For weeks, many felt that defensive tackle Fred Wyatt (Lawrence, Kan./Free State) would end up in one of two positions -- playing in the Big Ten or playing in the Big 12.
Northwestern and Kansas were two schools the 6-foot-4, 260-pound defensive tackle was high on. Playing in the Big Ten won over the chance to stay home and play Big 12 ball as the local kid. Wyatt verbally committed to Northwestern on Tuesday following a weekend visit to Evanston, Ill., and became the 11th member of the Wildcats’ 2014 recruiting class.
Wyatt chose Northwestern over offers from Kansas, Oklahoma State, Arizona State and Rice.
“It’s a good feeling knowing I don’t have to worry about everything anymore,” Wyatt said. “Now I can concentrate on helping my team win a state championship.
“They [Northwestern] have great academics, and I got along great with the coaching staff. It was just the overall feel. I loved it.”
Wyatt’s offer from Kansas is significant because he father is Jayhawks defensive line coach Buddy Wyatt. He was recruited to Northwestern by wide receivers coach Dennis Springer.
Wyatt said his father was one of his biggest supporters, despite his decision to play for Northwestern and not at Kansas. Part of Wyatt’s reasoning involved Northwestern’s academic reputation.
“I like the way their guys finish school. They have a 97 percent graduation rate,” Wyatt said. “One of the things that really stuck out was the fact that you can take an internship during your junior year. That’ll help you get a good job.”
Wyatt’s weekend visit to the campus was his third. His first trip to Northwestern was last summer for a junior day. It was at the end of this visit when he was offered by Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald.
Wyatt said he knew that Northwestern was the place for him a couple weeks ago. The weekend visit eliminated any minimal doubt.
Wyatt now is the first defensive lineman to commit to Northwestern for this class. He’s looking to be an impact player early and a major role player in the conference.
“They’ll get someone who works really hard, someone who likes to do the little things the right way,” Wyatt said. “I like to think I’m a good person off the field and on. I’m ready to get there and help the team win championships.”