Under Pat Fitzgerald; however, the ‘cats can cast a wide net and recruit nationally to one of the more prestigious academic institutions in the country. Fitzgerald has led the program to four consecutive bowl appearances.
Earlier this month, I looked into my crystal ball and wrote about the season outlook for the 2012 Wildcats, and the accomplishments in 2012 will play a large role in the successes on the recruiting trail this year and beyond.
The crown jewel of the 10 commitments to the university thus far is Maine South dual-threat quarterback Matt Alviti, who turned down scholarship offers from Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Nebraska, among others.
ESPN ranks the 6’0’’, 192-pound signal-caller as the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the nation, the sixth best prospect in the state of Illinois and ranks inside the ESPN150 at 143.
A significant coup for Fitzgerald and his staff, bringing in the local product that will be expected to fill the position after Kain Kolter exhausts his remaining two years of eligibility. This will allow Alviti the time to develop his body in the weight room and put on more weight to his 6’0’’ frame.
With three rising sophomores and former Glenbard North quarterback, Evan Watkins, on the roster behind Kolter, Alviti may redshirt his first year on campus.
According to ESPN recruiting nation, their scouting report depicts Alviti has a bit of a gambler with a gunslinger’s mentality that isn’t afraid to take a few risks to make a big play, either with his feet or his arm.
Being blessed with exceptional quickness, athleticism and a smooth compact delivery allows consistent accuracy and solid arm strength, giving the gunslinger the requisite arm talent to make the necessary throws at the next level.
The big drawback with Alviti is his height. If Alviti were two inches taller, he’d likely be a 5-star prospect recruited by the likes of Michigan and Ohio State.
Coming from a highly successful high school program, Alviti is accustomed to winning and his competitiveness will certainly rub off on his future teammates as Northwestern looks to emerge from the middle of the pack in the Big Ten.
The successful careers of Dan Persa and Mike Kafka on Fitzgerald’s resume played a large role in the recruiting of Alviti, and the unbridled enthusiasm of one of the youngest coaches in the NCAA. Alviti represents a significant figure in the future of the program.
Alviti is the next in line to be behind center for the Wildcats, and if he has a similar career to that of Persa and Kafka, perhaps Alviti finds himself in a game that Fitzgerald’s former teammate, Steve Schnur, found himself in; the Rose Bowl.
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