Football: Northwestern cops 2020 quarterback commit

Andrew Golden, Assistant Sports Editor


On Sunday, three-star quarterback Aidan Atkinson announced his commitment to Northwestern, its first commit in the Class of 2020.

Atkinson, a junior from Fairview High School in Colorado, also had offers from Boise State, Colorado, Ole Miss and South Carolina, but ultimately chose the Wildcats.

In a post on Twitter, Atkinson acknowledged his coaches, teammates, family and friends for supporting him in the process. He also thanked coach Pat Fitzgerald and offensive coordinator Mick McCall for recruiting him.

“Their success as a football program, eight of the past 10 years going to a bowl game and just as of last night winning the Big Ten West,” Atkinson said of his reason for choosing NU in an interview with CHSAA Now. “Being only 25-30 minutes away from Chicago, a top 5 U.S city is something a lot of schools don’t have.”

According to 247 Sports, Atkinson is the 16th-ranked quarterback in the class and is the fifth-best prospect in his state. Atkinson is the highest-rated quarterback prospect that NU has landed out of high school since Clayton Thorson in 2014.

As a junior, despite missing two games, Atkinson put up big numbers for Fairview completing 62.5 percent of his passes for 3,952 yards over 50 touchdowns — the record for most in a single season. In addition, he protected the ball, throwing just seven interceptions. For his career, he has thrown for 7,357 yards and 78 touchdowns.

When Atkinson arrives on campus, the quarterback room will be full of talent. The Cats were able to convince former five-star signal-caller Hunter Johnson to come to Evanston last year. In addition, NU landed three-star quarterback Jason Whitaker in the Class of 2018, but so far, Fitzgerald has not signed a quarterback in this year’s class.

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Twitter: @andrewcgolden