Kyle Prater was one of 22 football players to commit to Northwestern this recruiting season. A sophomore at the University of Southern California, Prater transferred to Northwestern, where he will major in Communication Studies, to be closer to home and his family. The 6’5”, 5-star receiver spoke to NBN about his time at USC, why he’s excited about joining the Wildcats and how he gets ready before each game.
North by Northwestern: What was your experience like at USC?
Kyle Prater: I had a great experience, you know? An experience that I’d never take back. I have no regrets, nothing at all. I had a great time. I loved each and every moment of it.
NBN: Why did you decide to leave?
KP: First of all, my decision to leave was family-based, and I had some family situations going on that’s undisclosed right now. And some other stuff that I dealt with.
NBN: Was it hard to make that decision to leave?
KP: It was a hard decision, man, but a decision that I was strong and positive about. It took me a long time to make that decision and it wasn’t easy.
NBN: What made you choose Northwestern over other schools?
KP: First of all, great academics, you can’t go wrong. And Coach Fitzgerald is a great coach. I really respect him as a coach and he’s a player’s coach. I love that guy, man, I just can’t wait to play for him.
NBN: Did you consider Northwestern originally or did they recruit you at all? Were they on your radar?
KP: Yes, they were. It wasn’t like they weren’t on my radar — I mean at the time — you’re young, man. I can’t put myself back in that situation and give you a straight answer. It worked out that I’m in the best place for me right now.
NBN: When your decision was announced, did any of the players reach out to you?
KP: They welcomed me with open arms. I still haven’t met all the guys on the team but they’ve welcomed me so far with open arms.
NBN: Do you anticipate any trouble adjusting to Northwestern’s spread offense from USC’s pro-style?
KP: I know it won’t be an easy transition, but I’m willing to do anything. Nothing in life is easy.
NBN: What do you think about working with Kain Colter and the rest of the Wildcat receiving corps?
KP: It’s going to be great, man. I can’t wait to get in there and start working with those guys.
NBN: How are you feeling? Have you adjusted your workouts at all to compensate/prevent injuries?
KP: I’ve got my finger that I’m dealing with right now, but other than that I’m good. I mean I’ve never felt better. I’m getting better each day. I’m training every day, just about. I’m at a facility called Acceleration so I’ve been getting right. So I’ve just been taking care of my body and going as hard as I can.
NBN: Was there a particular player you tried to model yourself after?
KP: There’s a lot of guys that I watched growing up, like Randy Moss, Jim Rice and Cris Carter. But I was always taught by my parents to do me and be your own man. Mydad always taught me to try to pull from each and everybody’s game, so I always looked up to those guys and there wasn’t really one specific guy I looked up to. But if I had to choose one in particular, Randy Moss.
NBN: Do you have any pre-game rituals?
KP: My favorite rapper is Lil’ Wayne, but what I like to listen to before a game is called Juke music. It’s like this house music in Chicago. It really gets me fired up.
NBN: Any special pre-game meals?
KP: I prefer a McDonald’s breakfast number 4 [Sausage McMuffin with egg and hashbrowns] with orange juice.