Defense: Recruiting Chart & Analysis

Signing Day is Wednesday, and the Northwestern Wildcats have 3 important spots to fill on Defense. Graduation opens up some big opportunities on NU's less than stellar defense, and once again the chance to play early has to be on the minds of the 5 Prospects who have committed including Pittsburgh's Nate Williams [above] who should add some depth to NU's linebacking corps.

Last Summer's losses on Defense...
showed why you've got to keep the pipeline filled.

Northestern came out of Spring with a couple of top defensive linemen, a really good linebacker corps, and lots of experience in the defensive backfield.

The Line took the first hit, when Loren Howard came up lame over the Summer, needed further surgery and eventually decided to transfer. The defensive front, with Barry Cofield as the only regular returning starter suddenly went from lots of experience, to lots of young players penciled in as full season starters.

While the D-Line chart below suggests the Cats are doing better up front, many recruiting observers were worried about the short list of defenders who had indicated they were committing to NU. The two Florida tackles may not be ranked in the top 10, but appear to have the frames to grow into Div I linemen.

The Cats have two of three linebackers coming back, although the graduation of Tim McGarigle leaves a big hole in the middle of the NU D. The Linebacker Chart shows a good progression of players coming up, and Nate Williams should have a couple of years to learn NU's system.

Williams has been compared to NU Linebacker Coach Pat Fitzgerald, a tough, hard hitting player. One thing he has is good speed to go with his size - 4.7 is a decent speed for a guy in the middle.

NU really needs some help in the defensive backfield. The addition of two strong safety prospects, Brad Phillips and Justan Vaughn should help build the back end of the defense.

Phillips is also a quarterback but he's projected to take his 6-3, 205 frame and play safety at the Div I level. He's quick - 4.5 in the :40, and played both ways on a team that made it to the Pennsylvania AAA finals. He had two interceptions and 47 tackles playing both ways.

Justan Vaughn is another player from Pearland HS [Rees, Roberson] and also boasts a sub 4.5 speed. He's projected as a safety, but probably needs to grow a bit. We're sure Coach Jerry Brown will enjoy having a little more speed and depth next year with the addition of Phillips and Vaughn.

All told, this class probably isn't ranked as highly as last year's class, but there also wasn't the need to recruit as many defenders this year, given the number of underclassmen on this side of the ball.

Next up is Offense..

Northwestern Wildcat Defense
2006 - 2011
 
D-Line - 15
2006 2007 2008 2009 20102011
DE
03**
58 Warren Anderson 58 Warren Anderson+



DE
03**
72 David Ngene 72 David Ngene+



DE
03**
91 Mark Koehn 91 Mark Koehn+



DE
W04
61 David Harper 61 David Harper 61 David Harper+


DE
04**
95 Kevin Mims 95 Kevin Mims 95 Kevin Mims+


DE
05**
99 Corey Wootton 99 Corey Wootton 99 Corey Wootton


DT
02*
68 Ronald Bardwell




DT
04**
57 Matt Clark 57 Matt Clark 57 Matt Clark+


DT
05**

70 John Gill70 John Gill70 John Gill


DT
05***
79 Adam Hahn 79 Adam Hahn 79 Adam Hahn 79 Adam Hahn

DT
05**
92 Keegan Kennedy 92 Keegan Kennedy 92 Keegan Kennedy


DT
05*
76 Desmond Taylor 76 Desmond Taylor 76 Desmond Taylor 76 Desmond Taylor

DL
W05 *

71 Tanner Highlen 71 Tanner Highlen 71 Tanner Highlen 71 Tanner Highlen

DT
06 **
Kendall Mason
Kendall Mason Kendall Mason Kendall Mason Kendall Mason
DT
06 *
Marshall
Thomas

Marshall
Thomas
Marshall
Thomas
Marshall
Thomas
Marshall
Thomas

LB - 13
2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
OLB
03**
43 Adam Kadela




MLB
02* [RB]
42 Demetrious Eaton




LB
02*
37 Campbell Black




LB
03**
38 Nick Roach




LB
03**
40 Eddie Simpson 40 Eddie Simpson



MLB
03**
55 Kyle Wagner 55 Kyle Wagner



LB
W04
15 Phil Brunner15 Phil Brunner15 Phil Brunner


LB
04***
48 Rajaie Johnson 48 Rajaie Johnson 48 Rajaie Johnson


LB
05***
31 Mike Dinard 31 Mike Dinard 31 Mike Dinard


LB
05***
51 Chris Jeske 51 Chris Jeske 51 Chris Jeske 51 Chris Jeske

LB
05**
36 Prince Kwateng 36 Prince Kwateng 36 Prince Kwateng


LB
05***
46 Malcolm Arrington 46 Malcolm Arrington 46 Malcolm Arrington


LB
06 **
Nate Williams Nate Williams Nate Williams Nate Williams Nate Williams
D-Backs-15
2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
CB
02*
20 Marquice Cole




CB
02*
6 Cory Dious+




CB
03**
35 Ryan Black 35 Ryan Black



CB
03****

22 Deante Battle 22 Deante Battle



CB
W03
47 Chaz Richart 47 Chaz Richart 47 Chaz Richart


CB
W03
49 Tim Downing 49 Tim Downing 49 Tim Downing


SAF
W02
21 Bryan Heinz




SAF
03**
27 Reggie McPherson 27 Reggie McPherson



SAF
W03
45 Ben Rothrauff 45 Ben Rothrauff



SAF/CB
04**
39 David Oredugba 39 David Oredugba 39 David Oredugba


SAF
04*
34 Andre Butler 34 Andre Butler 34 Andre Butler


SAF
05**
39 Brendan Smith 39 Brendan Smith 39 Brendan Smith


SAF
06**
Brad Phillips Brad Phillips Brad Phillips Brad Phillips Brad Phillips
SAF
06**

Justan Vaughn Justan Vaughn Justan Vaughn Justan Vaughn Justan Vaughn
SAF/LB
W05

44 Todd Dockery 44 Todd Dockery 44 Todd Dockery 44 Todd Dockery


This chart represents the best guess estimate by Purple Reign of the status of the players on the Northwestern Football Defensive Team.
Colors and symbols represent the following:
Red - Possible Redshirt Year
Bold Red - Commits/Redshirt year?
"*" After year is # of Stars on Scout.com [Original Recruited Position in brackets]
W = Walkon


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