Oak Park's Lemke-Bell picks Northwestern football

Oak Park junior Adam Lemke-Bell put on weight this spring and saw the scholarship offers pour in from the Big Ten, ACC and even an SEC school.

A rising star in the recruiting world, the 6-foot-5, 275-pound offensive tackle saw no need to continue the process when he found what he called the best of both worlds.

Lemke-Bell orally committed to Northwestern on Saturday after visiting the campus Friday.

Mississippi State was the SEC offer,” Lemke-Bell said. “I am very honored to receive an offer from them, but Northwestern is the place for me. The way I see it, Northwestern is on an Ivy League level academically, and at the same time you play in the Big Ten. It’s the perfect balance of the things I’m looking for.”

While his athleticism, aggressiveness and attitude never were questioned, Lemke’s ability to put on weight was.

He played at 250 pounds last season and he wrestles in the winter, so he was unable to gain weight until the Huskies’ state championship season ended.

He said he's put on 25 pounds since.

“Schools saw his ability to work, his willingness to improve and take constructive criticism to heart and work hard at it,” Oak Park coach John Hoerster said. “That is why he started gaining a lot of momentum. People saw his potential and that we were working toward it.”

Lemke-Bell is Northwestern’s 11th commitment from the class of 2015.

Illinois, Iowa State, Syracuse and Minnesota were among approximately 20 schools to offer.