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Five freshmen to watch

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Posted: 2/14/2013 2:44 PM

Five freshmen to watch 


Which freshmen can make an early impact with Northwestern? Here are five to watch: http://northwestern.scout.com/2/1266855.html
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Posted: 2/14/2013 4:26 PM

Re: Five freshmen to watch 


I'm very intrigued by Brett Walsh.

Slides under the radar in many discussions but seems motivated — a Fitz kind of guy!
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Posted: 2/14/2013 6:06 PM

Re: Five freshmen to watch Post Rating (1 vote)




---------------------------------------------
--- nmedline wrote:

I'm very intrigued by Brett Walsh.

Slides under the radar in many discussions but seems motivated — a Fitz kind of guy!

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And where exactly would he play in our deep linebacker corps, especially given Fitz's open declaration that he won't burn a redshirt to play primarily special teams?

Either way, he looks like he needs to add a lot of weight to be B1G-ready.
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Posted: 2/14/2013 8:01 PM

RE: Five freshmen to watch 


I don't see Godwin seeing the field as a true frosh as a running back unless Venric gets hurt and guys like Buckley and Malin don't pan out. Already assuming that Trump will get his share of carries. On defense, he may have a shot at beating out Daniel Jones for a corner spot but Keith Watkins also should be in the mix. Queiro is also slotted as a corner but it seems he may benefit from a redshirt. Who knows, though... many people were wondering before the start of last season why Venric had been moved to running back.
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Posted: 2/15/2013 12:43 AM

Re: Five freshmen to watch 


Deep linebacking core?

We have 4 guys who have played any real minutes. Of those Ellis has not come close to playing well enough to have a terrific amount of confidence in. Smith needs a little more size.

All the others have never played. You may be putting a little too much stock in practice reports. I remember when people said Tim Riley and Braden Jones were going to be a great backers too. Jones and Wilson are not bigten size quite yet.

J Prater has impressed, but I would say this unit might have the least depth on the entire defense.
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Posted: 2/15/2013 3:26 AM

RE: Five freshmen to watch Post Rating (1 vote)



BallisticCat wrote: I don't see Godwin seeing the field as a true frosh as a running back unless Venric gets hurt and guys like Buckley and Malin don't pan out. Already assuming that Trump will get his share of carries. On defense, he may have a shot at beating out Daniel Jones for a corner spot but Keith Watkins also should be in the mix. Queiro is also slotted as a corner but it seems he may benefit from a redshirt. Who knows, though... many people were wondering before the start of last season why Venric had been moved to running back.
I disagree somewhat.  If Godwin comes in and looks great, Fitz will have a tough time keeping him on the bench.  RBs generally come in as freshmen as good as they're gonna get as far as their running ability in college.  They know how to run and they won't be improving much as far as their running ability over their careers.  The hurdles for freshmen RBs are learning the offense, learning where to be on the field and when, and showing good blocking ability, and having the overall  strength to play D1 ball.

If Godwin comes in strong and winds up being the 2nd best RB on the team in prefall, he'll play and also play on special teams.  The same holds for any of our incoming RBs.  There's going to be tough competition and I could see a freshman or two bumping the older guys and getting some playing time.

Trumpy will continue to get his carries because he does many things well and he has considerable game experience now.
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Posted: 2/15/2013 8:56 AM

Re: Five freshmen to watch Post Rating (1 vote)



mikero2 wrote: Deep linebacking core?

We have 4 guys who have played any real minutes. Of those Ellis has not come close to playing well enough to have a terrific amount of confidence in. Smith needs a little more size.

All the others have never played. You may be putting a little too much stock in practice reports. I remember when people said Tim Riley and Braden Jones were going to be a great backers too. Jones and Wilson are not bigten size quite yet.

J Prater has impressed, but I would say this unit might have the least depth on the entire defense.
I'll give you that we haven't seen a lot of the guys out on the field with regularity, but it's not just practice reports.

The point still remains that Walsh is probably about 6-1 205 and has a long ways to go physically before being able to line up consistently in the B1G.
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Posted: 2/15/2013 9:58 AM

Re: Five freshmen to watch 


I do not see any of this year's frosh breaking into the 2-deep. We are just too deep. One of the reasons we win as much as we do is that we play our fifth-year guys against other teams' second and third-year guys. Our guys do not flunk out, leave early, or get booted for disciplinary reasons. Burning a shirt costs us part of our systemic advantage. I had a student-athlete (football) in my office today (not at NU) who is so excited about his fifth year. He will be a starter, can take lots of electives that he has a real interest in but felt constrained to take in earlier years, and can put his transcripts in even better order for grad school. He is not unlike many of our guys in this regard.
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Posted: 2/15/2013 10:32 AM

Re: Five freshmen to watch Post Rating (1 vote)



AgingBooster wrote: I do not see any of this year's frosh breaking into the 2-deep. We are just too deep. One of the reasons we win as much as we do is that we play our fifth-year guys against other teams' second and third-year guys. Our guys do not flunk out, leave early, or get booted for disciplinary reasons. Burning a shirt costs us part of our systemic advantage. I had a student-athlete (football) in my office today (not at NU) who is so excited about his fifth year. He will be a starter, can take lots of electives that he has a real interest in but felt constrained to take in earlier years, and can put his transcripts in even better order for grad school. He is not unlike many of our guys in this regard.
It's a double-edged sword: Because of our improved roster skill and depth, any true freshman that pushes his way onto the field is a DAMN good football player, but keeping his redshirt means that we would have the same player in his fifth year as a 22- or 23-year old rather than as an 18- or 19-year old freshman.

Fitz has always said that he is willing to burn a redshirt if a kid will be in the two-deep and play meaningful snaps at his position (e.g. not to play almost exclusively on special teams).  We got burned a little bit with Henry's redshirt last year because he got injured just as he was starting to see more playing time, though obviously Lowry and Vitale playing paid significant dividends.  Though Carpenter stepped up his game to another level, I get the feeling that we may regret not having Henry in his fifth year.
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  • Zazzy
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Posted: 2/15/2013 4:54 PM

Re: Five freshmen to watch 


We are getting so many good recruits each year now that I'm less concerned about Henry not having a fifth year.  I really like our current and projected depth with new reruits.
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  • corbi296
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Posted: 2/16/2013 7:37 AM

Re: Five freshmen to watch 


Chris, I am surprised by your list. With the exception of Godwin, I don't see any of these guys on your list being contributors as true freshmen. This is a function of our depth but also a reflection that these particular players are among the players in this class that need the most in terms of physical development and/or are projecting at a new position in college. I really don't think many of the kids in this class will play next year, but besides Godwin, I see kids like Warren Long, Kyle Quiero, Fuessel and perhaps Marcus McShepard as potential contributors. Largely these are kids who are physically well developed, have played extensively at the position they are projected to play in college, have played against high level competition in HS and play at a position where our depth chart may present an opportunity. Out of the kids I mentioned, Fuessel may not fit the criteria I outlined but I just have a feeling that this kid will get on the field somehow.
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  • Zazzy
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Posted: 2/16/2013 8:18 AM

Re: Five freshmen to watch 


Exactly why they were picked as "freshmen to watch," i.e., are those who people may not be anticipating will contribute this year.  Did you think Vitale or McEvily would contribute like they did?
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  • FloridAlum
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Posted: 2/16/2013 8:50 AM

Re: Five freshmen to watch 



Zazzy wrote: Exactly why they were picked as "freshmen to watch," i.e., are those who people may not be anticipating will contribute this year.  Did you think Vitale or McEvily would contribute like they did?
Zazzy, I would add Lowry to your comment.
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Posted: 2/16/2013 12:51 PM

Re: Five freshmen to watch 


There are always wildcards and I do not think that anyone thought that Lowry would play as a true frosh not to mention have as much of impact as he did.  McEvilly was a redshirt frosh and his development was not expected as well.  The people we thought would be contributors were Vitale, Odenigbo and Kuhar.  The latter two may have had an impact but they got hurt or were hurt before the season.  In terms of who I see, I predict that one of the CB candidates maybe Marcus McShepard or Quiero will play as well as maybe Fuessel or Igwebuike as a safety.  Igwebuike is expected to get some PT as a frosh but you never know.  We thought the same of Malin Jones and he landed up redshirting.  It will be an interesting to see as our talent continues on the uptick.  This could be a monster year in recruiting with Jordan Thomas already and potential commits of Otari Alaka, Garrett Dickerson, Ian Bunting, Clayton Thorson and Cameron Quiero to name a few to add to the mix.  Derrick Kief as well.  If we get some of these guys we may be entering the upper etchelon of the big ten and hopefully be there to stay much like stanford is doing in the pac 12.
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Posted: 2/16/2013 2:44 PM

Re: Five freshmen to watch Post Rating (1 vote)


McEvilly was actually a redshirt sophomore last season.  he has two years of eligibility remaining.  Yes, he was a surprise this past season.  It was nice to see a DT emerge.  I hoping for the same next season from CJRobbins.
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  • corbi296
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Posted: 2/17/2013 6:37 AM

Re: Five freshmen to watch 


McEvily was not a freshman last year. He was a 3rd year RS sophomore. Regarding Vitale, yes I did expect Vitale to contribute significantly this year as I had watched him play extensively throughout HS and always felt he was under recruited. Many felt Malin Jones was on that list last year, I did not largely because of the position he was being asked to play and our depth chart there.

I did not interpret the title "freshmen to watch" as you did. Not many freshmen will contribute next year in the first place and so "freshmen to watch" would mean who are the most prepared freshmen who could make a contribution despite our strong depth chart. Given this, I don't think the list Chris put together is a very good one.

Last edited 2/17/2013 6:41 AM by corbi296

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Posted: 2/17/2013 12:24 PM

Re: Five freshmen to watch Post Rating (1 vote)


Freshmen who get to play----Many times it just means that a particular position was hit by injuries and they were healthy through camp and early into the season. Malin Jones was hurt in camp and for the young guys a few weeks off with an injury can kill there chances at going up the depth chart. 

I think Chris's list is pretty darn good. Joraskie in 2 deep would surprise me though.

In the last few years we have played some freshmen who weren't ready because we had no other choices. Guys like Hampton and Ward would never have played as true Frosh if we had depth.  

If all the safeties would have been healthy all last season, I don't believe that Henry would have seen the field and I thought he played really well. Lowry and Vitale forced the issue and they played at positions with depth issues entering the season. The real surprise to me was Lowry playing over 2 inexperienced seniors and Odenigbo. I didn't expect that.

I would count positions with depth issues this season and therefore a freshman has a chance as...

1)  Linebacker--I know everybody likes the potential of our linebackers, but that is all it is right now. Very little experience and a true frosh could get in the 2 deep.  Most of the returning backup linebackers are redshirt frosh and aren't that much bigger or more experienced then a true frosh like Walsh.

2) Corner--A frosh corner can see the field but I think Jones and VanHoose will be the starters. White apparently played very well in practice and Williams and Bryant played pretty well on special teams and will be going into their 3rd years in the program. They should be stronger, better and more ready to play in bigten games then guys who are playing basketball now or working out on their own. There are 215lbs receivers everywhere in the bigten. Jones had trouble with tackling or getting away from blocks from the Big receivers and he was in the program for 3 years.

3) OL--This is the killer. I don't believe that it will happen, but one OL could get in the 2 deep with an injury or 2 and/or poor play from the redshirt frosh. 

4) RB--I only see this if somebody plays ridiculously well and gets in the 2 deep. The truth is we have more depth at that position then we have had for years.

As for receiver----to Quote a former NU coach when asked by Witherspoons dad if he was going to see some playing time.."only if someone throws a hand grenade in the receivers meeting room."

I don't see a true frosh getting in the 2 deep. Fuesell is a fantastic athlete, but he never played the position, wasn't on the Varsity until his Senior season, probably has never blocked anyone, we don't have any idea about his hands and never ran a route in a game. If blocking didn't matter in our offense, I would say he has a chance, but it matters a lot in our offense.

Last edited 2/17/2013 12:27 PM by mikero2

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