Pat Fitzgerald on 2 first-round picks: 'You can have it all' at Northwestern
Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald appeared on the NFL Network on Tuesday afternoon, and he covered a variety of topics including last weekend’s NFL Draft.
The Wildcats had two players selected in the first round for the first time in program history. Rashawn Slater went No. 13 overall to the Los Angeles Chargers and Greg Newsome went No. 26 overall to the Cleveland Browns.
Fitzgerald addressed what the historic night could mean for the future of Northwestern — both on the field and on the recruiting trail.
“Obviously for Rashawn and Greg to go in the first round, it’s the first time in program history to have two first-rounders,” Fitzgerald said on Tuesday. “Credit goes to our young men, they put the work in, they bought in and they were diligent in everything they did while they were in our program.
“We believe that it shows you can have it all here in our program. We have a top-10 academic reputation and we have a top-10 football program right now. No one else can say that in the country. And you couple that with the opportunity to come here and be developed by our staff, our strength staff, nutrition, athletic training staff, and you can have it all and be a first-rounder.”
Fitzgerald also described getting to be at the draft with Slater and his family on Thursday night.
“It was special,” Fitzgerald said. “Especially the opportunity to share the moment with Rashawn and his family. It’s something that I’ll never forget. Kinda like a proud older brother as I was sitting there with his mom and dad and watch everything unfold. It couldn’t be a better fit and we’re so excited for [Rashawn].”
Fitzgerald said he believes this type of success in the NFL Draft is sustainable for Northwestern, and talked up the young guys who are currently in the Wildcats’ program.
“We look forward to this becoming the norm and not the exception,” he said.