvon Green, who helped the Pennsylvania native feel at home in Evanston.
“They really helped me and they showed me and opened my eyes to what’s really going on here and what the school has to offer,” Scanlan said. “Some players look at an offer as just an offer. They don’t go beyond it, to see what the school has to offer. The commits, the coaches, the guys, the assistants, they just opened my eyes to what’s in this offer and really explore Northwestern.”
Scanlan went to campus knowing he may be committing to Northwestern, and knew he liked the school, but wasn’t completely certain. His visit to campus sealed the deal.
“That was my first and only visit—that’s all I needed,” he said. “It was the atmosphere. I got a chance to check out practices and see how it works. It might be different on other days, but I got a sense of what it’s like. I got a big reassurance in the academics, as well.”
Scanlan was looking for a couple key factors in the right school, but he found the right fit in Evanston.
“I want to challenge myself academically and on the football field,” said Scanlan. “I felt Northwestern was the perfect fit for what I want in a school.”