Random Thoughts: An Up or Down Week?

There's been a lot of good news about some Northwestern Wildcat Football future and present players lately, so the announcement of the loss of two starters from the team might have dampened some of Coach Roy's excitement over the coming season.

Man, this should have been a great week for Northwestern Football
Lets face it, the Wildcats saw 3 recruits Andrew Brewer, Omar Conteh and Tyrell Sutton earn MVP trophies in interstate All Star Games over the last few weeks, with a shot at one more in the Big 33 game.

The Cats' top linebacker, Tim McGarigle turned up on the Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List - if he continues the style of play he demonstrated last year, he's going to wind up on the 10 semifinalist list, and maybe with the trophy.

This weekend brings the Northwestern Football Techniques School - a place where the NU Coaches get to watch Football talent from all over the country, but even better in our own backyard. NU coaches use the camp to measure the talent of players, and start offering scholarships based on what they actually see.

Don't kid yourself, this camp is where the Cats' always pick up a couple of decent players for the next recruiting class.

But the announcement last Wednesday that Jeff Backes and Trevor Rees, two key pieces of their respective squads, will be unable to play in 2005, has to cast a bit of a pall over the program right now.

Wildcat fans were getting excited over the possibility of two Ohio Mr. Football winners playing on the same field, joining the top players of Illinois [Chris Jeske] and New Hampshire [Brendan Smith]. With Jeff Backes off to Medical School, NU fans will miss seeing that rare event.

Lately it seems we see charges of football players being given phony grades to allow them to keep playing. To his credit, Coach Randy Walker has demonstrated in the past, that he'll sit a player if they don't get the grades.

Wednesday, NU and Coach Walker showed that there are no exceptions.

Now we won't get to see Zach Strief and Tevor lead what I consider a great offensive line in 2005, and we won't get to see two Mr. Ohio Football winners on the same team.

I guess I'm a little disappointed, but now we all know that at NU, academics and player's health can, and will trump athletics.

Most of us wouldn't have it any other way.
-- da Coach

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