It’s felt like a very, very long summer. Part of that feeling has been the news, which hasn’t been great. Another part of that feeling (for me at least) has been the awfulness of the New York Mets, no good international soccer competitions, and a lack of college sports. My chief distractions from the mundanity of summer jobs have been running and awful tennis streams.
I’m sure this is all very interesting to you, but with the arrival of college football in two weeks, we can stop publishing articles filled with my ramblings. There will be real football. There will be real plays and real throws from Clayton Thorson. There will be something tangible to talk about, not a rehashed discussion of Northwestern’s kicking battle or offensive line struggles.
However, it’s worth looking back on this long offseason and wondering how we got here. No one has been fully immersed in Northwestern sports news since classes ended in June (and if you were, please, find a new hobby). I’ve been in-and-out of the scene, and I’m sure there are many Inside NU readers who’ve missed some interesting stories. Fear not, this article should have you covered.
- Leading off, we have the massive chain reaction set off by the firing of long-tenured Ohio State men’s basketball coach Thad Matta. Matta’s firing led to Butler’s Chris Holtmann taking the Ohio State job. Holtmann’s departure opened up a job for LaVall Jordan, who left Milwaukee with a vacancy. This opened up a spot for Northwestern assistant Pat Baldwin to take his first head coaching gig at the University of Milwaukee.
- Baldwin’s departure had a few major outcomes. For one, Northwestern was in the market for a new assistant coach, and Chris Collins lured Billy Donlon, an old friend from high school, from Michigan to take a job on Collins’ staff.
- Then, four-star, top-50 recruit Pete Nance, who was rumored to be heading to Michigan or Ohio State, committed to Northwestern. Nance’s connection with Donlon (Nance’s lead recruiter at Michigan) and the general instability at Ohio State helped Collins seal the deal.
- Nance’s commitment came not long after Northwestern landed its point guard of the future in Jordan Lathon.
- Jaylen Rivers, Isaiah Bowser, and Khalid Jones all committed to play for Northwestern football.
- Just before June started, we learned Solomon Vault would miss the entire 2017 season due to a lower body injury. Remember this! This is important!
- Oh yeah, we also intently covered The Bachelorette (well, at least the first month of the season) as Anthony Battle tried to win the heart of Rachel Lindsay. In perfect Northwestern fashion, he said the right things and made it somewhat far, but fell well short of the goal.
- “The Pass” lost the ESPY to Aaron Rodgers, which was a total travesty.
- We exhaustively previewed every single position group.
- Northwestern football was at Big Ten Media Days. We failed to get BINGO. Pat Fitzgerald spouted a bunch of vague aphorisms and gave very few answers. At least the post-podium interview was better.
- Corey Wootton is coming to a TV near you as an analyst for BTN.
- You can see a picture of me below that proves I was actually at Big Ten Media Days. It was good. I enjoyed my time there.
- Northwestern joined in a really cool campaign to complete an epileptic man’s goal to acquire every Division I basketball jersey.
- One lazy Saturday, I decided to look up as many old Northwestern football highlights as I could find.
- We had the best tweets:
Made a little playlist for your Sunday night pic.twitter.com/5NcRNXAT4I— Inside NU (@insidenu) July 24, 2017
- Clayton Thorson got engaged! That’s worth a Life tile in The Game of Life.
- We finished previewing all of Northwestern’s 2017 opponents. Yes, we even previewed Purdue.
- We found out that Sanjay Lumpkin will play professionally in Belgium, joining Alex Olah and Tre Demps.
- Tyler Lancaster was chosen to wear the No. 1 jersey.
- Ara Parseghian sadly passed away at the age of 94. Mike Deneen wrote a really long and very good piece about how Parseghian changed Northwestern football forever.
- WE TALKED ABOUT PRACTICE! Martin Oppegaard and Noah Coffman gave you all the notes you need from August 9th and August 11th!
- Northwestern’s playing Colorado in 2026 and 2027. Nice.
- Northwestern men’s basketball’s Big Ten schedule was announced.
And that catches everyone up to the present day. As college sports offseasons go, this was pretty darn action-packed if you asked me. Now, every single fall sport is entering preseason, and it’s time to get rolling. The offseason is over. Long live caring about Northwestern athletics despite pressing matters weighing on our hearts and minds.