NU Signs '17 Recruiting Class

Northwestern has welcomed a new class of 19 scholarship recruits as part of signing day 2017 (including two students who have already enrolled). In addition to the new scholarship players, NU announced the addition of  six walkons and a transfer student.

This year, the class appears to lean to the defense and to the backfields: 10 of the 19 scholarship recruits are primarily defensive, and seven of them play in the linebacker or defensive back positions, while three are defensive linemen. On offense, the 'Cats appear to have eight recruits, with three offensive linemen and five offensive backfield players. NU has also recruited a kicker in the class.

The 'Cats, bucking a geographic trend for the last few seasons, did not recruit a player from Pennsylvania; instead, five recruits come from Texas and Ohio each, and three new players come from Georgia. There are only two players from Illinois. The 'Cats new class received offers from the usual recruiting competitors, including Vandy, Wake Forest, Duke, the Ivy Leagues, Nebraska, and even Michigan and Ohio State. However, none of the class cross-recruited with Stanford or Notre Dame.

Rivals did not give a four-star rating to any of the class; however, Scout gave a four-star rating to Trevor Kent and Sam Miller. Both Scout and CBS's 247 Sports awarded a four-star rating to Earnest Brown IV.

Scout ranks the 2017 class 48th nationally, down ten places from the 2016 class. The ranking puts NU just behind Missouri, and ahead of Texas Tech and Iowa State. Scout has NU's class at 11th in the B1G, ahead of Wisconsin.

Rivals ranks NU 55th (down from last year's 43rd spot), above Minny and just behind UCF. NU is 9th in the conference, just behind Iowa. CBS ranks the 'Cats 48th (the same spot as last year), and 11th in the B1G, ahead of Minny.

The following table shows the list of recruits who have committed to Northwestern.  The comments are compiled from material taken from,, and CBS's 247Sports

Recruiting is always a somewhat challenging topic for me to cover. I have no interest at all in college recruiting. Yet, I recognize that success in recruiting is critical to Northwestern's program.

For more detailed info and analysis, be sure to check out Lou V.'s reporting at Rivals and the work at Scout and CBS' 247 Sports.

DB Chee Anyanwu
Buford, GA
CBS and Scout 3-Star. Committed to NU Jan. 21.
Earnest Brown IV
Denton, TX
Scout and CBS 4-Star. Rivals 3-Star. Scout 4th in state. 25 offers, incl. Arkansas, Baylor, Col. Duke, Houston, Iowa, Michigan,  Miss., Neb., Ohio State, OK, Texas, A&M, Vandy.
LB Blake Gallagher Needham, MA
Scout, CBS, and Rivals 3-Star. Scout 1st in state. Rivals 2nd in state. 11 offers, incl. BC, Cal, Duke, Neb., NC, Pitt.
OL Sam Gerak
Avon, OH
Scout, CBS, and Rivals 3-Star. Scout 1st in state. 8 offers, incl. Illinois, 'Cuse. 
Austin Hiller
Austin, TX
Scout, CBS, and Rivals 3-Star. Scout 4th in state.  11 offers, incl.Baylor, Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth, Penn, SMU..
WR Berkeley Holman Bellflower, CA
Scout, CBS, and Rivals 3-Star. 13 offers, incl. BC, Columbia, Harvard.
DB Bryce Jackson Denton, TX
Scout, CBS, and Rivals 3-Star. 11 offers, incl. Army, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Wake.
WR Jace James Carol Stream, IL
Scout, CBS, and Rivals 3-Star. Scout 3rd in state. Rivals 21st in state. 9 offers, incl. WMU.
DL Trevor Kent Pittsburg, KS
Scout 4-Star.  Rivals and CBS 3-Star. Scout and Rivals 1st in state.  12 offers, incl. K-State, Michigan, Minny, Mizzou, Neb, OK, PSU, Vandy.
K Charlie Kuhbander
Springboro, OH
CBS 3-Star. Iowa State also offered.
QB Andrew Marty
Wyoming, OH
Scout and CBS 3-Star. Scout 3rd in state. Miami O., WMU, EMU, Toledo offered.
RB Kyric McGowan
Dalton, GA
Scout, CBS, and Rivals 3-Star. 21 offers, incl. Cincy, Columbia, Duke, Minny, Miss. St., Vandy, Wake
LB Peter McIntyre Toledo, OH
Scout, CBS, and Rivals 3-Star. Scout 1st in state. Rivals 33rd in state. Ball St., BG, Harvard, Yale, Miami O., Toledo offered.
DL Sam Miller
Houston, TX
Scout 4-Star. Rivals and CBS 3-Star. Scout 2nd in state. 7 offers, incl. Indy, TX Tech.
DB J.R. Pace
College Park, GA
Scout, CBS, and Rivals 3-Star. Scout 9th in state. 18 offers, incl. BC, Duke, K-State, M'land, Minny, Vandy, Wake.
TE Trey Pugh
Plain City, OH
Scout, CBS, and Rivals 3-Star. Scout 4th in state. Rivals 20th in state. 17 offers, incl. Arkansas, Cincy, Duke, Illinois, Indy, Michigan, Mizzou, PSU, Pitt, 'Cuse, Wake.
DB Cameron Ruiz
Lake Villa, IL
Scout, CBS, and Rivals 3-Star.  Scout 1st in state.
OL Rashawn Slater
Sugar Land, TX
Scout, CBS, and Rivals 3-Star. Scout 9th in state. Illinois, KS, Rice, SMU, Wyo. offered.
OL Ethan Wiederkehr
Shoreham, NY
Scout, CBS, and Rivals 3-Star. Scout 1st in state. Rivals 5th in state. 15 offers, incl. Army, Harvard, L'ville, M'land, Navy, Pitt, 'Cuse, Wake.
Rivals state ranks include all positions. Scout state ranks are position-specific.

In addition to the recruits listed above, NU announced the following walkon players:

  • Cody Gronewald, punter
  • Will Lansbury, wide receiver
  • Erik Mueller, linebacker
  • Alex Oelsner, superback
  • Peter Snodgrass, long snapper
  • Joe Spivak, defensive tackle
The 'Cats also welcomed wide receiver Jalen Brown, a graduate student transfer from the University of Oregon. While at Oregon, Brown notched 407 receiving yards and four TDs during two seasons with the Ducks.