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August 28, 2011
Prater makes it official
Jaylen Prater officially became a Wildcat.It was just a matter of time until
The linebacker from Wellston (Ohio) told WildcatReport on Saturday that he would commit before the end of the weekend, and he did just that, calling coach Pat Fitzgerald on Sunday evening to officially join Northwestern's Class of 2012.
"Just got off the phone with Coach Fitz," he texted WildcatReport at 6:06 p.m. (Central). "It's official."
The 6-foot, 225-pounder is the 15th member of Northwestern's class and its first linebacker. He will most likely start his Wildcat career as an outside linebacker, but Fitzgerald held open the possibility that he could eventually move to the middle.
Prater chose Northwestern over offers from Cincinnati and Indiana, his other two finalists. He said on Saturday that it was Northwestern's combination of strong academics and athletics that won out.
"You can't beat the academics and Big Ten football," he said. "Coach Fitz runs a great program and they're really on the rise now."
Prater's 2011 season did not get off to the start he had hoped for on Saturday night. The Golden Rockets were whipped, 35-0, by archrival Jackson.
"It was a pretty rough game," said Prater. "We struggled up front."
At least his weekend closed on an upbeat note with his commitment to Northwestern.