This analysis will be very straightforward. Teams need two solid safeties to build a good pass defense, and Northwestern had that last year with Henry and Igwebuike. Queiro is the heir apparent, but he must become at least 80 percent of the player Henry was in order to retain Northwestern's iron-clad pass coverage. Henry and Igwebuike were both very good at covering whenever Nick VanHoose and Matt Harris slipped up. Both players made receivers and running backs fear getting caught in the open field, as Henry and Igwebuike lit up anyone in the vicinity. Igwebuike is a known quantity, but Quiero will have to duplicate Henry's skills in order for the pass defense to hold up.
Where is the depth?
Last year, Northwestern had so much depth at defensive back that it decided to move two of its defensive backs to wide receiver by the end of the season. This year, that depth has yet to replenish itself. Jared McGee, Tommy Odell and Jacob Murray are complete unknowns. Parrker Westphal's string of injuries have hurt his progress, so it might be unwise to expect him to provide depth immediately at his new position. But that's what the summer is for: to prove you can play at this level, even if you're not a starter. We'll have a clearer picture after Kenosha, but for now, the depth remains suspect.
|1st string||2nd string|
|Safety||Kyle Quiero||Jake Murray|
|Safety||Godwin Igwebuike||Jared McGee|
The starters are pretty straightforward, and if they stay healthy, Northwestern has one of the better backlines in all of college football. But behind them, there are questions. Because of that, the depth chart remains relatively unchanged from spring.