The Northwestern Wildcats have had an impressive stretch on the recruiting trail in the last week, which continued on Thursday with the commitment of 2014 Plano (Texas) West running back Auston Anderson.
Anderson's pledge was broken in a rather unusual way -- by a commenter on the Rivals Northwestern board and confirmed later by multiple outlets.
Rated as a consensus three-star prospect, Anderson is just below the four-star threshold by 247Sports and is currently considered the no. 39 running back in the country by the 247Sports Composite and the no. 64 player in the state of Texas.
A 5'9, 180-pounder, Anderson held offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Baylor, California, Navy, Rice, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech, UCLA, Washington, and Washington State. The Texas offer was though to have the potential to be a game-changer, as West has sent several prospects to Austin recently and many members of the student population chose to attend Texas for college.
Anderson never visited following the offer and the impression made upon him by the Northwestern staff on a visit to Evanston just prior to his Texas offer ended up making the difference in his recruitment. At that time, he moved the Wildcats into the leading position and that didn't change in the nearly month since then.
It wasn't just the impression that Northwestern made on the Anderson, however, it was the impact that the trip had on his mother ($), whom Anderson said was the "no. 1 recruiter" for Northwestern following the trip.
And in recruiting, mothers often get what they want.
Splitting carries in the West backfield in 2012 with highly-touted 2015 prospect Soso Jamabo, Anderson carried the ball only 138 times as a junior, but racked up 1,156 yards on those attempts. More than an all-purpose back because of his sturdy build and excellent balance, Anderson is a tough runner who can move the pile better than some bigger backs because of his leg drive and lower-body strength.
In fact, Anderson compares favorably to Austin (Texas) Lake Travis product Varshuan Nixon, a Texas A&M commit who is ranked much higher than Anderson, but has a similar skillset.
In that regard, Anderson is a better prospect than his three-star rating would indicate on the surface and is an outstanding pick up for Northwestern, which now holds eight commitments and now ranks third in the Big 10 in the team composite rankings.
Auston Anderson Plano West RB - 2012 Junior Season Highlights (via manderson4676)
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