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Counting down Northwestern’s roster: 79 to 70

We’re getting back into the big, beefy lads. Every player with a number in the 70s, unsurprisingly, is a lineman.

Michigan State v Northwestern Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

We’ve gone through Northwestern’s most important players, positional previews, and opponent breakdowns. Now, as the season creeps closer, we’re counting down the roster, 99 to 1. We’ll provide biographical information, stats, and an outlook for each player’s role headed into 2018.

Next up are numbers 79 to 70, with nine current offensive linemen and one who switched over to the defensive side.

79 Trey Klock

OL | 6-foot-4, 296 lbs. | Grad Transfer Senior | Hummelstown, Penn.

Likely Role in 2018: In the offensive line rotation at tackle and guard.

After seeming to be in the conversation for a starting spot last year, the former Yellow Jacket settled in as a rotational piece mainly used on special teams. With only the center spot opening up this year, expect Klock to assume much the same role in his final year of eligibility.

Career Stats: 13 appearances (for Northwestern)

78 Sam Stovall

OL | 6-foot-4, 285 lbs. | Freshman | Chattanooga, Tenn.

Likely Role in 2018: Will probably redshirt.

Stovall, a journalism major, is an incoming three-star recruit. He’ll probably mostly play tackle when he gets on the field, but with Northwestern’s veteran offensive line depth there’s little to no chance that he will see action this season.

Career Stats: None.

77 Jesse Meyler

OL | 6-foot-4, 298 lbs. | Redshirt Sophomore | Toronto, Ontario

Likely Role in 2018: Back of the rotation at tackle.

Meyler saw the field for the first time at the end of the season last year, but with plenty of bodies in front of him, the Canadian likely won’t see much more action in 2018. He may rotate in on special teams and for a couple of plays here in there, but barring injuries that will likely be the extent of his playing time.

Career Stats: Three appearances.

76 Ethan Wiederkehr

OL | 6-foot-5, 283 lbs. | Redshirt Freshman | Wading River, N. Y.

Likely Role in 2018: Back of the rotation at guard/tackle.

Again, Wiederkehr faces stiff competition for playing time. He has good size, and was ranked the number one guard in New York for his class, but will need some breaks to push himself into the conversation this year.

Career Stats: None.

75 Ben Oxley

DT | 6-foot-6, 292 lbs. | Senior | Avon Lake, Ohio

Likely Role in 2018: Firmly ensconced in the defensive tackle rotation.

First a defensive tackle, then a guard, then back to the defensive side of things once more, Oxley made an impact in 2017 despite his positional upheaval. Appearing in all thirteen games, the tallest member of Northwestern’s defense didn’t stand out, but acquitted himself well enough to earn consistent playing time. That should be the story once again for his final year in Evanston.

Career Stats: 14 tackles, 1 forced fumble

74 Payne He’Bert

OL | 6-foot-4, 285 lbs. | Freshman | Pearland, Texas

Likely Role in 2018: Will probably redshirt.

The former power lifter is a relatively raw tackle prospect, and will get the chance to hone his game behind the presumptive starters (Rashawn Slater and Blake Hance) and the rest of a pretty deep rotation. It would be a surprise to see He’Bert get significant playing time this season.

Career Stats: None.

73 Gunnar Vogel

OT | 6-foot-6, 286 lbs. | Redshirt Sophomore | Columbus, Ohio

Likely Role in 2018: In the two-deep at tackle.

As the Wildcats scrambled to figure out their starting tackle spots to begin last year, Vogel got significant playing time. But he struggled against Duke, and faded to the background for the rest of the season. Vogel should see time at tackle this year, but it’s unlikely that he will once again contend for a starting role.

Career Stats: Two appearances.

72 Blake Hance

OT | 6-foot-5, 310 lbs. | Senior | Jacksonville, Ill.

Likely Role in 2018: Starting left tackle.

The fifth-year senior has had a volatile career, with a promising freshman campaign turning into significant struggles his sophomore year. But after starting last season at guard, he seemed to settle into his role as left tackle for the last nine games. If Hance can show even a modicum of consistency this year, the talented tackle could help steady an offensive line that can ill afford another slow start.

Career Stats: 38 appearances, 34 starts.

71 Tommy Doles

OG | 6-foot-4, 296 lbs. | Senior | Grand Rapids, Mich.

Likely Role in 2018: Starting right guard

Doles will be one of the anchors of this offensive line for the second year in a row. The versatile senior has finally been able to settle into a spot over the past two seasons, and the rest of the line has been the better for it. After a strong junior campaign, the Wildcats need Doles to take care of business for another season, and the veteran leader looks primed to do so.

Career Stats: 32 appearances, 26 starts.

70 Rashawn Slater

OT | 6-foot-3, 314 lbs. | Sophomore | Sugar Land, Texas

Likely Role in 2018: Starting right tackle

Slater blossomed over the course of last year, steadying after a rocky start to become a pleasant surprise at right tackle. Named the best rookie tackle in the country by PFF, another season of improvement could turn the promising youngster into a true force to be reckoned with, and a potential NFL-level talent.

Career Stats: 13 starts