- Craig Haubert, ESPN Staff Writer
Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald utilizes a "Superback" position on offense and ESPN 300 TE-Y Garrett Dickerson (Oradell, N.J./Bergen Catholic) has the tools to shine at his position.
What he brings: Overall, Dickerson brings some versatility to the table with the ability to help Northwestern on either side of the ball. Listed as an ESPN 300 TE, we obviously felt offense can be a little better fit for him. He possesses good overall size at this stage. Displays above-average speed for his size and good hands and flashes the ability to use his muscular build to his advantage as a receiver. With his size and strength he can develop into a good blocker. He needs to make improvements, but demonstrates the ability to deliver a pop, get hand placement and generate some push. With good size and speed, he certainly has the ability to develop and be effective as a D-End as well.
How he fits: If the Wildcats utilize Dickerson on offense, as it looks like they might, he could be a nice fit in their “Superback” role -- a hybrid position where a player could naturally be aligned at TE, but also flex out as well as lineup in the backfield and be called upon to contribute as a receiver and blocker. The four-star possesses the size and athleticism to be able to offer that versatility and be effective in those different roles.
Prediction for performance: Versatile with good size at this stage, Dickerson could come in and be expected to contribute. Projected to their “Superback” position, he shouldn’t be needed to immediately fill a need as starter Dan Vitale returns, but he could add good depth as he learns, develops and gets acclimated. If a red-shirt is not deemed necessary, he should also be able to come in and be a good special teams contributor. With an older brother already on the roster, he should come in with some understanding of what is expected of the players on the team. As he gains experience, he has the tools to be a productive offensive player who will be expected to and is capable of producing as a blocker. He could also contribute as a receiving target and in time be just as effective, if not more so than Vitale, who was third on the team with 34 receptions.
How the class is shaping up: The 2013 season had a lot of promise for the Wildcats as they got off to a 4-0 start, but seven straight losses quickly derailed their season. They also suffered some knocks on the recruiting trail recently losing a commitment from four-star athlete Dareian Watkins Galion, Ohio/Galion). While all has not gone smoothly, they did end the season with a win and now land a nice pick-up on the recruiting trail. The verbal from Dickerson, now gives them commitments from two ESPN300 prospects and four total four-star prospects. Featuring promising in-state QB prospect Clayton Thorson (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton), the Northwestern class is still solid and among the top half of the classes in the Big Ten.