2018 NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS FOOTBALL PREVIEW

HEAD COACH: Pat Fitzgerald, 13TH SEASON

RECORD AT SCHOOL: 87 – 65

CAREER RECORD: 87 – 65

2017 RECORD: 10 – 3, 7 – 2 Big Ten

OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Mick McCall

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Mike Hankwitz

STADIUM: Ryan Field (47,130)

 

2018 SCHEDULE

August 30 at Purdue

September 8 Duke

September 15 Akron

September 29 Michigan

October 6 at Michigan State

October 13 Nebraska

October 20 at Rutgers

October 27 Wisconsin

November 3 Notre Dame

November 10 at Iowa

November 17 at Minnesota

November 24 Illinois

 

2017 RESULTS

Nevada 31 – 20

Duke 17 – 41

Bowling Green 49 – 7

Wisconsin 24 – 33

Penn State 7 – 31

Maryland 37 – 21

Iowa 17 – 10 OT

Michigan State 39 – 31 3OT

Nebraska 31 – 24 OT

Purdue 23 – 13

Minnesota 39 – 0

Illinois 42 – 7

Kentucky 24 – 23

 

2017 STATS – OFFENSE

SCORING: 29.2

RUSHING: 174.2

PASSING: 233.8

TOTAL: 408.0

 

2017 STATS – DEFENSE

SCORING 20.1

RUSHING: 107.7

PASSING: 249.5

TOTAL: 357.2

 

FIVE – YEAR WINNING TREND

2013: 5 – 7

2014: 5 – 7

2015: 10 – 3

2016: 7 – 6

2017: 10 – 3

 

RETURNING STARTERS OFFENSE: 7

RETURNING STARTERS DEFENSE: 6

 

RETURNING LEADERS:

PASSING: Clayton Thorson, 262 – 434 –2,844 – 15TD – 12INT

RUSHING: Jeremy Larkin, 84 – 503 – 5TD

RECEIVING: Flynn Nagel, 48 – 489 – 2TD

TACKLES: Paddy Fisher, 113

SACKS: Joe Gaziano, 9.0

INTERCEPTIONS: Montre Hartage, 3

 

2018 TOP 10 RECRUITS

Devon O’Rourke, DE Mokena, Illinois

Andrew Leota, DE Asheville, North Carolina

Khalid Jones, LB Duncan, South Carolina

Wyatt Blake, G Crystal Lake, Illinois

Greg Newsome, CB Chicago, Illinois

Isaiah Bowser, RB Sidney, Ohio

Jason Whittaker, QB Rockford, Michigan

Jeremiah McDonald, S Slidell, Louisiana

Jacob Jefferson, WR Houston, Texas

Payne He’Bert, OT Pearland, Texas

 

OFFENSE PREVIEW

Northwestern returns seven starters on offense including players in key positions. The Wildcats have a veteran offensive line and expectations are high for a group that returns four starters. LT Blake Hance, LG JB Butler, RG Tommy Doles and RT Rashawn Slater anchor the front five. Slater has the ability to be in All-Big 10 performer.

Quarterback Clayton Thorson will need protection after coming off an ACL tear in Northwestern’s bowl game against Kentucky. He is hoping to be ready for the August 30 season opener against Purdue, but just in case Coach Fitzgerald and his staff are prepping Junior TJ Green, Aiden Smith or redshirt freshman Andrew Marty. Thorson threw for nearly 3,000 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2017.

Northwestern’s skill positions are in good shape with the return of leading receiver Flynn Nagel. Nagel caught 48 passes for 489 yards last season. He’ll be joined by Ben Skowronek, Solomon Vault, Jace James, Jelani Roberts and Riley Lees. Cam Green and Trey Pugh will be the top two tight ends.

Coach Fitzgerald must find a way to replace all – time leading rusher Justin Jackson. Jeremy Larkin is the most likely candidate after averaging 6.0 yards per carry as Jackson’s backup in 2017.

 

DEFENSE PREVIEW

This could be the strength of Northwestern football in 2018. The Wildcats have All-Big 10 candidates in junior DE Joe Gaziano, sophomore DE Samdup Miller and sophomore LB Paddy Fisher. Gaziano and Miller combined for 14.5 sacks and 16 quarterback hurries in 2017. Fisher forced four fumbles which tied for the Big Ten lead. Senior linebacker Nate Hall led Northwestern with 16.5 tackles for loss to go along with 5.0 sacks and two interceptions. DT Jordan Thompson will step in for the graduated Tyler Lancaster. Depth at linebacker will be a concern for Northwestern, but Blake Gallagher and Nathan Fox are both expected to vie for playing time on the outside.

CB Montre Hartage is the lone starter in the secondary. He will be joined by corner Trae Williams and safeties JR Pace and Jared McGee. Alonzo Mayo and Roderick Campbell will be solid backups.

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kicker Charlie Kuhbander was solid in his sophomore season, but the Wildcats are hoping he can extend his distance. Only two of his 13 field goals last season were beyond 39 yards. Northwestern will be looking for a new punter this fall, but they will get kick returner Solomon Vault back following an injury.

 

PREDICTION

Northwestern has plenty of momentum after surprising many around the country with 10 wins last season. Much will depend on the health of quarterback Clayton Thorson. He is extremely smart, has a big arm and is a competitor. With question marks about his health and the loss of running back Justin Jackson, the Wildcats will need both the offensive and defensive lines to increase their level of play. The schedule is difficult but the good news is they don’t play Ohio State and Penn State this season.

 

PROJECTED RECORD: 6 – 6, 5 – 4 Big Ten

 

COACH PAT FITZGERALD’S COMMENTS AT BIG 10 MEDIA DAYS

THE MODERATOR: We’re joined by Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald.

PAT FITZGERALD: Obviously a great honor and a privilege for me to be here as the head football coach at Northwestern. Seems like yesterday that I started off the first year, and now 13 years later, time sure does fly.

I appreciate what you all do for our game, for Northwestern, for the Big Ten Conference and most especially for our players. Obviously the branding opportunities that they get and the stories and their personal stories and journeys that you tell about them and their families are ones that they’ll live with for a lifetime.

We appreciate absolutely all you do. I’d like to welcome Scott Frost to the Big Ten. Obviously it’s great to only have one coaching change. It’s pretty rare to only have one. So it’s great to only have one. And I want to welcome Scott and his family to the Big Ten Conference.

Exciting times in Evanston. I’m so proud of our young men. Another stellar academic year team GPA of 3.2. Team record. And obviously led the conference in academic All Big Ten performers and distinguished scholars and led the nation in APR in graduation success rates. We do not take that for granted. It’s the young men that we recruit. It’s the families that we recruit. It’s great academic support and we’re absolutely incredibly proud of the job our young men do.

Obviously it’s been well documented about our new home, Walter Athletics Center and Ryan Fieldhouse. We’ve been in there for roughly about five and a half weeks now, and to see the improvement and efficiency and the day-to-day opportunities for our guys as we’re now fully integrated to our campus.

We’re not quite sure how great it’s going to be yet this fall because this summer’s been absolutely spectacular. We’re incredibly thankful and grateful for our great president, Morty Schapiro; our trustees; the best director of athletics in Jim Phillips; and amazing donor families and we look forward to obviously making everyone proud that made that a reality. When I walked in there the first day, the first thing that jumped out to me were the young men that played here and the coaches that played here before us.

We stand upon their shoulders and we’re incredibly grateful for the opportunity to move into what’s been documented as the best facility in college athletics.

Now to have the longest winning streak in FBS football right now with eight, going into the opener obviously is going to be a huge challenge against Purdue. And our 27 wins over the last three years is our program’s best.

And so a lot of positive momentum obviously in the classroom and on the field, and excited for next Wednesday when we get together and get the season started.

Couple of thank yous, first and foremost, to Jerry Brown, our great retired assistant head football coach with us for 25 years. I wish him and Denise a great retirement and a ton of fun. And Randy Bates, our great linebacker coach, has moved on to the opportunity to be DC at Pitt.

With those two guys departing us, we’re very thankful to them and their families, but incredibly excited to add Jeff Genyk as our special teams coordinator. Jeff was my coach in my last college game. It’s his third stop at Northwestern, and he’ll coordinate our special teams. And bringing Lou Ayeni in to coach our running backs, who I had the privilege to coach, and was one of our GAs, along with Timmy McGarigle, who will coach our linebackers and who had the privilege to recruit and coach and was one of our GAs. Great to have.

Although what looks like change from the outside, great continuity bringing back guys with fresh ideas with those that have been a part of the Wildcat family in the past. Excited to have them be a part of our football family again.

We’ve had a great summer. We’ve set numbers of records, personal bests in the weight room. Jay Hooten and his staff have done a terrific job. Look forward to hopefully taking that work we’ve done now since January and kicking the season off the right way as we get going next Wednesday. Thank you for all that you do.

THE MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. Paddy Fisher named to the preseason honors. What do you make of the narratives that have labeled him as a mini you or a baby Fitz?
PAT FITZGERALD: I don’t think that’s fair for him. He’s a much better athlete. Paddy Fisher is an absolute terrific football player. You look at his body of work from just one season, I think it speaks for itself.

He’s a big man. He’s all, of course, 245 pounds. He can run, and he’s obviously very physical. He’s got a great football IQ. That comes from his pedigree in high school, one of the powerhouse programs in the country from Katy, Texas. Just so proud of him in year one and look forward to him to continue to grow and get better.

Q. You mentioned the longest FBS winning streak right now. Tough first game against Purdue. Last year you guys started 2-3. How big is it for you guys to take that momentum, from last season, which is tough, and hit the ground running this year against Purdue?
PAT FITZGERALD: I knocked that out of my memory, so let’s not talk about the beginning of last year. It was a tough start, two years in a row, frankly. And prior to that we won every opener and had been very competitive I think earlier in the year.

You look at everything in the offseason, especially when you’ve been at a place as long as I have. You look at the way you practice. You look at the way you train: Do we give our guys enough rest, do we feel like we’re out of training camp going. There’s all the things that you overanalyze. But I think you hang your hat on your process and you really talk at length with your players.

You heighten the awareness of what we need to do, and obviously you have the challenge of the opener of going on the road, playing an incredibly well-coached team. Coach Brohm and his staff did an outstanding job last year. We already knew they were very talented at Purdue from the years we played them in the past. But that glue got all put together a year ago. And to have it in the opener will be a huge challenge for us on the road.

But with a challenge comes an opportunity. And I expect our guys to prepare properly in camp, and I don’t really need to motivate them a whole lot. I think we know what the task is that is at hand.

Q. What are your goals for your opening game?
PAT FITZGERALD: Goals for the opening game is to find a way to win. I’ve been doing this long enough to keep it simple. You know, as I look at that challenge, like I said earlier, it’s going to be huge. I mean, anytime you go on the road to play a conference opponent, regardless if it’s September or November, it’s a huge challenge. And we know what the task is at hand.

Q. With sports betting now becoming legal in several states and it’s probably going to be legal in more states moving forward, is it important for college football programs to become more transparent with their injuries?
PAT FITZGERALD: I think it’s, first and foremost, important that we educate our guys and the understanding of the issues that surround gambling and understand from a standpoint of what may end up happening to them in dorms, people asking them questions that maybe they’ve never been asked before. These new instant friends that they have as true freshmen, things of that nature. So the education piece is really going to be important.

You know, we have an injury report at Northwestern that we’ve done for a number of years. I’ve been accused of sometimes being honest and sometimes being less than honest.

I would agree with that. You know, quite frankly. But if we move forward to where we have to have a fully transparent conference-wide or national one, I’d have no problem with that, as long as we adhere to it.

There needs to be accountability. If there’s not accountability to it, then I’ll do whatever I have to do to protect our players, first and foremost, and protect our program second, in full disclosure of transparency.

Q. Pat, seems every year at this event people are talking about the East versus the West and kind of the power balance there about which side of the division is stronger. In your opinion, playing in the West, do you feel that the West is beginning to catch up, or do you feel that there are things that have happened in the West facilities or coaches that have reshaped the way the west looks?
PAT FITZGERALD: You know, Mike, it’s a great question. I heard it asked earlier when I was eating my lunch. I think there’s great competitive balance top to bottom in this league.

As I look at where we’re at in the West right now, I think there’s incredibly well-coached football teams. As I mentioned about adding Scott this year, you look at the success he’s had the last few years, unbelievable. And Nebraska has always been a powerhouse, and they’ll be back. I know that, as a college football fan first.

You look at everybody in our conference, I think we’re as competitive as anywhere in the country. We’ve got a winning record in the last few years against the East. So we’re doing our part. We’ve just got to get to Indy to really do our part. That’s obviously the next task at hand.

Q. Obviously replacing Justin Jackson is no easy task. What have you seen from the running backs in the offseason, your expectations for them moving forward?
PAT FITZGERALD: You can’t replace Justin Jackson. That’s impossible. I’ve been fortunate to be here at Northwestern for a number of years where I’ve had a number of backs like Justin. I was texting with Tyrell Sutton a few weeks ago coming back to be an honorary captain.

When I was up here, I was asked about him: How do you replace Tyrell? You just don’t. That footprint in the sand is so large. It’s now somebody’s opportunity. I think we saw a lot of Jeremy Larkin last year. I think his yards for carry might have been better than Saquon’s. Maybe a little smaller body of work, but just as explosive. I thought the bowl game was a really good showing by him.

Two years ago John Moten had a great campaign, battled through injuries. And we’ve got more guys that as we move through camp I think we’ve got great competitive depth there, and I expect that room to be very competitive from the standpoint of not only who is going to start but who is going to play, not only in the backfield but a lot of different roles for our offense and our football team in the kicking game.

Q. This new redshirt rule that comes into play this year, how does that affect you guys, and how do you guys plan to utilize that?
PAT FITZGERALD: I’m fired up about that rule. I think there’s a lot of coaches in the country excited about it. First of all, it’s great for players. I was one of those really below-average guys that played as a true freshman. I was the best of the worst. And it was not a very good experience for our defense when I was out there. I would have been a lot better if I only played in four games, I promise you that.

But you talk to any young man you recruit, they all want to play. The hardest year for any young player is the year that he sits out as he comes into college. So now that we have the opportunity to motivate them through the opportunity to play and then still have that redshirt in our place, the opportunity to go to graduate school at Northwestern, you know, it’s still really sacred to me. So I’ll make sure that I manage that the right way.

But as we get into really the meat of October and November, I think it gives us an opportunity when maybe we have some guys that are banged up the opportunity to maybe plug a guy in here or there to continue to have us have competitive depth, especially in a place like Northwestern, we’ve got 27 great young men that walk on, that group gets added to the mix, too, along with our scholarship players from a standpoint of opportunity to hopefully bolster our special teams if not anything else. So I think it’s great from a health and safety standpoint. And also obviously for us for the flexibility from a coaching standpoint, it’s huge.

Q. Given the way many of us got to know you, which was as kind of unheralded player who helped lead Northwestern’s initial push to the Rose Bowl and all of that, the underdog narrative, so to speak, has always really seemed to suit you. So now you’ve got this best facilities in the land. It’s a completely different place to come from. Does leading from the front, so to speak, does that suit you too? How do you feel you’ll do with that?
PAT FITZGERALD: I think it’s a little bit quick for leading from the front. We haven’t won any Big Ten championships in a while. I think it comes down to the products you put on the field. It comes to support. It shows we’re all in as a program. We made a total commitment to our athletes. Maybe we’re in the past and you think especially the guys that played for us in the ’70s and ’80s that commitment was not there.

And now to see the leadership at our university step up and make that type of commitment, I believe gives us an opportunity to compete for championships now at a consistent basis. And that’s always been my expectation, but now this gives us an opportunity in my opinion to be able to do that.

It’s one thing to be consistently a bowl team, consistently successful on the field. It’s another thing to consistently compete for championships. And we’re not there yet. But I believe this commitment to our facilities but most importantly to our student-athletes gives us every opportunity to do that.

 

2018 ROSTER

2018 Football Roster

2             Flynn Nagel        WR         5-11       194        Sr.          Lemont, Ill. / Lemont

3             Trae Williams     DB          6-0         212        Jr.           The Plains, Ohio / Athens

4             Solomon Vault   WR         5-10       192        Sr.          Gaithersburg, Md. / Gaithersburg

5             Charlie Fessler    WR         6-3         210        Jr.           Erie, Pa. / Cathedral Prep

6             Jelani Roberts    WR         5-8         172        Sr.          Owings Mills, Md. / The Gilman School

7             Travis Whillock  DB          6-1         205        So.         Katy, Texas / Katy

8             Kyric McGowan WR         5-10       191        So.         Dalton, Ga. / Dalton

9             Roderick Campbell           DB          6-0         193        Jr.           St. Louis, Mo. / Chaminade College Prep

10           TJ Green              QB          6-2         202        Jr.           Leawood, Kan. / Rockhurst

10           Alonzo Mayo      DB          5-11       188        Jr.           Baltimore, Md. / The Gilman School

11           Aidan Smith        QB          6-2         205        So.         Fort Wayne, Ind. / Carroll

13           Andrew Marty   QB          6-3         218        R-Fy.      Cincinnati, Ohio / Wyoming

13           JR Pace                DB          6-1         193        So.         College Park, Ga. / Woodward Academy

14           Charlie Kuhbander            K             6-0         189        So.         Springboro, Ohio / Springboro

15           Jace James          6-0         194        So.         Carol Stream, Ill. / Glenbard North

16           Berkeley HolmanWR       5-11       176        R-Fy.      Irvine, Calif. / Saint John Bosco

17           Jalen Brown        WR         6-1         198        Sr.          Phoenix, Ariz. / Mountain Pointe

17           Daniel Kubiuk     P             6-1         210        Sr.          Barrington, Ill. / Barrington

18           Cameron Ruiz     DB          5-11       168        R-Fy.      Lake Villa, Ill. / Lakes Community

18           Clayton Thorson               QB          6-4         225        Sr.          Wheaton, Ill. / Wheaton North

19           Riley Lees            WR         6-0         193        So.         Libertyville, Ill. / Libertyville

20           John Moten IV   RB          6-0         203        Jr.           St. Louis, Mo. / John Burroughs School

22           Bryce Jackson    DB          6-1         188        R-Fy.      Lantana, Texas / John H. Guyer

23           Steven Reese     WR         6-2         208        Jr.           Buford, Ga. / Buford

24           Alex Bousky        RB          5-11       170        Sr.          Peoria, Ill. / Peoria Notre Dame

24           Montre Hartage CB         6-0         195        Sr.          Cordele, Ga. / Crisp County

25           Isaiah Bowser     RB          6-1         205        Fy.          Sidney, Ohio / Sidney

25           Austin Hiller        DB          6-2         197        R-Fy.      Lakeway, Texas / Lake Travis

26           Brian Bullock      DB          5-11       193        So.         Round Rock, Texas / Round Rock

26           Chad Hanaoka   RB          5-6         188        Sr.          Honolulu, Hawaii / ‘Iolani School

27           Jeremiah McDonald        DB          6-3         187        Fy.          Slidell, La. / Northshore High

28           Jeremy Larkin     RB          5-10       194        So.         Cincinnati, Ohio / La Salle

29           Greg Newsome II             DB          6-1         170        Fy.          Chicago, Ill. / IMG Academy (Fla.)

32           Nate Hall             LB           6-2         230        Sr.          Toledo, Ohio / Southview

34           Chee Anyanwu   LB           6-2         204        R-Fy.      Buford, Ga. / Buford

35           Erik Mueller        LB           6-2         225        So.         Wheaton, Ill. / Wheaton North

36           Jesse Brown       RB          5-11       198        So.         Lilburn, Ga. / Brookwood

37           Cody Gronewold              P             6-1         170        R-Fy.      Lincoln, Neb. / Northeast

37           Donovan Sermons            DB          5-11       185        R-Fy.      Pomona, Calif. / Damien

38           Drew Luckenbaugh          K/P         6-1         206        So.         Spring Grove, Pa. / Spring Grove

39           Mason Weissenhofer      K             6-1         210        Jr.           Planfield, Ill. / Montini Catholic

40           Peter McIntyre  LB           6-2         221        R-Fy.      Perrysburg, Ohio / Saint Johns’ Jesuit

41           Jared McGee      S             6-1         220        Sr.          Mansfield, Texas / Mansfield Legacy

42           Paddy Fisher       LB           6-4         245        So.         Katy, Texas / Katy

43           Tyler Gillikin        LS           6-2         220        So.         Atlanta, Ga. / Westminster

44           Khalid Jones       LB           6-1         225        Fy.          Greenville, S.C. / Byrnes

44           James Prather    SB           6-4         265        Sr.          Memphis, Tenn. / Memphis University School

45           Nathan Fox         LB           6-2         230        Jr.           Houston, Texas / Clear Lake

46           Troy Hudetz        LB           6-2         222        So.         Naperville, Ill. / Naperville Central

47           Joe Bergin           DB          5-11       200        Jr.           Bloomfield Hills, Mich. / Detroit Country Day

48           Peter Snodgrass               LS           6-0         203        R-Fy.      Palo Alto, Calif. / Palo Alto

49           Chris Bergin        LB           5-11       200        So.         Bloomfield Hills, Mich. / Detroit Country Day

50           Jango Glackin     LB           6-0         225        So.         Lebanon, Ohio / IMG Academy (Fla.)

51           Blake Gallagher LB           6-1         221        So.         Raynham, Mass. / Saint Sebastian’s

52           Sam Gerak          OL          6-3         278        R-Fy.      Avon, Ohio / Avon

53           Andrew Leota    DL          6-4         218        Fy.          Asheville, N.C. / Asheville

54           Trent Goens       DL          6-3         254        Jr.           Chino Hills, Calif. / Chino Hills

55           Mark Gooden     DE          6-1         251        So.         Reynoldsburg, Ohio / Reynoldsburg

57           Cam Kolwich       OL          6-5         292        So.         Beverly Hills, Mich. / Orchard Lake St. Mary’s

59           J.B. Butler            OL          6-3         305        Sr.          Plainfield, Ill. / Joliet Catholic

61           Jason Goosen     OL          6-7         302        So.         Virginia Beach, Va. / Tallwood

65           Jared Thomas     OL          6-4         285        Jr.           Indianapolis, Ind. / Cathedral

66           Nik Urban            OL          6-3         300        So.         Willoughby, Ohio / Willoughby South

70           Rashawn Slater  OL          6-3         289        So.         Sugar Land, Texas / Clements

71           Tommy Doles     OL          6-4         292        Sr.          Grand Rapids, Mich. / Grand Rapids Christian

72           Blake Hance       OL          6-5         300        Sr.          Jacksonville, Ill. / Jacksonville

73           Gunnar Vogel     OL          6-6         285        So.         Columbus, Ohio / Westerville South

75           Ben Oxley            DL          6-6         286        Sr.          Avon Lake, Ohio / Avon Lake

76           Ethan Wiederkehr            OL          6-5         273        R-Fy.      Wading River, N.Y. / Shoreham-Wading River

77           Jesse Meyler       OL          6-4         306        So.         Toronto, Ontario / Episcopal (Va.)

79           Trey Klock           OL          6-4         285        Sr.          Hummelstown, Pa. / Lower Dauphin

80           Trey Pugh            SB           6-4         236        So.         Plain City, Ohio / Jonathan Adler

81           Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman     WR         6-2         199        So.         Minneapolis, Minn. / Breck

82           Alex Oelsner       SB           6-4         233        R-Fy.      Niwot, Colo. / Niwot

83           Will Lansbury      WR         6-2         196        R-Fy.      Pebble Beach, Calif. / Stevenson

84           Cameron Green SB           6-3         230        Jr.           Buffalo Grove, Ill. / Stevenson

85           Jackson Tirmonia              WR         6-3         196        So.         Canton, Ohio / Jackson

86           Cody Link            SB           6-3         238        So.         Madison, Wis. / Edgewood

87           Eric Eshoo           SB           6-4         232        So.         Chicago, Ill. / Loyola Academy

88           Bennett Skowronek         WR         6-4         218        Jr.           Fort Wayne, Ind. / Homestead

90           Jake Saunders     DT          6-2         295        So.         Loveland, Ohio / Loveland

91           Samdup Miller   DL          6-3         261        So.         Houston, Texas / Stratford

92           Fred Wyatt         DL          6-4         290        Sr.          Lawrence, Kan. / Free State

93           Joe Spivak           DL          6-0         290        So.         Darien, Ill. / Montini Catholic

94           Tommy Carnifax               DE          6-3         260        So.         Warren, Ohio / Howland

95           Alex Miller           DL          6-3         280        Jr.           Houston, Texas / Stratford

96           Trevor Kent         DE          6-6         262        R-Fy.      Pittsburg, Kan. / Pittsburg

97           Joe Gaziano        DL          6-4         280        Jr.           Scituate, Mass. / Xaverian Brothers

98           Earnest Brown IV             DE          6-5         257        So.         Aubrey, Texas / Billy Ryan

99           Jordan Thompson            DL          6-3         290        Sr.          Cincinnati, Ohio / LaSalle

 

Coaching Staff

Pat Fitzgerald     Dan and Susan Jones Family Head Football Coach

Lou Ayeni            Assistant Coach (Running Backs/Recruiting Coordinator)

Adam Cushing    Assistant Coach (Offensive Line)

Jeff Genyk           Special Teams Coordinator

Mike Hankwitz   Defensive Coordinator

Bob Heffner        Assistant Coach (Superbacks)

Marty Long         Assistant Coach (Defensive Line)

Matt MacPherson            Associate Head Coach (Defensive Backs)

Mick McCall        Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach

Tim McGarigle   Assistant Coach (Linebackers)

Dennis Springer Assistant Coach (Wide Receivers)

Chris Bowers      Director of Player Personnel

Cody Cejda         Director of Football Operations and Strategy

Darby Dunnagan              Director of Video Operations

Jay Hooten          Director of Sports Performance for Football

Jacob Schmidt    Director of Player Development and Football Relations

Bryan Payton      Director of Recruiting Communications

Jonny Kovach     Director of Recruiting Operations

John Holloway   Assistant Director of Football Operations

Tim Brandon       Graduate Assistant (Offense)

Erik Frazier          Graduate Assistant (Offense)

Deonte Gibson   Graduate Assistant (Defense)

Kevin Koch          Graduate Assistant (Defense)