football Edit

Northwestern misses on 3-star Georgia QB

In a rare bit of national signing day drama for Northwestern, the Wildcats missed out on a committed quarterback target who flipped to another school instead of theirs.

The Wildcats were hoping to land a commitment from Mike Wright on Wednesday morning, but the three-star QB, who had been a UCF commit, wound up giving his verbal pledge to Vanderbilt.

"In the end, Vanderbilt checked more boxes. Location, to play in the SEC, the new offensive plan and of course the academics really stood out," Wright told Chad Simmons of Rivals.

Wright’s decision left Northwestern without a quarterback for its 2020 class, but maybe it was cosmic retribution after the Wildcats flipped three-star defensive tackle Jordan Butler from the Commodores just last week.

The 6-foot-3, 185-pound Wright took an official visit to Northwestern last Tuesday through Thursday. Then, last weekend, he took an official to Vanderbilt after canceling a scheduled trip to UCF.

No one was really sure if Wright was going to stick with the Golden Knights, or flip to the Wildcats or Commodores, until Wednesday morning. The College Park (Ga.) Woodward Academy standout didn't speak to any recruiting media and didn't even tweet about his visits as interest in him spiked over the last couple weeks.

The Wildcats first reached out to Wright in late November, after previous 2020 QB commit Aidan Atkinson was arrested in Colorado on sexual assault charges on Nov. 22. Caught off guard by the stunning news, Northwestern quickly offered a pair of Georgia quarterbacks who were both committed to Florida programs: Wright, and fellow three-star Tate Rodemaker.

Both QBs were scheduled to take official visits to Northwestern, but only Wright made the trip to Evanston. Wright, the more athletic of the two signal callers, was thought to be the staff's first choice.

Rodemaker, a USF commit at the time, was scheduled to visit Evanston last weekend, but he quickly backed out on his plans and wound up committing to Florida State and new coach Mike Norvell on Dec. 12.

You can bet that Northwestern will be in the hunt for a quarterback after the early signing period ends on Friday. The Wildcats could pursue an 2020 QB for the upcoming national signing day in February, or they could go after a prospect in the transfer portal.