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Northwestern gets pledge from top all-purpose back

The Wildcats are comprising perhaps their best haul in school history. Dave Miller

Print This May 14, 2013, 09:10 PM EST

Northwestern added one of the best all-purpose running backs in the nation to its program on Tuesday, as Class of 2014 prospect Justin Jackson gave his verbal commitment to the Wildcats.

The 5-11, 175-pounder from Glenbard North High School (Carol Stream, IL) chose the 'Cats over programs such as Illinois, Iowa, Vanderbilt, Missouri and Kentucky.

Jackson, who becomes head coach Pat Fitzgerald's ninth recruit in the 2014 class, will join local quarterback Clayton Thorson (Wheaton North High School) in Evanston. Both are four-star prospects, according to the recruiting rankings of Rivals.com. Jackson is considered a Top 5 all-purpose back nationally, and Fitzgerald and Co. are also bringing in highly touted athlete Dareian Watkins.

Jackson, who ran for 2,612 yards and 35 touchdowns on 421 carries en route to the state championship game last season, is the second running back to pledge to the Wildcats. Auston Anderson of Texas committed last week.

This is shaping up to be a very solid class for Fitzgerald and the 'Cats, as the program could be in midst of bringing in the most talented haul in school history. Of course, such success for NU only adds to the pressure that Illinois head coach Tim Beckman is feeling in Champaign.

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