Former USC Trojans receiver Kyle Prater (85) catches a pass at spring practice at Howard Jones Field. Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE
Lots of buzz this offseason about Kyle Prater, the former top-ranked WR coming out of high school. The five-star, 6-foot-5 target chose to transfer from USC to Northwestern to be close to home for personal reasons. Northwestern has petitioned the NCAA for a waiver which would allow Prater to play this season and school officials are hopeful he'll be able to play this fall.
The Chicago Tribune's Teddy Greenstein reported last week that we'll know Prater's fate in a week or so. Should the NCAA rule in Prater's favor, that would give QB Kain Colter one more big target in the passing game. Will this give Northwestern an edge in their September 15 home date with Boston College?
The WR position has been a key to Northwestern's explosive spread offense and with the departure of Jeremy Ebert (1,060 yards, 11 TDs), the team will likely turn to Demetrius Fields and Prater, if available, to step up in Ebert's absence.
Though last fall, the Eagles D effectively kept the Northwestern passing game at bay, holding Ebert to four catches for 54 yards and Fields to just two receptions for 27 yards. It was NU's running game that were the different in BC's 24-17 loss to Northwestern as the 'Cats rushed for 227 yards and 3 TDs in the win.
In fact, it was a big target on the other side of the field that had a huge impact in that contest. BC's Ifeanyi Momah finished the game with eight grabs for 171 yards before suffering a knee injury that ended his season. After the NCAA denied the school's waiver request for a sixth season, Momah's college career also came to an end.
I wish Prater well and hope that the NCAA rules in his favor. But it would be more than a little bittersweet if Prater is granted a waiver to play this season and goes on to have a big day against BC while Momah's career was unceremoniously ended by another NCAA ruling.
The NCAA's ruling on Prater is definitely something to keep an eye on in the next few weeks.