Northwestern University is probably better known for its national academic ranking than its position in the AP College Football Poll, but that hasn’t stopped head coach Pat Fitzgerald from assembling a first-rate recruiting class for 2011. The wide receiver position is drawing the most attention, and two talented prospects from opposite sides of the country are big reasons why.
Christian Jones (Spring TX, Westfield HS) and Cameron Dickerson (Oradell NJ, Bergen Catholic) both stand at an impressive 6’3″ tall and have a list of offers that would impress avid football fans and academics alike. Before agreeing to play for Northwestern, Jones and Dickerson both chose to forgo the lights of the SEC and the academic prestige of the Ivy League in order to pursue their football careers in the Big 10.
With the inaugural conference championship game set to take place in 2011 and Northwestern returning from an impressive eight win season in 2009, it appears that these two student-athletes will be arriving on campus at a very exciting time.
While Cameron Dickerson could likely be found working on his route running or adding some extra bulk in the weight room during this past off-season, Christian Jones has been spending much of his time working out for a different reason. During Spring practice earlier this year, Jones was faced with quite an ordeal as he was diagnosed with a torn ACL. Fortunately for this highly touted prospect, all signs point to a full recovery and if all goes according to plan, he should return to the high school gridiron without missing too much action.
Credit coach Pat Fitzgerald and the rest of the Wildcat coaching staff for sticking by this prospective athlete regardless of his injury. Jones has stated that the dedication and concern shown by the coaches at Northwestern helped make his final college decision much easier.
When healthy, Christian Jones has proven to be a reliable target for his quarterback; regularly out-jumping corners in the end zone for the big score. His superior height, leaping ability and ball control will make him a serious threat in the red zone at the next level.
Cameron Dickerson, while not as highly rated as Jones, shares a similar skill set with his future teammate. He has the talent and body type to successfully bring down a jump ball, but he has also demonstrated confidence securing balls across the middle of the field. As an added bonus to the Wildcat’s coaching staff, Dickerson also appears very comfortable on the defensive side of the football.
While these receivers probably don’t have much trouble blocking or dealing with jams at this point in their careers, it probably wouldn’t hurt for them to spend a little extra time in the weight room in order to better prepare themselves for the rigors of the college game. It appears that both Jones and Dickerson could add a few pounds of muscle without sacrificing any speed or quickness.
You can bet that coach Fitzgerald is excited about working with these two players for years to come. Very few college football teams, particularly those with such high academic standards as Northwestern, can claim to have two recruits of this size and talent level. In a short period of time, these two receivers could develop into one of the most feared “one-two punch” receiver combinations in their conference.
With these players set to receive a first-class education, it seems as though football is just the icing on the cake. Both of these young men and their families should be very proud, as they both truly embody the moniker of “student-athlete”.
“Jones Makes It a Dozen” – WildcatReport.com
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