football

Wyatt picks Northwestern despite family tie

Defensive tackle Fred Wyatt's scholarship offer from Kansas is notable because his father, Buddy, is an assistant coach there. It was never a forgone conclusion that the Lawrence (Kan) Free State tackle would play for his dad at KU, but the Jayhawks figured to be in it until the end.
The end, as it turns out, was Tuesday afternoon. And, as expected, the Jayhawks were right there … right up until Wyatt picked Northwestern.
Calling his decision a shock is a bit of stretch. Wyatt had favored Northwestern for some time. Any time a prospect shuns a family tie to go in another direction, however, it warrants pointing out.
The question is always asked.
"My dad backed me 100 percent on my commitment and he supports me in whatever I do," Wyatt said. "He's happy for me."
But Tuesday was more about the school Wyatt did pick than it was about the one he didn't. In a lot of ways, the commitment itself was a formality. Still, he had to pick up the phone and make the call.
"My family sat down and talked about it, and it was everything about Northwestern," Wyatt said. "No. 1 was academics. That's a huge thing. Northwestern has great academics. It was that and the players and the coaches and the overall feel I had for the program."
First came a call to Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald, who accepted Wyatt's commitment by phone on Tuesday afternoon.
"Coach Fitz was really excited for me," Wyatt said. "He was glad I'm a wildcat. I talked to Coach (Marty) Long after that since he is going to be my position coach. He had the same reaction. He was just really excited for me and happy for me. He said he was going to enjoy coaching me."
Wyatt, a three-star prospect, will play defensive tackle at Northwestern. He does not intend to take any other recruiting visits in the future.
"I'm shutting it down," he said. "Once I'm committed, I don't plan on changing my mind."
Wyatt chose the Wildcats over offers from Oklahoma State, Arizona State and Rice as well as the Jayhawks.
Edit