By (@HenryBushnell)
Apr 17, 2014

Returning Starters: Venric Mark, Treyvon Green

Others Returning: Stephen Buckley, Warren Long, Tim Hanrahan, Malin Jones, Xavier Menifield, Mike Panico

Incoming Recruits: Justin Jackson, Auston Anderson

Projected Depth Chart

1.a. Venric Mark

1.b. Treyvon Green

2.a. Stephen Buckley

2.b. Warren Long

Explaining the depth chart

The running back depth chart is as crowded as ever, and it’s also very fluid. Because each player possesses a unique skill set, there’s no way to concretely label a player first or second team – with a few exceptions of course.

Those exceptions are at the top of the depth chart. Venric Mark entered last season as arguably the top running back in the Big Ten, but injuries derailed his season. Now he’s back, and on track to be at 100 percent for summer camp, and thus naturally assumes a place atop the depth chart.

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Josh Rosenblat
By (@JMRosenblat)
Apr 17, 2014

Former and current Northwestern football players met Wednesday night to air opinions and concerns regarding the union vote scheduled for April 25.

The Daily Northwestern’s Alex Putterman (@AlexPutt02) and The New York Times’ Ben Strauss (@bstrauss1) were at the meeting for at least a portion of it before, according to Putterman, they were asked to leave.

According to what the two reported, the meeting centered around the issue of alumni interfering in the union vote by threatening players to vote “no.”

According to Putterman’s account, it seemed that “almost everyone who spoke up seemed in agreement that a union was not the proper way to deal with issues confronting college athletes.”

Preceding the meeting, alumni met with Fitzgerald to discuss the union possibility.

Putterman also tweeted about the meeting with Fitzgerald, as he wrote, “Fitz made no promises to alums but said ‘You know my past. I’m for change.’”

Along with an account of the meeting, Strauss’ article also includes this telling anecdote from former Northwestern player Chris Hinton:

Chris Hinton, an offensive lineman selected in the first round of the 1983 draft, said Colter and his teammates were part of a lineage at Northwestern that dates to his sophomore year. Hinton was part of a group of black Northwestern football players that felt discriminated against by Coach Rick Venturi. The group threatened to boycott games if conditions did not improve. A new coach was hired the next season.

“It’s part of a legacy,” said Hinton, who recently reached out to [Kain] Colter. “The N.C.A.A. system is messed up, and they’re doing something about it.”

While it is still uncertain what direction the players will vote, it seems as though the number of people giving their input on the situation has created as much controversy as the union itself. Ultimately, it’s up to Northwestern’s current players, and only them, to quite possibly decide the future of college sports.

Josh Rosenblat
By (@JMRosenblat)
Apr 16, 2014
Rosenblat 16-football practice

As the new starting quarterback, Trevor Siemian will become Northwestern’s leader, a role that may require him to repair a split locker room. Josh Rosenblat | INSIDE NORTHWESTERN

Returning starter(s): Trevor Siemian (Sr.)

Others returning: Zach Oliver (Jr.), Christian Salem (So.), Matt Alviti (Fr.)

Incoming recruit(s): Clayton Thorson

Depth chart projection

1. Trevor Siemian

2. Matt Alviti

3. Zack Oliver

4. Christian Salem

Explaining the depth chart

While Siemian had been listed at “1b” for most of the last two seasons, the senior will finally have the reigns to the offense completely to himself. He is the only quarterback on the roster with any significant college experience and deservedly has the starting job. Behind Siemian, Alviti has received the most snaps this spring after the highly-touted recruit redshirted last season. Oliver who backed up both Siemian and Kain Colter last year has slid down to the third spot and Salem, a sophomore, fills in the final spot.

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Josh Rosenblat
By (@JMRosenblat)
Apr 15, 2014

Defensive end Joe Gaziano became Northwestern’s eighth commit in the past week when he committed on Monday. He’s also the third defensive end to commit in the past two days, joining Zach Allen and Trent Goens.

Gaziano, a three-star prospect from Westwood, Mass., is a New Englander like Allen. He chose NU over an offer from Boston College. For more, check out his profile on 247 Sports.

Kevin Trahan
By (@k_trahan)
Apr 15, 2014

Northwestern has added its seventh commit in less than a week, this time adding three-star defensive end Zach Allen. Allen’s commitment comes less than a day after DE Trent Goens committed. 247′s Steve Wiltfong spoke with Allen about his commitment:

“They told me how Trent committed and they had two more spots and they wanted me to take one of them. I talked to my family and we thought Northwestern had the best combination of athletics and academics. Coach (Pat) Fitzgerald, Coach (Bob) Heffner and Coach (Marty) Long have been great through the process.”

A Connecticut native, Allen chose NU over Boston College and UConn, among others. Check out his highlights above and his 247 profile.

Chris Johnson
By (@ChrisDJohnsonn)
Apr 15, 2014

Northwestern picked up its first verbal commitment from the 2015 class on Friday. 3-star linebacker Nathan Fox became the first of six players to give verbal pledges to NU over a four-day span. The latest, 3-star defensive end Trent Goens, came Monday night.

Goens picked NU over offers from Miami, Washington, Arizona and Cal, among other programs. The 6-foot-3, 245-pound Chino Hills, Calif., native recorded 35 solo tackles and seven and a half sacks in his junior season. Goens visited NU two weeks ago, according to, and decided to commit when, knowing that NU had only two scholarship spots available for defensive ends in this class, he learned that another DE had also committed. The identity of that player could become public as early as today.

A week ago, NU had zero verbal commitments and was unranked in 247Sports’ team rankings. Goens’ pledge bumped NU’s class to 29th, ahead of Florida, Ole Miss and USC, among others. We’re still more than nine months away from Signing Day, so you probably shouldn’t put too much stock in the rankings at this point. NU might not be ranked in the top 30 next February.

If you’re going to take anything away from the team rankings, it should be the speed with which NU ascended them. Picking up six (and quite possibly seven) commitments within the span of a week is a big deal. Stay tuned for analysis/reaction to NU’s next commitment.

Kevin Trahan
By (@k_trahan)
Apr 14, 2014

Returning starters: WR Christian Jones (Sr.), WR Tony Jones (Sr.), SB Dan Vitale (Jr.)

Others returning: WR Corey Acker (RS Fr.), WR Quinn Baker (RS Fr.), WR Cermak Bland (Jr.), WR Austin Carr (Sr.), WR Cameron Dickerson (Jr.), SB Doug Diedrick (Jr.), WR Tom Fuessel (RS Fr.), WR Mark Gorogianis (RS Fr.), WR Mike McHugh (So.), WR Jordan Perkins (Jr.), WR Kyle Prater (Sr.), WR Andrew Scanlan (So.), SB Jack Schwaba (So.), WR Miles Shuler (Jr.), SB Mark Szott (Jr.), SB Jayme Taylor (RS Fr.), WR Macan Wilson (RS Fr.), WR Pierre Youngblood-Ary (Jr.)

Incoming recruits: Solomon Vault

Depth chart projection

First string
WR — Tony Jones, Christian Jones, Cameron Dickerson; SB — Dan Vitale

Second string
WR — Kyle Prater, Miles Shuler, Andrew Scanlan; SB — Mark Szott/Jayme Taylor

Explaining the depth chart 

The starting line for both the receivers and superbacks is about as obvious as it’s going to get when we make these position groups. The Joneses established themselves as starting receivers last year, and Cameron Dickerson was the clear “next man in” after the departure of Rashad Lawrence. Those three have taken the first string reps all spring, and in a new — likely more pass-heavy — era, they have a chance to be pretty good this season. After starting the last two seasons, Dan Vitale is the obvious starer once again at superback.

The second string is a bit more complicated. I know a lot of Northwestern fans have given up on Kyle Prater, but the coaches really seem to like what he’s done this spring, and he may finally be able to contribute. Rutgers transfer Miles Shuler has shown a lot of flashes during the spring, as well. There’s still room for another player to step up, and my money’s on Andrew Scanlan, who the coaching staff is high on. At superback, Mark Szott is the established backup and should retain that position, but I included Jayme Taylor, because the coaches have really liked what he’s shown.

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