Previewing the Defense

As we head into the Spring Drills, the Purple Reign publisher digs through the roster changes, updates the deffense recruiting grid, and comments on some of the changes...

The Northwestern Defense for Spring 2004:
Defensive Line:
  • Not much movement up front - The D does feature a top 100 player in Junior Loren Howard.
  • I'd guess that the biggest battles will be among the backups, working into replacing Seniors Luis Castillo and Colby Clark next year. Rumors have a couple of frosh planning to come in and battle for that backup roll, or better at Kenosha.
Linebackers
  • The big challenge is replacing Pat Durr in the middle. We saw him playing outside a bit towards the end of the season, as maybe LB Coach Pat Fitzgerald auditioned his replacement? It will be interesting to see if Soph Erryn Cobb [6-1 245] or Soph Demetriu Easton [6-2 235] step in, or does one of the outside starters from last year [Tim McGarigle or John Pickens] move to the middle.
  • A slightly shorter list of backers as Junior Tony Greazel is no longer on the roster.
  • Braden Jones switched to Tight End and then reportedly was dismissed from the team - but he's still listed on the preseason roster.
Cornerbacks:
  • Not much new, with 3 returning "starters."
  • Marvin Ward, Jeff BackesMarquice Cole and Herschel Henderson appear to be the guys to beat here. And Junior Sundi Brewer-Griffin is also back.
  • but don't forget two new guys on the corners - we'll be watching for Deante Battle, and Ryan Black, both redshirt freshmen. Battle was very highly regarded coming out of HS and should make his presence known during this spring.
Safeties:
  • Two big Safeties to replace, but Senior Dominique Price [6-0 215] and Soph Brian Heinz [6-1 205] would be the guys to beat.
  • But once again NU Coach Randy Walker and D-back Coach Jerry Brown have raided the running back list to add some punch to the defense. The speedy RB Soph Derell Jenkins [6-1 210] is now playing safety.
  • Soph WR Anthony Ward [6-1 200] also made the switch and now wears #17.
  • Another WR who moved over to D was Reggie McPherson [6-1 180].
Special Teams:
  • Brian Huffman is back, and we'll see how he does in the dual Punter/Kicker role. Walker likes to have 2 different guys handling those kicking chores.
  • Last year's place kicker Slade Larcheid will have to put on a show to get his job back from Huffman.
  • Long Snapper Chris Horton will get some competition this summer, D-Line recruit Kevin Mims is supposed to be very good at the long snap and he's just a little bit bigger than Horton.
Overall:
The Cats shouldn't have to change much up front. The D-Line and Linebackers look pretty solid, with only one starter gone from a unit that has been together for 2 years now.

The big change will be in the defensive backfield, where once again, Coach Jerry Brown has gathered more speed to help contain the other Big 10 teams.

The D-back Battles should be fun to watch this Spring and during the Summer. Not sure about the kicking game, we'll have to watch the Spring game to see what's going on with the kickers.


Northwestern Wildcat Defense
2004

D-Line-14
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
DE
66 Loren Howard 66 Loren Howard



DE
67 Barry Cofield 67 Barry Cofield



DT
94 Luis Castillo




DT
97 Colby Clark




DE
92 David Thompson 92 David Thompson



DE/T 53 Trevor Schultz 53 Trevor Schultz 53 Trevor Schultz


DE/T 56 Ryan Keenan 56 Ryan Keenan 56 Ryan Keenan


DT 68 Ron Bardwell 68 Ron Bardwell 68 Ron Bardwell


DE 58 Warren Anderson 58 Warren Anderson 58 Warren Anderson 58 Warren Anderson

DE
91 Mark Koehn 91 Mark Koehn 91 Mark Koehn 91 Mark Koehn

DL
72 David Ngene 72 David Ngene 72 David Ngene 72 David Ngene

DT
57 Matt Clark
57 Matt Clark 57 Matt Clark 57 Matt Clark 57 Matt Clark
DE
95 Kevin Mims
95 Kevin Mims 95 Kevin Mims 95 Kevin Mims 95 Kevin Mims
DT
52 Joel Belding 52 Joel Belding 52 Joel Belding 52 Joel Belding 52 Joel Belding
LB 11
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
OLB
51 John Pickens




OLB 41 Tim McGarigle 41 Tim McGarigle



MLB 44 Erryn Cobb 44 Erryn Cobb 44 Erryn Cobb


MLB 42 Demetrius Eaton 42 Demetrius Eaton 42 Demetrius Eaton


LB 46 Eric VanderHorst* 46 Eric VanderHorst*



LB
37 Campbell Black 37 Campbell Black 37 Campbell Black


LB
38 Nick Roach 38 Nick Roach 38 Nick Roach


LB
40 Eddie Simpson 40 Eddie Simpson 40 Eddie Simpson 40 Eddie Simpson

LB
43 Adam Kadela 43 Adam Kadela 43 Adam Kadela


LB
55 Kyle Wagner 55 Kyle Wagner 55 Kyle Wagner 55 Kyle Wagner

LB
48 Rajaie Johnson
48 Rajaie Johnson 48 Rajaie Johnson 48 Rajaie Johnson 48 Rajaie Johnson
D-Backs
17
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
CB
31 Marvin Ward




CB
28 Jeff Backes 28 Jeff Backes



SAF
8 Dominique Price




CB
20 Marquice Cole 20 Marquice Cole



CB
6 Cory Dious 6 Cory Dious 6 Cory Dious


SAF
21 Brian Heinz* 21 Brian Heinz* 21 Brian Heinz*


CB
24 Herschel Henderson




SAF
25 Fredric Tarver 25 Fredric Tarver



SAF
12 Derell Jenkins 12 Derell Jenkins



CB
13 Sundi Brewer-Griffin
13 Sundi Brewer-Griffin



SAF
19 Scott Brownley 19 Scott Brownley 19 Scott Brownley


SAF
17 Anthony Ward 17 Anthony Ward 17 Anthony Ward


CB
22 Deante Battle 22 Deante Battle 22 Deante Battle 22 Deante Battle

CB
35 Ryan Black 35 Ryan Black 35 Ryan Black 35 Ryan Black

SAF
27 Reggie McPherson 27 Reggie McPherson 27 Reggie McPherson 27 Reggie McPherson

SAF
39 David Oredugba
39 David Oredugba 39 David Oredugba 39 David Oredugba 39 David Oredugba
SAF
34 Andre Butler
34 Andre Butler 34 Andre Butler 34 Andre Butler 34 Andre Butler

Special Teams

5
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
P/PK
99 Brian Huffman




P
90 Ryan Pederson 90 Ryan Pederson



PK
93 Joel Howells 93 Joel Howells 93 Joel Howells


PK
15 Slade Larcheid 15 Slade Larcheid 15 Slade Larcheid


LS
98 Chris Horton 98 Chris Horton 98 Chris Horton



Players are listed by Starters, 2 Deep, then in order by playing time left.

Red - Possible Redshirt Year
Starter - in 2003
2 Deep in 2003
* - Walk-on Player

Defense
Scholarship Math

Position
Players
Walk-0ns
Scholarship
Players 2004
Seniors 2004
Projected
Scholarship
 Players 2005
D-Line:
15
0
15
2
13
Linebackers:
13
1
14
1
13
D-Backs:
17
1
13
4
9
Totals:
42
2
40
7
33

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The Cats shouldn't have to change much up front. The D-Line and Linebackers look pretty solid, with only one starter gone from a unit that has been together for 2 years now.

The big change will be in the defensive backfield, where once again, Coach has gathered more speed to help contain the other Big 10 teams.

The D-back Battles should be fun to watch this Spring and during the Summer. Not sure about the kicking game, we'll have to watch the Spring game to see what's going on with the kickers.
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