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Lincoln-Way East quarterback Tom Fuessel will make an official visit to Northwestern this weekend. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
It looks like Tom Fuessel might be wearing purple next season.
That is, if Northwestern University coach Pat Fitzgerald has his way.
Fuessel, the Lincoln-Way East senior quarterback, is spending his weekend in Evanston, touring Northwestern’s campus as Fitzgerald rolls out the purple carpet.
“Tom has been offered by Northwestern,” Fuessel’s father, Tom Jr., said Friday. “He’s taking his official visit right now. We hope to make a decision soon.”
Fuessel had verbally committed to Northern Illinois over the summer. However, he announced Monday he was reopening his recruiting.
That led to a visit of Northwestern’s campus Friday, including a stop at Ryan Field. A Saturday dinner with Fitzgerald, a Sandburg alum, also was in the plans.
“It’s exciting,” Tom’s father said. “It’s all happened so fast.”
Fuessel has gone from virtual unknown to man in demand in meteoric fashion.
After backing up Blake Winkler, who’s now at Illinois State, in 2011, Fuessel produced a remarkable 2012 season, compiling more than 2,500 total yards while leading the Griffins to the Class 7A state title game.
During a summer camp, Fuessel caught the eye of coaches from Northern Illinois, which offered the 6-foot-3, 185-pound senior a scholarship.
As Fuessel’s star rose during the Griffins’ march to the 7A state title game — which they lost, 10-8, to Glenbard West — NIU coach Dave Doeren was making his own ascent.
The Huskies took an 11-game winning streak into Friday’s Mid-American Conference title game against Kent State. Doeren is among the names mentioned for virtually every big college football job that comes open.
Knowing the coach who recruited him likely could be moving on, if not after this season possibly in the next couple of years, Fuessel decided to re-examine his options.
Blessed with blazing speed — Fuessel has posted a 40-yard dash time of 4.3 seconds — and the shiftiness to avoid defenders, Fuessel registered more than 1,500 yards rushing and 1,000 yards passing as East won its first 13 games.
With Maine South quarterback Matt Alviti, a more prototype drop-back passer, already having committed to Northwestern, Fuessel is expected to provide a dangerous alternative as a run-first quarterback.
However, the Mokena resident also likely would find himself lining up at receiver and running back, similar to current Wildcat Kain Colter.