Thursday was a wild day for Northwestern's Class of 2014.
Defensive end Noah Westerfield, who committed to the Wildcats back in July, decommitted to explore other schools. Northwestern then wasted no time in offering Westerfield's scholarship to James Prather, a two-star defensive end from Memphis (Tenn.) University School who committed to the Wildcats immediately.
So, just like that, the Cats lost one commit but quickly replaced him with another.
All of this action came just one day after the news broke that defensive back Jordan Thomas is planning to visit Oklahoma this weekend and may leave Northwestern's class, either by decommitting or having his scholarship pulled.
For a Northwestern program that typically enjoys a smooth road into signing day, these events represent some significant bumps. But it's become par for the course in the world of college football recruiting, where prospects are committing earlier and earlier, and teams are having to work harder and harder to keep them from being poached by other programs.
Prather was a virtual unknown before announcing his commitment to NU on Twitter.
"I'm extremely grateful to my Savior Jesus Christ for this opportunity, and I'm ready to go to work and win as a Wildcat. #WildcatNation," he tweeted this afternoon.
The 6-foot-4, 235-pounder is listed as an outside linebacker by Rivals but will certainly play defensive end for the Wildcats. He had offers from Connecticut, which he was scheduled to visit officially this weekend, as well as Furman, Memphis, Navy, Northern Illinois and Richmond. Georgia Tech and Indiana were two other BCS schools that had been recruiting him.
Last season, Prather finished with 92 tackles, 17 tackles for a loss, eight sacks, two interceptions, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
Log on to WildcatReport for more on these developments.