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Kenton Playko, Northwestern Wildcats football, No. 77

WHO WANTS TO TALK ABOUT BACKUP OFFENSIVE LINEMEN?!??!! Kenton Playko is one, after redshirting his freshman year.

Grant Halverson

It's our first stop in backup offensive lineman-ville! Today we talk about Kenton Playko, a 6'5, 270-pound offensive tackle who redshirted his first season at Northwestern. Will he see an increase in play...ko-ing time in 2013? Maybe, and the fact that I just typed that awful sentence makes me worry about my very sense of sanity. Anyway, let's talk Kenton.

Origin myth

Playko comes from Lewis Center, Ohio, which is just a twitch north of Columbus, home of The Columbus' Big Ten Team. He played at Olentangy High School, which now presumably redirects to Land-Grant Holy Land High School. Anyway, the thing about writing these posts is, offensive linemen don't have any stats, man! But whatever. He ended up as the No. 55 offensive tackle in the nation per Scout and No. 80 per ESPN. He had offers from West Virginia, Indiana, Cincinnati, and some MAC schools, but when Northwestern offered in the March before his senior year, he jumped on it, committing less than a week later and nearly a year before his signing day.

at Northwestern

Dude redshirted.

Anagram of choice

Discovering the Wildcats' true inner selves through spelling

Kenton Playko, anagrammed, is


Offensive linemen are the oxen of the football field, big and powerful, strapped in with some dude behind them standing up and pointing stuff out, useless if unyoked. Plankton are lil tiny organisms that just kinda float around in the ocean, completely devoid of power and possibly the life forms least helpful in a yoke. I don't really see the connection, either.


Kenton tweets at @Dr_Playko, and has one of the more entertaining twitters of an NU football player.

3/4 ain't bad for me. (I wore a tank top junior year. This year was a bow tie, snapback, frat shades, and I wrote NEVER GRADUATE on the inside of my arms.)

It's pronounced "Erf", Kenton.

Relevant musical selection


"Back Then", Mike Jones Not my favorite Mike Jones song -- Still Tippin', obvs -- but I had to include one where he drops his phone number.

How he can help

Northwestern's offensive line loses probably its two best players from last year in Patrick Ward and Brian Mulroe and had several players injured for spring ball. Depth is of importance just in terms of being able to have a functional football team as Inside NU wrote, and Playko provides that.

Depth chart projection

We don't have Playko listed on our depth chart -- it seems like he's the fifth man out in a tackle battle with four spots on the two-deep. After his redshirt freshman year, Playko is still listed at 270 pounds, tied for the lightest of any Northwestern offensive lineman. With bigger, more experienced players still ahead of him, Playko is likely still at the point of his career where he needs to gain practice reps and bulk up before he's a major part of Northwestern's offense. He has an outside shot at cracking the two-deep at right tackle, but don't consider it likely.