Pekin's Taphorn commits to Northwestern

Pekin senior forward Nathan Taphorn committed to Northwestern on Sunday.

The 6-8, 195-pound Taphorn chose the Wildcats over offers from Boston College, Bradley, Creighton, Illinois State and Southern Illinois, among others. ESPN ranks him as the 14th best player in Illinois and 36th best small forward in the country.

Taphorn plays for the Illinois Wolves club team, and Northwestern coach Bill Carmody was present at the Wolves' games throughout the first July recruiting period. Taphorn previously visited Northwestern.

"His upside is off the charts," Illinois Wolves coach Mike Mullins said. "He's an accomplished player both at the high school and travel circuit level. He's 6-8 and he's growing. He's continually getting stronger. He has toughness inside and outside as well. He has an ability to shoot the ball and make shots. His desire to win is at a high level.

"Those are the things Northwestern needs to have to be at the level they want to compete for Big Ten championships and get into the NCAA tournament."

Northwestern's all-time leading scorer John Shurna and sophomore starting point guard David Sobolewski also came from the Wolves' program.

Taphorn averaged 14 points and five rebounds as a junior at Pekin.

Taphorn is Northwestern's second Class of 2013 commitment. ESPNU 100 point guard Jaren Sina previously committed to Northwestern.