Defense: Thank You Seniors

13 Seniors play their last game for Northwestern against Illinois Saturday. The underclassmen are already on record as wanting to send their teammates out with a win, but this group has seen a lot, from all the promise as frosh to the loss of key players, then a head coach, throughout their careers. Here's a look at the 6 Senior defenders.

The seniors on Defense are:
LB Campbell Black, CB Marquice Cole, CB Cory Dious, LB Demetrius Eaton, S Bryan Heinz, and LB Nick Roach

When you look down the list, you wonder what might have been is there had been just one defensive lineman in the class.
  • LB Campbell Black came to the Wildcats as a defensive back, maybe a safety. I remember his recruiting picture - he looked like one tough kid, and he had the stats to show he was hard nosed, and while not as highly rated as others in the class, he passed the picture test with me.
  • CB Marquice Cole - DB Coach Jerry Brown thought that one thing that helped the D-Backs over the past 2 years was that Cole, who had played in 8 games as a true frosh, had to redshirt in 2004 and thus could play in 2005 AND 2006. He showed his stuff in 2005 but seemed overmatched in 2006. His injury late in the season opened the door for Sherrick McMannis, another true frosh, and maybe playing with Cole has helped the kid from Peoria. When teams picked on Cole's side, he always got chastised by the fans, but I always thought that had he had a more credible pass rush, he would have been awesome. His 4.3 speed will get him lots of looks during the draft.
  • CB Cory Dious - This should have been his year to shine, but he was always stuck behind Cole, or Jeff Backes, or Deante Battle, fighting for starts. Maybe he was too small at 170 lbs, but he is also another speed demon.
  • LB Demetrius Eaton - Worked his way through the NU system, originally came in as a Running Back, but was quickly moved over to Linebacker. He's played backup in the middle, and outside, and even some defensive end, including a start against Arizona State in 2005.  He also recognition after scoring after picking up a fumble against Michigan in 2005 - the Pontiac Game Changing Performance nomination. Quietly has held down the Sam OLB position all year, but mainly that's because of Nick Roach at the other side.
  • S. Bryan Heinz - Bryan was doing fine until Randy Walker awarded him a scholarship, then he started to suffer injuries that kept him off the field most of his last two seasons. He is one of the team's leaders, and its taken serious knee and ankle injuries to keep him out. Earned Academic All-Big 10 his RS Frosh and Soph seasons, and probably would have a few NU records had he played the last two years. He will be missed.
  • LB Nick Roach - recruited as a linebacker but had extensive experience at WR, RB and was even touted as a Defensive End for the Casts. Played as a true frosh - was in all 13 games and played the most defensive snaps back in 2003 as a frosh. Suffered a sports Hernia in 2005 as a Junior but still worked back to the team in time for the 2005 season. Highlight has to be the TD interception return in the Sun Bowl, but the crushing blow to his career came against MSU this year when he broke his leg on a punt return. Even Pat Fitzgerald knelt by his side while he was put on the wagon - and he returned to the field to help cheer the Cats on at the end of the game.
There you have them, the 6 Seniors on the defense.

There are a few critics of the defense who complain about the recruiting of defenders by the Wildcats over the past 10 years. Defense is easy to put together, but hard to recruit. You can't tell which kid is going to be the future star, and you can't tell which kid will get hurt when they were expected to be great.

Coach Fitzgerald was asked about recruiting players and had this comment about prospect evaluation, comparing players from different types of programs.
When we go down to Texas, and a kid has been in spring practice every year that he has been in high school and (in) an off-season program that models a college program, how much better is a young man going to be in comparison with a kid here in Chicago who plays three sports and has played three sports his whole life? Fitzgerald asked [in the Daily Northwestern]. That is the whole dilemma in recruiting … You are really taking a calculated risk just analyzing their potential.
Folks forget that one former NU linebacker is now pitching in the minors. One of our top tight end prospects is now an offensive tackle for the Steelers.

This year 6 Defensive players will move on after Saturday.

All we on the sidelines can say is "Thank You."

Northwestern Wildcat Defense
2006 - 2011
Seniors with Light Purple Background
D-Line - 18
2006 2007 2008 2009 20102011
DE
03**
72 David Ngene 72 David Ngene+



DE
03**
91 Mark Koehn 91 Mark Koehn+



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


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

DE
06 **
89 Corbin Bryant
89 Corbin Bryant 89 Corbin Bryant 89 Corbin Bryant 89 Corbin Bryant
DE
07 **

Kevin Watt
Kevin Watt Kevin Watt Kevin Watt Kevin Watt
DE
07 ***


Vincent Browne
Vincent Browne Vincent Browne Vincent Browne Vincent Browne
DT
03**
58 Warren Anderson 58 Warren Anderson+



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


DL
W05 *

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

DT
06 **
61 Kendall Mason
61Kendall Mason 61Kendall Mason 61Kendall Mason 61Kendall Mason
DT
06 **
69 Marshall Thomas
69 Marshall Thomas 69 Marshall Thomas 69 Marshall Thomas

DT
07 ***


Josh Rooks
Josh Rooks Josh Rooks Josh Rooks Josh Rooks
DT/NT
07 ***

Niko Mafuli
Niko Mafuli Niko Mafuli Niko Mafuli Niko Mafuli
LB - 17
2006 2007 2008 2009 20102011
MLB
03**
43 Adam Kadela 43 Adam Kadela



OLB
02* [RB]
42 Demetrius Eaton




OLB
02*
37 Campbell Black




OLB
03**
38 Nick Roach




OLB
03**
40 Eddie Simpson 40 Eddie Simpson



OLB [QB/FB]
03
82 Chris Malleo
82 Chris Malleo



LB
W04
15 Phil Brunner15 Phil Brunner15 Phil Brunner


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


MLB
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 **
54 Nate Williams 54 Nate Williams 54 Nate Williams 54 Nate Williams 54 Nate Williams
LB
06 **
41 Quentin Davie
41 Quentin Davie 41 Quentin Davie 41 Quentin Davie 41 Quentin Davie
LB ***
07

Bryce McNaul
Bryce McNaul Bryce McNaul Bryce McNaul Bryce McNaul
D-Backs-22
2006 2007 2008 2009 20102011
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 [RB]
04**
23 Gerard Hamlett 23 Gerard Hamlett 23 Gerard Hamlett



CB
06*

24 Sherrick McManis
24 Sherrick McManis24 Sherrick McManis24 Sherrick McManis

CB
06**

28 Justan Vaughn28 Justan Vaughn28 Justan Vaughn28 Justan Vaughn28 Justan Vaughn
CB
07 ****

Jordan Mabin Jordan Mabin Jordan Mabin Jordan Mabin Jordan Mabin
SAF
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 [RB]
04**
4 Akeem Hunter 4 Akeem Hunter 4 Akeem Hunter



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


SAF/ATH
06**
17 Brad Phillips 17 Brad Phillips 17 Brad Phillips 17 Brad Phillips

SAF/RB
07 **

Scott Concannon
Scott Concannon Scott Concannon Scott Concannon Scott Concannon
SAF
07 **

Michael Bolden
Michael Bolden Michael Bolden Michael Bolden Michael Bolden
SAF
07 ***

David Arnold
David Arnold David Arnold David Arnold David Arnold
SAF/LB
W05

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

SAF
W06
26 James Nussbaum
26 James Nussbaum 26 James Nussbaum 26 James Nussbaum

DB
W06
83 Rob Brown
83 Rob Brown 83 Rob Brown 83 Rob Brown


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:
Bold - on last 2 Deep
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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