Ex-five-star WR Kyle Prater transfers from USC to Northwestern

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On the last weekend before National Signing Day 2012, Northwestern has landed itself a five-star recruit.  From the Class of 2010.

In a press release, the school announced that wide receiver Kyle Prater has decided to transfer to the Wildcats.  Prater confirmed earlier this month that he would transferring from USC after two star-crossed and injury-plagued seasons at the school.

“We’re extremely excited for Kyle to be able to come home to Chicago and join our Northwestern football family,” head coach Pat Fitzgerald said in a statement. “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.”

At least on the paper printed by recruiting websites, Fitzgerald has landed a tremendous talent.

Prater was a five-star member of USC’s 2010 recruiting class, the No. 1 receiver that year and the No. 3 player in the country at any position according to Rivals.com.  Despite the hype and the athletic promise entering USC, Prater’s brief two-year tenure with the Trojans was marred by both injuries and getting buried in the rotation behind the likes of Robert Woods and Marquise Lee, partly as a result of myriad health issues.

The 6-5, 215-pound receiver was a redshirt as a true freshman in 2010, and caught just one pass for six yards this season.

Two years after his ballyhooed recruitment ended with a commitment to play football in Los Angeles, the Hillside, Ill., native will begin his collegiate career anew in Evanston.

“This is one of the best days in my life for me and my family and I’m just happy to be back close to home, my family and my support group,” Prater said. “I’d like to thank USC and their administration for my release. I have the utmost respect for USC and the coaching staff, players, fans and everybody I was in touch with there. This Northwestern degree will take me far and help me become a better person. The dynamics of the school and the team have shown me a lot and I’m just happy to be a Wildcat.”

To satisfy NCAA transfer rules, Prater will be forced to sit out the 2012 season.  The 6-5, 215-pounder will have two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2013.