Cleveland Heights, Ohio, senior cornerback Marcus McShepard has had the attention of BCS college coaches for several months, but it was not until a phone call with Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald Wednesday night that he picked up his first scholarship offer.
"I don't want to speak for the young man, but this was the [offer] he really, really wanted," said Cleveland Heights head coach Jeff Rotsky. "He loved the school and the coaches were great. I'm sure he'll always consider listening [to other schools], but he is very, very happy with this."
In the immediate aftermath of the offer, McShepard is letting the opportunity sink in. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound prospect had a standout senior season for Cleveland Heights, but he is also a stand out in the classroom with a 3.5 GPA.
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"My goal for Marcus when this all started was for him to go to one of the great academic, football schools in the country," Rotsky said. "I want him to go to a top, top school in the nation, and I don't think you can do much better than Northwestern."
Although the offer from the Wildcats just arrived this week, Fitzgerald and his staff have known about McShepard for several months.
"He and I flew out to their camp together and he ran the fastest 40 time," Rotsky said. "He loved it out there and it is a great school."
Schools like Penn State and Illinois are also showing interest in McShepard. He had considered joining teammate De'Niro Laster for a visit to Penn State this weekend, but will wait until the Nittany Lions' secondary coach make a visit to Cleveland Heights later this month to see if they extend a scholarship offer.
In the meantime, Northwestern appears to be dominating McShepard's thoughts, though the next move is not yet clear. No official visit with the Wildcats has been set at this time.