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Jaylen Prater, Northwestern Wildcats football, No. 51

Jaylen Prater played QB in high school, but plays linebacker for Northwestern. He has good Youtube videos.

Doug Pensinger
We're almost halfway there! Jaylen Prater is the lesser of Northwestern's two Praters, but he's a linebacker with background as a quarterback and a fighter, which is pretty nifty if you ask me. Read up on the 6'0, 215-pound redshirt freshman who wears a number that's kinda famous.

Origin myth

Jaylen Prater has one of the more interesting origin myths, sports-wise, that we've done here so far. First off, he's a linebacker for Northwestern, and played linebacker in high school at Hamden (Ohio) Wellston, leading his team in tackles as a senior. But he was also the team's quarterback. It seems like he mainly just ran with the ball, but he does throw a few BOMBS in this video:

As you can see, he also took some kickoff returns, but probably the best play in that video is him decleating an unsuspecting wide receiver on an interception return. (There is also video of him KTFO'ing a kid in a boxing match.) Despite all that versatility, Prater wasn't a particularly highly touted recruit, in part because a high school QB with a lot of running skills is a sort of difficult player to figure out. He was ranked as a two-star outside linebacker by most services and a three-star running back by 247. He had offers from Indiana, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Toledo, and picked Northwestern right before the start of his senior year.

At Northwestern

Prater redshirted last year, as did everybody on the damn planet.

Anagram of choice

Discovering the Wildcats' true inner selves through spelling

Jaylen Prater, anagrammed, is


I don't know, nor do I want to know. (Also considered: "Net reply raja," the Indian monarch of comment sections.)

Number notable


Bryce McNaul was also a talented LB for Northwestern, but anybody wearing No. 51 at Northwestern has big shoes to fill, especially if they're LB's.

How he can help

Prater's obviously got a pretty interesting skill set. Apparently, he prefers linebacker, and apparently, the coaches prefer him at linebacker. It's tough, because Northwestern has a pretty solid linebacking corps. He's a little bit faster and smaller than your average LB, at 6-foot-nothing, 215 pounds, and I'd imagine he's a little bit faster, plus, he probably has a slightly better grasp of opposing offensive schemes than your average LB. Could be an interesting guy at middle linebacker -- the QB of the defense -- if he puts on the size to consistently make tackles there.

Depth chart projection

I haven't really heard much about Prater, and don't have him on our guess at the two-deep. I'm not particularly sure which LB position he plays: Inside NU has him pegged as the third-string middle linebacker, but almost every site considered him an OLB in high school.