Over the next few months, with no bowl game to talk or write about, we’ll pose a series of forward-looking questions regarding Northwestern’s 2014 season. Some of them will be very specific, some of them won’t. At best, our “offseason questions” feature will be a fun way to pass the time before spring football starts; At worst, fans will be so disappointed with Northwestern’s 2013 season, they won’t pay attention to anything even remotely connected to Wildcats football until August. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet at @insidenu if you have any queries you’d like us to address.
Will Matthew Harris start over Daniel Jones at cornerback?
The 2013 season did not begin the way Matt Harris wanted it to. Harris injured himself on the opening kick of Northwestern’s season-opener at Cal when he attempted to plow through three Golden Bears blockers. Harris rebounded, worked his way into the cornerback rotation and supplanted Dwight White – who stepped in after Daniel Jones suffered a season-ending knee injury late in the first half against Cal – as the Wildcats’ starting no. 2 corner after White got burned on a touchdown against Minnesota. Harris made his first career start a week later at Iowa.
One of two true freshman to play for Northwestern in 2013, Harris appeared to improve over the course of the season: He made fewer mistakes in coverage, tackled more effectively and seemed to better understand Northwestern’s defensive scheme. If Harris, one of the fastest players on the team, can pack a few more pounds onto his 5-11, 180-pound frame, he has the potential to grow into one of the better cornerbacks in the Big Ten.