Happy Canada day to any Canadians reading the blog! Nah, actually, just playing, get a holiday further away from ours, you stupid jerks. Give us your poutine or we'll bomb you. (Just getting revved up for the Olympics.)
Another two player day to get caught up - I think we're actually at, like, 60 days until football, but there's no No. 64, so we're good there.
No. 65, Hayden Baker, OG, sophomore
Who he be: Hayden is a walk-on offensive lineman entering his third year in the program. The 6-foot-2, 280 pound lineman who played high school ball at Cary-Grove in Trout Valley, Ill. chose to walk on at Northwestern, and played in one game his redshirt freshman season.
More appropriate nicknames in the vein of Chris/Stephen Baker "The Touchdown Maker", since offensive guards are not involved in the physical act of scoring touchdowns: Hayden Baker The Walk-on Block Maker
Hayden Baker The Anthropology Class-Taker (his player profile says he's an anthropology major)
Who he's not: (a thing I'm adding to these I should've done a while ago on number changes): Ben Burkett, who wore No. 65 last year while Baker wore No. 68. Burkett, as you recall, was a very serviceable three-year starter at center before shifting to right guard in his final season to make room for now-starter Brandon Vitabile.
Looking forward: There's quite a few people ahead of Baker at the guard spot, and I admittedly don't know much about the sophomore, but walk-ons do have a history of being able to earn playing time at that spot - Doug Bartels most recently.
No. 63, Ian Park, OG, freshman
Who he be: Ian is a three-star offensive line recruit from Upper St. Clair in Pittsburgh, the No. 35 offensive guard recruit in the country, according to Scout. Not a bad get in a talented offensive line group this year for Northwestern. He's already quite a big boy, at 6-foot-4, 295 pounds.
The persuasion: The prejudist in me had already begun researching a list of non-Korean people whose last name was Park - most notably, 1800's era golfers Willie Park, Sr., Willie Park, Jr., and Willie Sr.'s brother, Mungo - since not many Korean dudes play football, but Ian's player profile - middle name, Sang, father's first name, Chong - made me, uh, rethink that. Ian joins a proud tradition of half-Korean football players at Northwestern most prominently represented by C.J. Bacher. Or perhaps only represented by C.J. Bacher. Either way, Park will be the second-best Korean lineman in the Big Ten this year behind Nebraska's Seung-Hoon Choi, who moved to Nebraska in eighth grade and whose parents still reside in South Korea, as Choi started at left guard for the Huskers last season. Between Park and Sanjay Lumpkin, Northwestern's typically-not-athletically-represented-but-very-much-academically-represented Korean and Indian populations have dudes to root for. Now if we could do something about getting a Jewish dude on the football team...
Looking forward: As I always point out, it's pretty rare for a true freshman to get playing time at offensive guard for Northwestern, exception, Patrick Ward. But Park certainly looks to figure into the equation up front in years to come.