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Northwestern in the NFL: Season Recap, Awards, Highlights

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A monumental season.

NFL: Preseason-New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Chargers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Well, the pro ‘Cats came up just short.

The Green Bay Packers and their four former NU players fell to San Francisco in the NFC Championship this past weekend, thus officially putting an end to the season for Northwestern in the NFL. Former Northwestern quarterback Mike Kafka still has the chance to become a Super Bowl Champion as a coach for the Chiefs, but player championship dreams will have to wait until next season.

That said, it was a monumental year for Northwestern grads in the NFL. Massive strides were made across the board as former ‘Cats continuously made headlines on both sides of the ball.

Here’s a look at the final stat lines for each pro ‘Cat:

Season Stats

Defense/Special Teams

Anthony Walker, Jr. - LB, Indianapolis Colts

Season Stats: 16 games / 123 tackles / 6 TFL / 2.5 sacks / 1 INT / 1 Forced Fumble

NFL: AFC Divisional Playoff-Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Montre Hartage - S, Miami Dolphins

Season Stats: 4 games / 7 tackles / 1 Pass Defended

NFL: Preseason-Miami Dolphins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Ifeadi Odenigbo - DE, Minnesota Vikings

Season Stats: 16 games / 23 tackles / 7 TFL / 7.0 sacks / 1 Forced Fumble / 2 Fumble Recoveries / 1 TD

Playoff Stats: 2 games / 1 tackle

NFL: NFC Divisional Round-Minnesota Vikings at San Francisco 49ers Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Dean Lowry - DE, Green Bay Packers

Season Stats: 16 games / 47 tackles / 2 TFL / 1 Fumble Recovery / 1 INT

Playoff Stats: 2 games / 3 tackles

NFL: Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Lancaster - DL, Green Bay Packers

Season Stats: 16 games / 47 tackles / 2 TFL / 1 Fumble Recovery / 1 INT

Playoff Stats: 2 games / 4 tackles

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Ibraheim Campbell - SS, Green Bay Packers

Season Stats: 5 games / 12 tackles / 1 Forced Fumble

Playoff Stats: 2 games / 2 tackles

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Jones - LB/Special Teams specialist, Denver Broncos

Season Stats: 12 games / 5 tackles

NFL: Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Sherrick McManis - DB/Special Teams specialist, Chicago Bears

Season Stats: 9 games / 3 tackles / 1 Forced Fumble

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Offense

Danny Vitale - FB, Green Bay Packers

Season Stats: 15 games / 12 targets / 7 catches / 97 yards / 1 carry / 3 yards

Playoff Stats: Inactive

NFL: Denver Broncos at Green Bay Packers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Jackson - RB, Los Angeles Chargers

Season Stats: 7 games / 29 carries / 200 yards / 6.9 YPC / 9 receptions / 22 yards / 5 Kick Returns / 107 Yards

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Austin Carr - WR, New Orleans Saints

Season Stats: 6 games / 4 targets / 1 catch / 9 yards

Playoff Stats: Inactive

NFL: Preseason-New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Chargers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Honorable Mentions: Trevor Siemian (Torn ACL in Week 2), Garrett Dickerson (4 games, no stats)


2019 Season Highlights

Player of the Year - Anthony Walker

The Franchise cemented himself as a top-tier NFL linebacker in his third season. The former fifth-round pick was the heartbeat of a solid Indianapolis defense this year, leading the team in combined tackles with 124 and finishing Top 10 in the NFL leaderboards with 84 solo ones.

The 24-year-old recorded multiple games of 10-plus tackles en route to his second consecutive 100-tackle season, and he’s quietly emerged as one of the more reliable middle linebackers in the league at this point. Don’t be surprised to see Walker making Pro Bowl noise in the coming seasons.

Breakout Player - Ifeadi Odenigbo

This one was easy. After an uneventful rookie season that saw Odenigbo bounce around the league, the second-year end put together a remarkable second half of the season, becoming a contributing member to a fearsome Vikings front seven. He finished third on the team with 7.0 sacks, including a three-game stretch from Week 15-17 where he recorded a sack in three straight games.

The former seventh-round pick seems to have found a place in Minnesota moving forward.

Highlight of the Year - Odenigbo’s Scoop and Score

A no-brainer here. The only regular season TD for a Pro ‘Cat was one to remember.


There were five former NU players drafted into the re-launched XFL in October. The five are Flynn Nagel, Tommy Doles, Jordan Thompson, Kyle Queiro and Hunter Niswander. Roster cuts from 71 to 52 will happen before the season begins on February 8th, so we will hopefully have positive updates on their statuses soon after the Super Bowl.

Also: Tyrell Sutton rushed for 203 yards this season as a member of the Hamilton TigerCats in the CFL.