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May 16, 2014

Northwestern lands Short


Simba Short is not your typical Northwestern commitment.

The three-star linebacker from California powerhouse Concord DeLaSalle has a YouTube series devoted to "what I love to do: Art." Instead of splattering ballcarriers, it features Short spray painting walls. You'd never know Short was a football player by looking at his Twitter account, either.

Northwestern, though, is more interested in the havoc Short creates on the gridiron than the art he creates on the Internet.

Short, whose commitment has been a rumor for a week, finally made it official and became the 10th member of the Wildcats' Class of 2015 last night. He is the third linebacker in the group, joining Nathan Fox and Tommy Vitale.

The No. 64 prospect in California, Short chose Northwestern over offers from Arizona State and Yale, programs that about as diametrically opposed as schools as they are geographically and alphabetically. Northwestern, for Short, was a happy medium between those polar opposites, offering him an Ivy League-caliber education as well as Big Ten football.

Eschewing interviews, Short has kept a low profile with Rivals throughout the recruiting process. Rivals West Coast analyst Adam Gorney ranked him as one of the top performers he saw at last season's California state championships.

"Short was not someone who did a whole lot when we saw De La Salle earlier in the season, but he was one of the more productive defenders in a losing effort," Gorney wrote. "With great size at 6-foot-2 and [now 210 pounds], Short has that kind of lanky body at safety where he can reach out and make shoestring tackles and cover a lot of ground in a short period of time. Numerous times, the 2015 prospect came up in one-on-one situations and made the tackle. He had a solid showing."

Justin Rowland of NorCalPreps.com also scouted Short last summer and lauded his versatility.

"He's a physical player that will help against the run without hesitation, but that's not all," wrote Rowland. "Short has shown he's more than capable of playing sideline to sideline and covering backs in the flats. He's a player that flocks to the ball and is a strong open-field player."

Northwestern wraps up its linebacker recruiting with Short's commitment. Fox is a middle linebacker, while Short and Vitale will play on the outside for the Wildcats.

Northwestern hopes that Short's play will be as colorful as his artwork.




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