Bolingbrook senior four-star defensive back Parrker Westphal (6-foot-1, 186 pounds) struggled for a few weeks in deciding between Northwestern or Vanderbilt.
Westphal this afternoon broke that tie and gave Northwestern and head coach Pat Fitzgeald his verbal commitment.
"It's Northwestern," Westphal said. "I really struggled with this decision for the past few weeks. I sat down and made a 21-point checklist of the pros and cons and in the end the distance from home was the deciding factor for me. I'm thrilled to play for Northwestern and thrilled to have this decision made."
[MORE: Edgy Tim's recruiting notes]
Westphal pointed towards the distance from home along with the stability of the Wildcats coaching staff as key factors in his final choice.
"In the end the distance from home was a factor. I want it to be easier for my friends and family to see me play in college. Also the stability of the coaches at Northwestern was another key. Coach (Jerry) Brown has been at Northwestern for 22 years and I know that the coaches including head coach Pat Fitzgerald will be there for the long haul. Otherwise it was as close as it could of been but I also feel great about my decision."
Westphal is now the 15th known verbal commitment in the Northwestern Wildcats' Class of 2014. Westphal is also the fourth known in state verbal commitment joining Wheaton North QB Clayton Thorson, Jacksonville offensive linemen Blake Hance and Glenbard North running back Justin Jackson. It is believed that the Northwestern Wildcats have up its 2014 recruiting class with today's verbal commitment from Westphal.