After sealing up eight commitments from Apr. 11-15, Northwestern returned to the national stage with a major recruiting win.
Pat Fitzgerald filled this year's defensive line with the No. 24 DT in the nation—a guy who picked up 16 offers and still decided on NU.
This came on the heels of an outstanding visit three weekends ago. After, Thompson told PurpleWildcats.com: "The things they're doing are opening my eyes. Football wise, I could see Northwestern being one of the elite schools."
Now nine commits in, with seven 3-star players and two 4-star twins, the ‘Cats appear to be shedding last year's demons and building program momentum.
"It's a growing program," Thompson says, even after a 5-7 season that triggered doubt at every level of the program.
Instead, Fitzgerald started another strong class. He has the defensive core in place: Four defensive linemen, two linebackers and one cornerback. With another defensive back and outside linebacker, NU can move straight to offense.
The Wildcats have also dominated Ohio. Thompson is their third commit from the state, behind Andrew and David Dowell. Randy Bates and position coach Marty Long led the recruitment of Thompson—who liked the coaching staff's "straightforward" approach.
Northwestern entered the day at No. 22 in the Scout.com team recruiting rankings. Though that number often declines when other schools pick up, say, 22 commits, it's a promising start for a school that suffered a rough end to last season.
Thompson joins the perfect position of need. NU beat the so-called "big boys" of recruiting again. Better, the 'Cats continue to own the 2015 recruiting trail, hanging with everyone they need to.