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Northwestern football 2017 National Signing Day profiles: Offensive lineman Ethan Wiederkehr

Wiederkehr is a strong offensive tackle who also played a bit of tight end in high school

@EthanWiederkehr on Twitter

Quick Hits

POSITION: Offensive Tackle

HEIGHT: 6-foot-6

WEIGHT: 285

HOMETOWN: Shoreham, New York

HIGH SCHOOL: Shoreham-Wading River

247 COMPOSITE SCORE: .8412

NATIONAL RANKING: 1060

POSITION RANK: 99

STATE RANK: 9

OTHER OFFERS: Army, Boston College, Buffalo, Coastal Carolina, Connecticut, Harvard, Louisville, Maryland, Navy, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Rutgers, Stony Brook, Syracuse, Temple, Wake Forest

MORE: 247 profile | Hudl | Twitter

Background

Wiederkehr is the first and only offensive tackle in Northwestern’s 2017 class. He committed back in June, choosing Northwestern over Big Ten opponents such as Maryland, Purdue and Rutgers, and even Pinstripe Bowl opponent Pittsburgh. He joins guard Rashawn Slater and center Sam Gerak as one of the class’s three offensive linemen. He’s by far the biggest of the three, clocking in at 6-foot-6 and 285 pounds. Given that size, he was an absolute monster in high school.

Similar to Slater, Wiederkehr played a lot of defensive end in high school, but was recruited as an offensive tackle. He also played a bit of tight end as well, which given the fact that he’s 285 pounds, had to be terrifying for opposing defenses. On the line itself, he was a solid blocker who mainly used his overwhelming size and strength to just destroy everything in his path. His tape consists of a lot of pancakes and plays where he drives his man straight up the field.

As with any offensive lineman who plays like that in high school, the question is what will happen when he has to block Big Ten pass rushers. He has height, which is always a plus, and he’s only 20 pounds off of what both Blake Hance and Eric Olson weighed last year, so the transition shouldn’t be too difficult.

Outlook

The only starting offensive lineman from the 2016 campaign that Northwestern loses is Eric Olson, so there will be an open spot at tackle, but it would be very surprising if Fitzgerald filled that hole with an incoming freshman. As we saw this year, Northwestern isn’t the deepest at the tackle position, so Wiederkehr does have an outside chance to play, but as with most young Northwestern offensive linemen, a redshirt is still the most likely option.