Kyle Prater heading to Northwestern

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Former USC wide receiver Kyle Prater has decided to transfer to Northwestern, Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald announced on Saturday.

"We're extremely excited for Kyle to be able to come home to Chicago and join our Northwestern football family," 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."

The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Prater was ranked No. 45 in the Class of 2010 by ESPN coming out of Proviso West High School in Hillside, Ill. He had 64 receptions for 1,151 yards and 13 touchdowns his senior season.

Prater, who is a redshirt freshman, announced he was transferring from USC on Jan. 8. He was injured for most of his two years with the Trojans. He had one reception for six yards last season.

"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 in a statement. "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."

USC's release of Prater stated he could not transfer to any other Pac-12 school or Notre Dame.

Prater was on his official visit to Northwestern on Saturday and was unavailable for comment per NCAA rules.

Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at spowers@espnchicago.com.