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Joe Cannon, Northwestern Wildcats football, No. 39

Sorry, Zak Kucera: we're focusing on junior defensive back Joe Cannon for our No. 39 post. He's a walk-on defensive back a few injuries away from playing time.

This goalie is also named Joe Cannon!
This goalie is also named Joe Cannon!
Jeff Vinnick

This is the part of the article where I plead a fitful apology to Zak Kucera, who is also No. 39 for the Northwestern Wildcats.

Dear Zak,

In case you haven't noticed, there are 39 days left until football season. That means I wrote a post about a player who is No. 39 for the Northwestern Wildcats. You've probably noticed that you wear No. 39 for the Wildcats. However, since you are a walk-on kicker/punter whose only chance of playing in 2013 is an injury to one of Northwestern's scholarship kickers and punters, a scenario that seems even less likely than your fellow No. 39 Joe Cannon seeing the field, I have decided to write about him.

Zak, I think you are a wonderful ray of light in all of our lives. I think you are one of the top two players in Northwestern history whose name begins with "Zak Ku-." I think it's pretty neat that you punted and played quarterback in high school, as if you didn't get enough chicks from punting alone.

I hope you understand that this isn't about you. It's about Joe Cannon. When you punt in practice, you should pretend the ball is Joe Cannon's head, and fuel all your rage for being left out of my countdown into kicking it as hard as you can. Perhaps your anger can carry you to a starting punter role, and I can write about you next year. (Note: do not kill Joe Cannon. You will go to jail.)

Sincerest well wishes,

Rodger D. Sherman, Esq.

P.S. We should be together, too.

Onto Joe Cannon! He's a 6'0, 175-pound walk-on cornerback who will be a junior this year.

Origin myth

Cannon hails from Ocomonowoc, Wisconsin, known best for having too many O's and, to me, as being a locale in the Dave Eggers book "You Shall Know Our Velocity!" Anyway, played for Marquette University High School in Milwaukee, which would have worked well if Marquette had a football team, but, sadly, they don't. His brother played for Wisconsin, appearing in a Rose Bowl at linebacker, and Joe was a backup quarterback before switching to corner his senior year. That switch worked out well: he had 13 pass breakups, three picks, and two pick-sixes, earning second-team all-conference honors for a team that went 14-0 and won a Wisconsin state title in Division I, which I'd guess is the smallest level of high school football. (I guess it could also be the biggest, but I doubt it.) (Editor's note: turns out its the biggest!) But being relatively small and having just one year of experience at CB, he didn't get any scholarship offers. Here's a highlight video!

(Yes, they put the pick-six first.)

At Northwestern

Cannon has played one (1) game at Northwestern, last year against South Dakota.

Anagram of choice

Discovering the Wildcats' true inner selves through spelling

Joe Cannon, anagrammed, is

No Con Jean

Not enough letters :(

Relevant musical selection

"Cannon," Busta Rhymes, ft. T.I.

Produced, I believe, by Don Cannon, whose trademark is putting "CANNON! (cannon!)" in every songs. Lil Wayne has a remix of this song, but his voice is really high and annoying and since 2008 I've really, really come to hate him as a human being. I have never hated Busta Rhymes because he's funny, raps quickly and cleverly, and has managed to be relevant for 20 damn years. This is far from his finest work, but the BANGS, as does Cannon's drop. Although I do with he would grow braids again. I range from tolerance to fandom of T.I., and am proud to see him on a No. 1 single in 2013, however unexpected it is.

How he can help

I've already done one walk-on cornerback, Troy Sheppard, and as I noted there, there's no more than three guaranteed players at CB, no more than six scholarship players in the mix, and then it goes to walk-ons like Sheppard and Cannon. Cannon is a junior, and has already participated in a game in his college career, which is more than anybody else in his situation can say. An injury or two, and Cannon could be called on to enter the depth chart. Same thing at safety, where Inside NU put Cannon on the depth chart, and they've actually seen practices so might know better where he fits. Depth chart projection I kinda just said this? As a walk-on, he's not in NU's plans, but not as far out of the realm of possibility as you might expect.