A recent trend in college football has seen players finish high school early and get a jump on getting to campus. This allows the player to start taking classes, train with the team and just ease into college life. Perhaps the biggest benefit is that the player can participate in spring practice.
For the first time since Pat Fitzgerald became coach in 2006, Northwestern has such a player. Parrker Westphal, a defensive back/kick returner, enrolled in classes at Northwestern in January as the school began its winter quarter.
"He told me he was ready to go to college when he was a freshman in high school," Fitzgerald said to the Chicago Tribune.
Here is Westphal, who is from the Chicago suburb of Bolingbrook, in action:
Westphal is ranked No. 19 nationally at cornerback by Rivals.com.