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March 25, 2012

Prater takes the field

There will be a new 6-foot-5, 210-pound former high school all-American lining up at outside wide receiver for Northwestern at Monday morning's spring practice.

Kyle Prater will work out with the Wildcats for the first time since transferring from USC in late January. Prater will wear jersey No. 21, the same number he wore at USC, and can't wait to get on the field with his new teammates.

"Blessed to have an opportunity again!" he texted WildcatReport.

Prater couldn't participate in the first week of spring practice from March 3-10 because he was not yet enrolled as a student. Now enrolled, he will also take his first classes at Northwestern on Monday, the first day of spring quarter.

Prater may be the most decorated high school player in NU history. Rivals ranked him as the No. 3 prospect in the entire country coming out of Hillside (Ill.) Proviso West two years ago, and he will be the first five-star player to join the Wildcat program since Rivals has been ranking players.

He spent two years at USC -- redshirting in 2010 and catching just one pass in limited duty last season -- before transferring to Northwestern because of undisclosed family reasons. Prater wanted to be closer to his family, and Northwestern had the good fortune of being the closest FBS school to his home in Chicago's western suburbs.

Prater would normally have to sit out one season as a transfer before playing for Northwestern, but he and the Wildcats are petitioning the NCAA to allow him to play next season because of the circumstances of his transfer - he wanted to be closer to home.

Prater says he has not yet heard about his status but is anxious to find out.



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