While I noticed the relative rankings and competitive offers, it still feels gratifying to receive the verbals. Just a couple points. First, where would recruiting be if the prior coaching regime was still in place? The transfer portal may have, once again, been the main talent reservoir to which we would have looked. Secondly, as for Northwestern (since you mentioned them), just look at their recent success and state of their program compared to ours. Small, crappy stadium but other facilities appear to be very good if not great. Proven head coach with long term stability who has grown into the job and who can now both recruit and coach well (putting aside his personality quirkiness). Great academic institution. Quality players, including NFL draft picks. And I have to add that NW's last win over us in Champaign, which I witnessed in person, was so disheartening because of the way they did it - methodical offense consistently gaining ground yards, with a few big plays mixed in, and a defense we couldn't break through. They looked better than we did in all phases (other than punting and kicking). We seemed to have caught them when they were recovering at the end of the year from a season with a losing record. We were favored in that game but I wasn't buying it. I was envious and hated it. We will get there and beyond, but it will just take a little time.