13 recruits sign with NU (Football)

Tania Ganguli

Thirteen high school seniors — seven on offense and six on defense — signed letters of intent on Wednesday to play football at Northwestern next season.

From the size of the 2004 recruiting class, one thing is clear: The days of 70-person recruiting classes are long gone.

And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

“When I started as a running back at Miami (Ohio) I was on the eighth team,” Walker said at a press conference at the Nicolet Center. “And there were two guys behind me so I don’t know what was wrong with them.”

It’s unlikely that any of next year’s newly signed running backs will meet a similar fate in the upcoming season. The running backs are the strongest part of this year’s class, recruiting expert Tom Lemming said.

That and the fact that the Cats will be particularly thin at tailback mean these recruits have the potential to contribute as true freshmen in the fall.

True freshmen at skill positions are the most likely to get playing time, Walker said.

But he hopes they don’t have to.

“Often if you make an immediate impact as a freshman it means something bad’s happened, someone got injured or something,” Walker said. “I’d like to think we have enough returning veterans that we don’t have to have a lot of young guys play.”

Playing early on might be a possibility for the newest quarterback on the Cats’ roster, C.J. Bach