Justin Jackson commits to Northwestern

Justin Jackson commits to Northwestern

May 14, 2013, 6:15 pm
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John Paschall

It’s amazing what a bowl win and a planned $220 million practice facility will do to a program’s recruiting efforts.

Coach Pat Fitzgerald has reaped the benefits of Northwestern football's recent success on and off the field with a stellar 2014 recruiting class.

But that class got even better with Tuesday’s verbal commitment from Glenbard North (Carol Stream, Ill.) running back Justin Jackson. The four-star running back, who had offers from Vanderbilt, Iowa, Illinois, and nearly a dozen more Division I schools, made the announcement on his Twitter page. Multiple recruiting websites reported that Jackson had the Wildcats as his top choice since his unofficial visit in March.

Jackson won the 2013 Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year after rushing 421 times for 2,612 yards and 35 touchdowns. He led the Panthers to the IHSA Class 8A State Championship game, where they lost to Mount Carmel, 28-14.

[HIGHLIGHTS: Mount Carmel defeats Glenbard North in Class 8A title game]

The Carol Stream native is the ninth member of the Wildcats 2014 incoming class and second player from Illinois (QB Clayton Thorson, Wheaton North High, Wheaton, Ill.).