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Northwestern Wildcats

Trending down, previously ranked 26

High ranking: 17 - Low ranking: NR

TOP SIGNED

INSIDE THE NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS' CLASS

Who they have: How about the beginning pieces of what could become the best recruiting class in Northwestern history? The class begins in the backfield, which could be the best in the conference. For a second consecutive year, the Wildcats have landed a top-flight quarterback from Illinois. In February, it was ESPN 300 quarterback Matt Alviti; in March, it was Clayton Thorson, No. 223 in the ESPN 300. Four-star running back Justin Jackson talked with Thorson throughout the process and will join him at Northwestern. Four-star Dareian Watkins provides a weapon on the outside, as he will likely play receiver. Three-star athlete Jordan Thomas was the first commit for Northwestern in December. The Wildcats were hot in April, adding offensive tackle Ben Oxley, followed by running back Solomon Vault.

Who they want: The Wildcats are in the running for some of the state's top prospects in 2014, beginning with ESPN 300 defensive back Parrker Westphal, who recently visited the campus.Garrett Dickerson, a high school teammate of 2013 signee Kyle Queiro and 2014 commit Cam Queiro, has Northwestern in his top group and has a brother on the Wildcats' roster. Dickerson is No. 4 nationally among tight ends. Four-star linebacker Brandon Lee is also listing Northwestern among his final five, so there is still a chance with him, as well.