Northwestern depth chart: Collin Ellis, Chance Carter starters vs. Cal

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The depth chart for Northwestern's first game of the season is out! Here's a look at what's going on, with Collin Ellis and Chance Carter surprise starters.

Northwestern has released its opening week depth chart for Cal, and, because Northwestern was good last year and almost everybody comes back, there aren't a whole ton of surprises.

Here it is:

OFFENSE
Starter Backup
QB 2 Kain Colter (Sr.)
13 Trevor Siemian (Jr.)
RB 5 Venric Mark (Sr.) 32 Mike Trumpy (Sr.) or 22 Treyvon Green (Jr.)
WR-X 6 Tony Jones (Jr.) 21 Kyle Prater (Jr.) or 83 Mike McHugh (Fr.)
WR-Y 80 Mike Jensen (Sr.)
12 Cermak Bland (So)
WR-Z 17 Rashad Lawrence (Sr.) 19 Cameron Dickerson (So.)
WR-H 14 Christian Jones (Jr.) 82 Andrew Scanlan (Fr.)
SB 40 Dan Vitale (So.) 85 Mark Szott (So.)
LT 75 Jack Konopka (Jr.) 71 Shane Mertz (So.)
LG 53 Geoff Mogus (So.) 73 Adam DePietro (Fr.)
C 65 Brandon Vitabile (Jr.) 57 Matt Frazier (So.)
RG 64 Ian Park (Fr.) 65 Hayden Baker (Jr.)
RT 78 Paul Jorgensen (Jr.) 76 Eric Olson (Fr.)
DEFENSE
FIRST TEAM SECOND TEAM
DE 97 Tyler Scott (Sr.) 7 Ifeadi Odenigbo (Fr.)
DT 67 Sean McEvilly (Jr.) 90 C.J. Robbins (So.)
DT 99 Chance Carter(Jr.) 90 Will Hampton (Sr.)
DE 94 Dean Lowry (So.) OR 98 Deonte Gibson (So.)
SLB 45 Collin Ellis (Jr.) 42 Joseph Jones (Fr.)
MLB 46 Damien Proby (Sr.) 50 Timmy Vernon (Sr.) or 51 Jaylen Prater (Fr.)
WLB 44 Chi Chi Ariguzo (Jr.) 55 Drew Smith (So.)
CB 23 Nick VanHoose (So.) 13 C.J. Bryant (Jr.)
S 24 Ibraheim Campbell (Jr.) 16 Davion Fleming (Sr.) or 26 Terrance Brown (Fr.0
S 10 Traveon Henry (So.) 9 Jimmy Hall (Jr.)
CB 15 Daniel Jones (Jr.) 2 Dwight White (Fr.)
SPECIAL TEAMS
FIRST TEAM SECOND TEAM
P 49 Brandon Williams (Sr.)
K (FG) 37 Jeff Budzien (Sr.)
KO 37 Jeff Budzien (Sr.)
LS 59 Pat Hickey (Sr.) 52 Chris Fitzpatrick (So.)
H 49 Brandon Williams (Sr.)
PR 5 Venric Mark (Sr.) 6 Tony Jones (Jr.)
KR 5 Venric Mark (Sr.) 6 Tony Jones (Jr.)

A reminder that you can always look at Northwestern's football depth chart here.

  • Dean Lowry isn't the starter, necesssarily, as he seemed to be. He's listed as OR with Deonte Gibson, the only OR at a starting spot on the roster. I see Gibson as more of a third-down type, so this is intriguing.
  • Collin Ellis wins the strongside competition against Drew Smith, who is listed as Chi Chi Ariguzo's will backup. Joseph Jones cracks the two-deep as Ellis' backup, which is a surprise.
  • Chance Carter edges senior Will Hampton for the starting defensive tackle spot opposite Sean McEvilly. Did not see that one coming, but I really think there's a lot of upside with his athleticism.
  • Kyle Prater, OR with Mike McHugh as a backup wide receiver. DAMN, Kyle.
  • Mike Jensen earns the starting slot spot. Can you say Zeke Markshausen 2.0?

UPDATE: Now that we've had a moment to look at it:

EVERYTHING WE GOT WRONG

- Mike Jensen as a starting wide receiver. He makes sense in the slot, and has always been one of Coach Fitz's faves.

- Kyle Prater, not just a backup, but an OR backup with Mike McHugh. We had him starting in our first guess, BECAUSE HE'S KYLE PRATER, MAN.

- Godwin Igwebuike is not on the two-deep. Ibraheim Campbell's backups are listed as Davion Fleming OR Terrance Brown, which makes sense -- we had just Fleming before deciding people were high enough on Igwebuike, because we weren't in the business of OR-ing.

- Did not have Chance Carter at starting defensive tackle, or really see any way Will Hampton wouldn't be starting opposite Sean McEvilly. Good that Chance gets a... opportunity to see playing time relatively early in his career.

- We had Collin Ellis winning at Sam, but did not expect him to pass Smith to the point Smith would be listed as a backup elsewhere. Figured Smith would basically split snaps at Sam pretty evenly with Ellis.

- The positionality of virtually every backup wide receiver -- this is no surprise here, as Northwestern really shuffles these around. We ended up with Prater/McHugh at split end behind Tony Jones, Andrew Scanlan busting into the two-deep as Christian Jones' hybrid backup, Cermak Bland as Jensen's backup, and Pierre Youngblood-Ary off the two-deep. Hey, at least we nailed Cameron Dickerson at flanker.

- Did not have Treyvon Green considered as important as he is -- figured Malin Jones would be ahead of him on the depth chart. Then again, as noted, we haven't been in the business of OR.

- The positionality of the backup linemen, who shuffled. We were right that Mertz and Olson would be the backup tackles, but we now have Hayden Baker and Adam DePietro as the backup guards, while Frazier -- who I expected to be in the mix to start at a guard spot -- replacing Ian Park as Brandon Vitabile's backup. Bummer for Frazier, there aren't many snaps to be had there.

- Did not have Joseph Jones as a backup linebacker -- we had Jaylen Prater filling the third backup slot instead of being OR as a backup to Damien Proby.

- We had Greg Kuhar ahead of C.J. Robbins to be a backup defensive tackle since he was such a highly touted recruit, instead Robbins is listed on the two-deep.

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