Anto Saka’s recruitment was relatively drama free but it was anything but quiet. There was a time earlier this year when the Rivals250 linebacker out of Towson (Md.) Loyola Blakefield was seemingly pulling in offers everyday. Penn State, Northwestern, and USC received official visits in June but teams like Michigan, Oregon, Duke, Boston College, Michigan State, and Maryland were heavily involved earlier in the process. After hosting him for a visit last month, Northwestern was able to reel in Saka.
CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals100
RIVALS CAMP SERIES: Info/coverage on 2021 camp series
WHAT THE WILDCATS ARE GETTING
Saka is an impressive linebacker prospect that checks all the boxes physically. He has a frame with more room to add mass if he needs to. Saka does a good job tracking the ball carrier and working in coverage. He’s better on the edge of the defense so he can use his speed and athleticism to his advantage. Saka has done a nice job of developing his pass rushing moves and he’ll make a big impact getting into that backfield at the next level. Look for Saka to work his way onto the field quickly after getting comfortable with the playbook.
WHY IT’S BIG FOR NORTHWESTERN
Pat Fitzgerald and his staff did a great job with Saka during the recruiting process. They hit all the right notes, appealing to him on and off the field. Saka is Northwestern’s second linebacker commitment and the second highest rated prospect in their 2022 class. Getting Saka onboard is a pretty impressive feat considering the other teams he was seriously looking at and his location. Northwestern has only signed four players from Maryland and none since the 2019 class but Saka should bring that number to five later this year.