Northwestern Football Welcomes 2016 Signing Class

Coach Pat Fitzgerald​EVANSTON, Ill. — The Northwestern Wildcats inked 19 players on National Signing Day, Dan & Susan Jones Family Head Football Coach Pat Fitzgerald announced Wednesday. All 19 National Letters Of Intent were received by 7:36 a.m. CT.

“Every year this is an exciting day for the future of our football family, but more importantly a transformational day for these young men and their families,” said Fitzgerald. “Each will contribute to our pursuit of a Big Ten championship on the field, and earn the best education in college football. Our staff has had the opportunity to get to know each recruit extensively over the last several years, and we look forward to welcoming them to Evanston this summer.”

In addition to 20 scholarship signees, one of whom is already on campus as an early enrollee, Fitzgerald introduced a pair of student-athletes that will join the program as walk-ons this fall.

Northwestern won 10 games last season for the fourth time in program history, including victories over the eventual Pac-12 champions and five opponents that went on to win a bowl game. The Wildcats return three players that earned All-Big Ten honors last year, led by All-American linebacker and First Team honoree Anthony Walker Jr.

Chicago’s Big Ten Team will open the spring practice schedule on Tuesday, Feb. 23, and will host an open-to-the-public practice at Ryan Field on Saturday, April 2.

The Wildcats kick off the 2016 season on Saturday, Sept. 4, at Ryan Field against Western Michigan. The 2016 campaign is the first that will feature a nine-game Big Ten slate, with Nebraska, Indiana, Wisconsin and Illinois set to visit Evanston, along with non-conference opponents Duke and Illinois State.

2016 Signing Class Notes (excludes walk-ons)
  • Northwestern’s recruiting class features 11 student-athletes on the offensive side of the ball [offensive line (4) quarterback, running back (2), superback, wide receiver (3)] and nine on defense [defensive back (3), defensive line (3), linebacker (3)]
  • The 2016 class represents eight states and Ontario, led by eight student-athletes from Ohio and four from Texas
  • One member of the class, Tommy Carnifax, completed his high school studies in December and has already enrolled at Northwestern for the 2016 Winter Quarter
  • Nineteen of the 20 signees verbally committed to Northwestern prior to the start of their senior year of high school
  • The Wildcats will welcome a pair of high school teammates in Katy, Texas, products Paddy Fisher and Travis Whillock, one year after adding a pair from Baltimore’s Gilman School (Jelani Roberts, Alonzo Mayo) and Chicago’s Oak Park-River Forest (Adam Lemke-Bell, Lloyd Yates)
  • Eighteen of the 20 signees made official visits to campus on the same weekend in January

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