Northwestern secures 19-man class

Northwestern WildcatsLa GrangeBig Ten ConferenceMokena

If nothing else, Northwestern’s 2013 signees are punctual.

The school locked in its 19th and final member of the ’13 class at 9:42 a.m., when Californian Brett Walsh faxed in his letter of intent.

Offensive lineman Sam Coverdale was NU’s first player to sign, sending in his fax at 6:11 a.m. The folks at NUSports.com, who produced a live blog, noted that Coverdale is a certified SCUBA diver. Perhaps the largest one in Ohio, given that Rivals.com lists Coverdale is 6-foot-7 and 280 pounds.

Two more well-regarded Ohioans, cornerback Marcus McShepard and running back/defensive back Godwin Igwebuike, signed shortly after Coverdale.

NU coach Pat Fitzgerald, who will discuss the class with the media at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Ditka's Restaurant, has drawn high marks for this class.

Rivals.com ranks the class 50th nationally and eighth in the Big Ten. That's an all-time high for a Fitzgerald class, beating out 53rd nationally in 2007 and ninth in the league several times.

“It’s a typical Northwestern class with Fitz-type athletes,” said Tom Lemming, the CBS Sports Network recruiting analyst who is based in Schaumburg. “They’re all perfectly suited for Northwestern, which doesn’t care about rankings. That’s the way it should be because those stars are exceptionally arbitrary.”

Asked if there is a common thread to NU’s new players, Lemming replied: “They’re all smart, overachiever-types with better athletic ability than people give them credit for.”

Here is the list of players:

Player                                                   Pos.              Ht.            Wt.           Hometown/High School

Matt Alviti                                             QB               6-0           185          Park Ridge, Ill./Maine South

Sam Coverdale                                   OT               6-6           265          Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Kenston

Tom Fuessel                                        WR               6-4           185          Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East

Matthew Harris                                  CB              5-11          180          La Grange Highlands, Ill./Lyons

Godwin Igwebuike                           RB                6-0           190          Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington North

Eric Joraskie                                         DT               6-4           260          Mount Carmel, Pa./Mount Carmel

Blake King                                            OL                6-3           250          Shorewood, Ill./Minooka

Tyler Lancaster                                  DT               6-3           275          Romeoville, Ill./Plainfield East

Warren Long                                       RB                6-0           180          Union City, Calif./James Logan

Marcus McShepard                          CB              5-11          185          University Heights, Ohio

Xavier Menifield                               RB              5-10          190          Valencia, Calif./Sierra Canyon

Hunter Niswander                          K/P              6-5           210          Peninsula, Ohio/Woodridge

Brad North                                           OL                6-2           280          Allen, Texas/Allen

Kyle Queiro                                         SAF               6-3           190          Verona, N.J./Bergen Catholic

Jayme Taylor                                        SB                6-4           225          The Woodlands, Texas

Anthony Walker                                 LB                6-1           200          Miami, Fla./Monsignor Edward Pace

Brett Walsh                                           LB                6-1           205          Monrovia, Calif./Monrovia

Keith Watkins II                                 CB              5-11          170          Cincinnati, Ohio/Archbishop Moeller

Macan Wilson                                     WR               6-0           185          Houston, Texas/Kinkaid

tgreenstein@tribune.com

Twitter @TeddyGreenstein

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