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''The deciding factor was that my family can come see me play on game day and my nephews can come up and watch me play at Northwestern,'' Bolingbrook's Parrker Westphal said. | Vince Curletta/For Sun-Times Media

Another of the state's top prospects is heading to Northwestern.

Scout.com four-star cornerback Parrker Westphal of Bolingbrook has given his verbal commitment to the Wildcats.

“They are one of the best academic schools in the nation, so that sticks out a lot," Westphal said. "I have been talking about wanting to be a coach, and coach Pat Fitzgerald has been talking to me about the majors that they have for that."

According to Scout.com national recruiting analyst Allen Trieu, snagging the highly-rated 6-foot, 175-pound Westphal is a great coup for the Cats.  

“A fantastic get for Pat Fitzgerald and company,’’ Trieu said. ‘‘Westphal has the size and skills to be a big-time contributor down the road. We think he will more than likely be a safety, but corner remains a possibility. Either way, keeping a kid like this at home was a big win for the Wildcats.”

Westphal called the Wildcats coaches Friday to announce his decision, a moment he was pretty excited about.

“Coach Fitzgerald just screamed into the phone, he said he was speechless," Westphal said. "They just said they had a monkey lifted off their back and same as mine. I am really excited that the process is over."

Westphal said his future college coaches remind him of John Ivlow, his coach at Bolingbrook.

“I would have to say coach Fitzgerald, he is really easy to relate to,'' Westphal said. ''He has been in our shoes and he is really close with my high school coach, John Ivlow, so we get along really well. The way he carries himself, I can play for a coach like that. Them having a bad year just motivated me to get there and help them out.”

Westphal chose the Wildcats over Vanderbilt.

“I did a pro-and-con sheet with Northwestern and Vanderbilt and it was a tie,'' Westphal said. ''The deciding factor was that my family can come see me play on game day and my nephews can come up and watch me play at Northwestern.''

Westphal joins several other Chicago-area athletes that have verbally pledged to Northwestern, including Glenbard North four-star running back Justin Jackson and Wheaton North three-star quarterback Clayton Thorson.

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