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Counting down Northwestern’s roster: 49-40

Here come the linebackers.

NCAA Football: Music Bowl-Kentucky vs Northwestern Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve gone through a litany of predictions for Northwestern’s upcoming football season as over the course of this summer. Now, we’re counting down the roster from 99 down to 0 (thank you, John Raine). We’ll provide stats, background, and an outlook for each player’s role headed into 2020.

Next up is 49-40.

49: Adetomiwa Adebawore

DL | 6-foot-2, 260 lbs. | Sophomore | Kansas City, MO

Likely role in 2020: Second-string defensive end

Adebawore shone in his freshman season, stepping in when the defensive line saw a lot of injury. In 2020, he will likely be a backup tackle behind either Earnest Brown IV or Samdup Miller. Considering he played in eight games in his first year on campus, there is no doubt that Adebawore has both the experience and talent needed to be a regular part of the lineup this year.

Career stats: 6 tackles (5 solo, 1 assisted), 1 sack, 8 games

48: Peter Snodgrass

LS | 6-foot-0, 215 lbs. | Junior | Palo Alto, CA

Likely role in 2020: Backup long snapper

With senior Tyler Gillikan returning, it is unlikely that Snodgrass will see significant playing time this year. Having appeared in just a few games in 2019, he does not have the same experience level as Gillikan — nonetheless, Snodgrass should develop more this season and potentially secure the starting position in 2021.

Career stats: 3 games

48: Owen Bergin

LB | 6-foot-0, 203 lbs. | Freshman | Bloomfield Hills, MI

Likely role in 2020: Redshirt

With the linebackers being the best position group out there for Northwestern (at least by the majority of InsideNU’s standards), it is unlikely that the Michigan-native will get any real action this year.

Career stats: N/A

47: Troy Hudetz

LB | 6-foot-2, 223 lbs. | Senior | Naperville, IL

Likely role in 2020: Reserve player

Although Hudetz got a decent amount of playing time last year, appearing in 11 games as a junior, he likely will not be a regular in the two-deep. Originally a preferred walk on, the Illinois-native has gained a lot of experience in the past three years, but with all three starting linebackers returning, there is just not a high chance he makes it into the lineup.

Career stats: 13 games

46: Hunter Renner

P | 6-foot-1, 195 lbs. | Freshman | Mishawaka, IN

Likely role in 2020: Redshirt

Even despite the loss of both Andrew David and Daniel Kubiuk, Renner is still likely to redshirt his first year on campus. With graduate transfer Derek Adams coming in from Kent State, the starting punter position is pretty much taken already. And, two other returners sit in front of Renner in line: Jake Genyk and Cody Gronewold.

Career stats: N/A

45: Cullen Coleman

LB | 6-foot-3, 220 lbs. | Freshman | Port Chester, NY

Likely role in 2020: Redshirt

Much like Bergin, there simply is not a need for linebackers for the ‘Cats right now. Coleman — who chose Northwestern over Virginia and Alabama according to 247 Sports — will likely come in and redshirt, using the 2020 season as a chance for development.

Career stats: N/A

44: Khalid Jones

LB | 6-foot-1, 233 lbs. | Sophomore | Greenville, SC

Likely role in 2020: Reserve player

Again, this linebacker unit has too much experience and talent for there to be much wiggle room in the lineup. Jones, who was an early enrollee in 2018, still has three seasons left with the ‘Cats and will likely see more playing time in 2021. The four-star prospect may be used as a backup throughout 2020, but Jones will focus most of his attention on development.

Career stats: 2 games

43: Tyler Gillikin

LS | 6-foot-2, 217 lbs. | Senior | Atlanta, GA

Likely role in 2020: Starting long snapper

Gillikin will return as the starting long snapper for the ‘Cats this season. Having appeared in all 14 games his sophomore season and 11 as a junior, the walk on has extensive experience and will definitely come back to his starting position in 2020.

Career stats: 38 games, 4 total tackles

42: Paddy Fisher

LB | 6-foot-4, 246 lbs. | Senior | Katy, TX

Likely role in 2020: Starting MIKE

Ranked InsideNU’s second most important player for the 2020 season, Northwestern fans everywhere are looking to Fisher for a successful senior season. After shining his sophomore year, recording 116 total tackles, Fisher faltered a little in 2019 but is expected to bounce back this year.

Fisher is easily the most important player on the defensive side of the ball. Whether or not he performs will determine how solid the defense is — if he can return to his high tackle numbers, he will be a serious threat to the run, and with some improvement, he can be to the pass as well. He is an undeniable talent, and the ‘Cats are lucky to have him back for his final year.

Career stats: 39 games, 318 total tackles (168 solo, 150 assisted), 2 sacks, 3 interceptions, 11 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovered

41: Grayson Mann

LB | 6-foot-0, 220 lbs. | Sophomore | Fort Worth, TX

Likely role in 2020: Reserve player

Mann saw action in just three games in 2019, the same as the year before when he redshirted his first year on campus. A three-star out of Texas, Mann will need to gain some experience before he will see a more permanent role in the deep linebacker rotation.

Career stats: 6 games, 2 total tackles

40: Peter McIntyre

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

Likely role in 2020: Backup WILL

The Ohio native started off primarily on special teams as a redshirt freshman, but soon moved over to linebacker in 2019 before appearing in 11 games that season. As a junior now, he has the playing experience needed to be a solid backup, but with Blake Gallagher ahead of him in the lineup, he won’t be seeing the field as a starter anytime soon.

Career stats: 17 games, 5 total tackles (4 solo, 1 assisted)