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Counting down Northwestern football’s roster: 69 to 60

In a set of players that isn’t too populated, we tell you about some more Wildcat linemen.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 01 Big Ten Championship Game - Northwestern v Ohio State Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via 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.

The 60s features six more linemen, including a few on the offensive end that will be crucial in Kurt Anderson’s first full season at the helm.

69: Charlie Schmidt

OL | 6-foot-4, 290 pounds | R-Freshman | Libertyville, IL

Likely Role in 2019: Competing to be a depth piece at guard

The local former three-star will have his work cut out for him if he wants to earn playing time on the interior, even with the offensive line’s overall turmoil and transition heading into this season. Schmidt still doesn’t have quite the size you’d like for a Big Ten guard, but if new offensive line coach Anderson is true to his word, the Libertyville native will have a chance to compete for snaps.

Career Stats: N/A

68: Wyatt Blake

DL/OL | 6-foot-4, 310 pounds | R-Freshman | Crystal Lake, IL

Likely Role in 2019: Just outside of the two-deep on one side of the trenches

Blake was a relatively highly-touted recruit out of high school, with ESPN loving the guard’s potential. However, despite having the size that Schmidt potentially lacks, there hasn’t been much buzz about the former member of Crystal Lake Central, with the official team website even listing him as a defensive lineman. It remains to be seen what he can bring to the table, but with the holes at both defensive tackle and offensive guard coming into the season, he will have a chance, like Schmidt, to at least compete for time in his second season with the program.

Career Stats: N/A

66: Nik Urban

OL | 6-foot-3, 305 pounds | Junior | Willoughby, Ohio

Likely Role in 2019: Starting guard (either side)

Urban actually started three games at guard last season, acquitting himself well at both the right and left guard spots. The junior looked dependable in his limited action, and the Wildcats are hoping that carries over to 2019. Outside of returning full time starters Rashawn Slater and Jared Thomas, Urban has the most experience of anyone in the offensive line room, and will likely be counted on as a crucial member of that unit.

Career Stats: 7 games (3 starts)

65: Jared Thomas

OL | 6-foot-4, 310 pounds | Senior | Indianapolis, IN

Likely Role in 2019: Starting center

By far the most experienced member of the line in terms of total game action, Thomas will be charged with leading a developing unit in his second season as the starting center. In addition to working with a new quarterback, the fifth-year Wildcat will have to captain the five-man line, dictating blitz pickups, other protections, and generally taking charge without much help likely coming from his relatively inexperienced companions. Though he can count on the ever-consistent Rashawn Slater to take care of his job at left tackle, Thomas will still have a ton on his plate.

Career Stats: 37 games (13 starts)

63: Dom D’Antonio

OL | 6-foot-4, 290 pounds | Freshman | Woodstock, GA

Likely Role in 2019: Redshirt

D’Antonio played just two years of high school football, and definitely needs significant time at the next level to develop both his body and his game. It would be shocking to see the three-star recruit contribute meaningfully, but you never know.

Career Stats: N/A

61: Jason Goosen

OL | 6-foot-7, 322 pounds | Junior | Virginia Beach, VA

Likely Role in 2019: Competing for time at right tackle

Goosen, truly a mountain (read that height/weight slash again), is still waiting to see any kind of consistent playing time in his fourth season with the program. He may be the biggest Wildcat, but after being stuck behind Blake Hance and Rashawn Slater at tackle, he will still have an uphill battle for playing time as he competes with Gunnar Vogel, Payne He’Bert, Ethan Wiederkehr, and others at right tackle.

Career Stats: 1 game