In continuing our summer football coverage, we are counting down Northwestern’s Top 10 most important players in 2022. We’ve created a composite averaging the rankings of each of our staffer’s respective lists, revealing who we believe to be the most crucial to the Wildcat’s upcoming success.
However, we know that is up for interpretation. For some, it could mean the value of one player over his backup. It could mean players in crucial roles. It could also mean players who have underperformed and need to step up.
Only one thing is known: no two lists from our staff members are the same. That’s why for each player, we’ll have at least one member break down their placement for the aforementioned player.
No. 10, RB Evan Hull
Sarah Effress (6)
I admit I may have been lingering on the past a bit when I placed Hull at number six on my list considering the potential return of Cam Porter. However, I believe it’s fair to assume Hull proved himself to the point of becoming the presumed 2022 starter if Porter is not absolutely at 100% come week one. We don’t know the status of Porter’s injury and likely won’t until closer to game day, and Hull is more than capable of powering the backfield.
Last season, Hull rushed for the most yards by a Wildcat since Justin Jackson in 2017 — he’s also the first 1,000-yard rusher since Jackson. Evidently, the 2021 offense took several steps down from the year before, but Hull stepped up when he was needed and pulled in nearly half of Northwestern’s rushing yards on the season himself. He now harbors a full season of Big Ten starts under his belt and a talented running back class to work with throughout camp. Andrew Clair adds to Hull’s veteran experience but didn’t stand out enough last year to warrant an appearance on the board. That being said, the work both he and Hull put in in 2021 is a core reason why 2022’s run-game is so highly touted.
Most of our staffers cited the RB room as NU’s strongest heading into the season, and its leader at the moment is Hull. The wealth of this group’s talent looking ahead really lies with Porter and sophomore Anthony Tyus III who will compete with Hull and Clair for playing time in camp. But, I feel Hull’s influence and relative experience among his peers warrants a ranking in the top six, especially what he can do given what is looking to be an improved offensive line up front to block him through.