Hersey WR Grove commits to Northwestern: 'I don't think there is a safer place to go right now'

Being one of the area's top football prospects, Hersey's Carson Grove is terrific at reading the field.

He surveyed a different type of field Monday before calling a play that will change his future.

Grove verbally committed to Northwestern on Monday and announced it on Twitter shortly after. With that commitment, Grove became the first high school football player to commit to play for the Wildcats after the recent allegations of hazing and sexual abuse at Northwestern.

Grove also became the first commitment for new Northwestern head coach David Braun.

Grove knew he had to be patient before making a formal decision to commit. And a day later, he tweeted out his formal acceptance to play for the Wildcats.

"I feel really good about my decision," said Grove, who is a 5-foot-10 wide receiver and defensive back entering his senior year at Hersey.

"I have been talking with Northwestern for six months. I visited them for the fourth time this past weekend and let things fall into place. I don't think there is a safer place to go to right now."

He said that the fact that the school is so strong academically - as well as being close to home - is what drew him to Northwestern in the first place. He also said he built a strong relationship with Northwestern wide receivers coach Armon Binns, who was in his first year with the school last season.

"Those were all huge factors for me," said Grove, who has a 3.70 GPA. "They see me as a slot player and the two players that are front of me (Barrington's Ray Niro and Lincoln-Way East's A.J. Henning) are both seniors. I just think it is a perfect fit for me."

Hersey head coach Tom Nelson said that he feels that Grove made a great decision.

"I have known Coach Braun for five years," Nelson said. "That began with his time at North Dakota State. I am a huge fan of his. He is somebody I would 100% let my kids play for. There is no safer place to play right now than Northwestern."

Grove had 15 Division I offers which included Navy, Akron, Central Michigan, Fordham, Bucknell and Northwestern. After Grove's fourth visit with Northwestern this past weekend, the Wildcats made a formal offer.

After the offer on Sunday, Grove took a day to discuss it with his family; he said his dad was understandably concerned at first.

"My dad trusts my decision," Grove said. "But he had some concerns. So, my dad spoke with Coach Nelson about all of it. After the conversation, my dad said that he felt much more comfortable."

Grove was All-Conference the last two seasons and All-Area a year ago when he helped the Huskies to the MSL East title. He is coming off a season where he had 40 receptions for 861 yards and 9 touchdowns. He also rushed for 84 yards and 2 touchdowns, and had 2 kick returns and 2 punt returns for touchdowns.

"He is super-talented, that's for sure," Nelson said. "He did everything for us. He was our best offensive player, our best defensive player and our best special team player. In my opinion, he is a Power Five player."

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