2 Veterans are Gone for 2005

Rumors have been swirling for the past few days about some veteral losses on the Northwestern Wildcats but up to today, NU officials have denied anyone was leaving....

However, Northwestern announced late this afternoon that Senior Jeff Backes and Junior Trevor Rees would not return for this upcoming season.

Most insiders know that Jeff Backes has been nursing a sore shoulder for several years, and to many observers, he seemed to be overly favoring the shoulder during the spring drills back in April. According to NU, team doctors could not guarantee that he could play football without permanently injuring the shoulder.

Backes will enter medical school this fall.

Rees was more of a surprise, because NU routinely does not discuss academic issues with the media, and apparently he's been in academic trouble for a while.

Rees' position with the Wildcats will be kept open, and he is expected to return to the Cats next Spring.

So who fills in?

Several players could jump into the right CB slot - but Herschell Henderson is probably the leader for the position right now. Deante Battle also has played a lot of right corner in practice and could step up in Kenosha.

The bigger question is who replaces Trevor.

Adam Crum [Soph 6-1 280] was listed as the #2 Center last year, but didn't play many reps there. Vince Clarke [Sr 6-5 305] also has played some center. In addition Austin Matthews [So 6-5 285] was originally recruited as a Center.

Clarke has had some lingering injuries but played thru some scrapes in the spring. Matthews hasn't taken many snaps at center since his [True] freshman year.

Purple Reign will have more on all this as our annual Offensive Walk-on and Change chart comes out in the morning.

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