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Counting down Northwestern’s roster: 49-40

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We’ve got two long snappers, and that’s what matters. Oh yeah, and Paddy.

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 2019.

We move to the 40s, where we find a variety of linebackers, defensive linemen and, yes, two long snappers.

49: Adetowima Adebawore

DL | 6-foot-2, 260 lbs. | First-year | Kansas City, Missouri

Likely role in 2019: Redshirt

There are so many players vying for time along the defensive front, and he doesn’t come in with a hyped-up pedigree, so it is likely Adebawore redshirts this year. He could still see some limited action in non-critical game situations since he can play in as many as four games before burning his redshirt.

Career Stats: None

48: Peter Snodgrass

LS | 6-foot-0, 215 lbs. | Sophomore | Palo Alto, California

Likely role in 2019: In the two-deep at long snapper

The Palo Alto, Calif., native did not see any action last year as Gillikin was solid at the position. Unless Gillikin goes down with an injury or hits a rough patch, Snodgrass won’t see any game action. He’s in the two-deep, though, and should get practice reps.

Career Stats: None

46: Devin O’Rourke

DL | 6-foot-6, 270 lbs. | Redshirt first-year | Mokena, Illinois

Likely role in 2019: Compete for time on the defensive line

It’s anyone’s guess as to what the defensive line rotation ends up being besides Gaziano, brothers Miller and what should be a healthy dose of Earnest Brown. There are lots of bodies, both with and without experience, who will be gunning for a spot in the rotation, especially with so many natural pass rushers. O’Rourke, a four-star recruit out of high school, clearly has talent, but there are many veterans who are ready to make splashes themselves.

Career Stats: Three games

46: Troy Hudetz

LB | 6-foot-2, 223 lbs. | Junior | Naperville, Illinois

Likely role in 2019: Reserve

The local product hasn’t logged any stats in his three career appearances, and don’t expect much to change this season. After the three projected starters, there are a host of redshirt freshmen who will be eager to prove themselves and earn playing time in what could be Northwestern’s strongest position group this year.

Career Stats: Three games

45: Tommy Carnifax

SB | 6-foot-3, 265 lbs. | Junior | Warren, Ohio

Likely role in 2019: Reserve

Cam Green’s retirement opened up a host of opportunity for the superbacks, but it will likely be Trey Pugh, Charlie Mangieri and Trent Goens competing for playing time. Pugh was the primary backup last year while Mangieri was sparingly used and not featured in the offense. With Carnifax transitioning from the defensive side of the ball, expect most of his usage to come in short-yardage running situations.

Career Stats: Four games

44: Khalid Jones

LB | 6-foot-1, 233 lbs. | Redshirt first-year | Greenville, South Carolina

Likely role in 2019: Compete for time at linebacker

The WILL and MIKE linebacker spots are locked down by Fisher and Gallagher, and Chris Bergin is the projected SAM backer, but there is much less certainty to that. Jones has impressed early in camp, and he has the build for the position. He’ll be competing with several other players for time behind Bergin, but there’s no reason he can’t see some action as one of the top gets of the 2018 recruiting class.

Career Stats: One game

43: Tyler Gillikin

LS | 6-foot-2, 217 lbs. | Junior | Atlanta, Georgia

Likely role in 2019: Starting long snapper

It’s hard to see anyone else taking the job from Gillikin. The former walk-on has started every game since arriving in Evanston, and he’s done a darn good job of long snapping the football. In his redshirt freshman year he was a flawless 67-for-67 on long snaps to punter Hunter Niswander and 60-for-60 on field goals and PATs to place kicker Charlie Kuhbander, according to NUSports.com. Sure, Northwestern’s overall kicking game isn’t a strength, but Gillikin is not to blame.

Career Stats: 27 games

42: Paddy Fisher

LB | 6-foot-4, 246 lbs. | Junior | Katy, Texas

Likely role in 2019: Starting SAM linebacker

Well, here he is. The crown jewel of Northwestern’s defense and arguably the entire program. He’s been compared to a young Fitz since his freshman year, and now it is fully his defense. Fisher has totaled 229 tackles over his first two seasons, tops in the Big Ten. The anchor may face some more challenges this season as Northwestern replaces many members of its strong run defense from last year, and Fisher could see more action bringing down backs if they break through the line more often.

Career Stats: 229 tackles, 14 TFL, 1 sack, 2 INT, 7 passes defended, 8 fumbles forced

41: Grayson Mann

LB | 6-foot-0, 220 lbs. | Redshirt first-year | Fort Worth, Texas

Likely role in 2019: Competing for time at linebacker

Mann is one of the several redshirt freshmen linebackers who will likely be competing for time whether it is at the weak side or behind Fisher or Gallagher. He’ll be tasked with beating out his fellow redshirts, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see Mann with limited action to give the starters a rest or fill in for injured players. Special teams is a good chance for him to see the field, too.

Career Stats: Three games

40: Peter McIntyre

LB | 6-foot-2, 230 lbs. | Sophomore | Perrysburg, Ohio

Likely role in 2019: Reserve or competing for time at linebacker

It’s a similar situation as the one above. The top is set at the linebacker position, and there are few spots available for many players. McIntyre did see some limited action last year mostly on special teams. It seems like that’s the best place for him to make hay at this point.

Career Stats: Five games