Northwestern Wildcats: Kyle Prater is a Big-Time Get for Chicago's Big Ten Team

Joe FaviaCorrespondent IIJanuary 28, 2012

Many homecomings do not come with the fanfare and attention that Kyle Prater's return to Chicago is going to bring the talented wide receiver.

The Hillside native has decided to return to the Midwest and play football for the Northwestern Wildcats. Rumors had been swirling for weeks that the USC transfer was looking to transfer closer to home. His only stipulations from his release from Southern California was he couldn't pick a Pac-12 school or the Fighting Irish.

Pat Fitzgerald has gotten one of the gems of the 2010 class right before the signing day of the 2012 class even puts their names to the ink.

"We're extremely excited for Kyle to be able to come home to Chicago and join our Northwestern football family," Fitzgerald said. "He is a tremendous young man from a great family and is a product of a high school program we really respect in Proviso West. Kyle's decision to attend Northwestern made sense for everyone involved and we're looking forward to him contributing to our program on and off the field."

Prater was ranked third overall among high school players on Rivals back in 2010 with his impressive numbers at Proviso West; to go along with his 6'5" frame and ball skills.

If Prater doesn't get an exception to play next season and has to sit out a year, the Wildcats will look to senior Demetrius Fields and junior Rashad Lawrence to fill the void left by the departures of Jeremy Ebert and Drake Dunsmore in the passing game.

What exactly will the impact be of Prater going to Northwestern?

That will be determined at a later date, but helping them win their first bowl game since 1949 would be another big step for the program.