Prater, a Maywood, Ill., native, transferred to Northwestern earlier this year and received a residence waiver from the NCAA. That meant he would not have to sit out a year, which is customary with transfers.
"Kyle has worked extremely hard since coming to Northwestern to prepare himself for this season and it's great that he will be rewarded for that effort," Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald said in a statement. "We're happy to see him return to the football field and get the chance to play in front of his friends and family here in Chicago."
The 6-foot-5 Prater, one of the nation's top recruits coming out Proviso West High School in 2009, redshirted his freshman season at USC before battling injuries last season. He'll have three seasons of eligibility remaining.
"It's been a long road so first and foremost I want to thank God for the chance to play football and do what I love," Prater said in a statement. "I feel blessed for the opportunities I've found at Northwestern and am excited to get back on the field this fall. My family is very important to me so it means a lot for them to be nearby while I play football and earn my degree at Northwestern. I'm thankful for this decision from the NCAA and am ready to be on the field with my teammates when this season begins."