The Northwestern football program has had some difficult times since winning the Western Division in 2020. The Wildcats have just two conference victories and are 4 – 20 since that division title. Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald has been forced to make some difficult changes in his coaching staff and added players from the transfer portal in order to spark his team in 2023. The Northwestern offense averaged only 13.8 points per game last season and needed a shot in the arm. That’s why they added Cincinnati transfer Ben Bryant as a crucial piece to the puzzle. The defense has just five returning starters and a new defensive co-ordinator.

On offense, the Wildcats were one of the worst in the country in scoring finishing 128th overall. They also finished 123rd in yards per play and 130th in turnovers with 31. OC Mike Bajakian is back despite the poor numbers and he will need to get more out of the group that lost first-round NFL draft pick LT Peter Skoronski. The Wildcats also lose running back Evan Hull, who rushed for 2,732 yards over the last two seasons.

Adding Bryant from Cincinnati will definitely help Northwestern on offense. He has experience and is a proven starter at the Division I level. Bryant will have transfer Cam Johnson as one of his main targets. Johnson had 120 receptions at Vanderbilt before transferring to Arizona State. Michigan transfer AJ Henning was added to the roster after spring practice. Bryce Kirtz and Jacob Gill will also see added playing time.

The running game should still be a strength despite losing Hull. Cam Porter is back after tearing his ACL in 2021. Anthony Tyus III and freshman Joseph Himon will add depth to the running back position.

Tackle Caleb Tiernan will lead a line that has been solid under coach Kurt Anderson.

On defense, David Braun takes over as the DC. Braun comes in from North Dakota State and will have the opportunity to simplify the defense and maximize the players talent.

The secondary is the strength of Northwestern’s defense led by Senior safety Rod Heard II. Cornerback Garnett Hollis Jr. is another key player returning. Other experienced players that Northwestern will count on include safeties Coco Azema and Jeremiah Lewis.

Northwestern’s linebackers will have experience with Bryce Gallagher and Xander Mueller returning with a combined 187 tackles.

Up front the Wildcats will have a new DL coach in Christian Smith. Smith will count on Sean McLaughlin and Aidan Hubbard along with nose tackle Najee Story.   Several transfers will feel the need inside.

On special teams, Northwestern needed upgrades after finishing last in the conference in net punting and both punt and kickoff returns. Luke Akers returns to handle the punting duties, while the Wildcats will look to kicker Jack Olson to continue to be solid in the kicking game. Who will make the returns is still up in the air, but Henning appears to be the favorite in punt returns.

Head coach Pat Fitzgerald is coming off one of his worst seasons going 1 – 11. Fitzgerald had to reshuffle his coaching staff and bring in new blood in order to get things turned back in the right direction. Northwestern had some limitations in the transfer portal, otherwise they would have had more changes in their personnel. A new defensive coordinator will certainly help, but they must find more explosiveness on offense in order to make strides in 2023.


QB Ben Bryant (from Cincinnati)
WR Camron Johnson (from Arizona State)
WR A.J. Henning (from Michigan)
DL Matt Lawson (from Fresno State)
DL Richie Hagarty (from Southern Illinois)
DL Reginald Pearson (from Bethune-Cookman)



QB J.J. McCarthy, Michigan

QB Taulia Tagovailoa, Maryland

QB Kyle McCord, Ohio State

QB Drew Allar, Penn State

RB Blake Corum,  Michigan

RB Braelon Allen,  Wisconsin

RB Donovan Edwards, Michigan

RB TreVeyon Henderson, Ohio State

RB Nicholas Singleton, Penn State

RB  Devin Mockobee, Purdue

RB Miyan Williams, Ohio State

RB Kaytron Allen, Penn State

RB Roman Hemby, Maryland

RB Josh McCray, Illinois

RB Kaleb Johnson, Iowa

RB Anthony Grant, Nebraska

RB Sean Tyler, Minnesota

RB Cam Porter, Northwestern

WR Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State

WR Emeka Egbuka, Ohio State

WR Isaiah Williams, Illinois

WR Chimere Dike, Wisconsin

WR Chris Autman-Bell, Minnesota

WR KeAndre Lambert-Smith, Penn State

WR Jeshaun Jones, Maryland

WR Cam Camper, Indiana

WR Cornelius Johnson, Michigan

WR Daniel Jackson, Minnesota

WR Julian Fleming, Ohio State

WR Tyrese Chambers, Maryland

TE Cade Stover, Ohio State

TE Brevyn Spann-Ford, Minnesota

TE Luke Lachey, Iowa

TE Colston Loveland, Michigan

TE Corey Dyches, Maryland

C Drake Nugent, Michigan

C Gus Hartwig, Purdue

C Nick Samac, Michigan State

C Logan Jones, Iowa

OL Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Penn State

OL Zak Zinter, Michigan

OL Matt Jones, Ohio State

OL Donovan Jackson, Ohio State

OL Trevor Keegan, Michigan

OL Jack Nelson, Wisconsin

OL Isaiah Adams, Illinois

OL Quinn Carroll, Minnesota

OL J.D. Duplain, Michigan State

OL Delmar Glaze, Maryland

OL Julian Pearl, Illinois

OL Tanor Bortolini, Wisconsin

OL Marcus Mbow, Purdue

OL Mason Richman, Iowa

OL Hollin Pierce, Rutgers

OL Josh Fryar, Ohio State

OL Matthew Bedford, Indiana

OL Karsen Barnhart, Michigan

OL Caedan Wallace, Penn State

OL Teddy Prochazka, Nebraska


DL Jer’Zhan Newton, Illinois

DL JT Tuimoloau, Ohio State

DL Keith Randolph Jr., Illinois

DL Chop Robinson, Penn State

DL Aaron Lewis, Rutgers

DL Joe Evans, Iowa

DL Adisa Isaac, Penn State

DL Kris Jenkins, Michigan

DL Mason Graham, Michigan

DL Michael Hall Jr., Ohio State

DL Logan Lee, Iowa

DL Simeon Barrow, Michigan State

DL Andre Carter, Indiana

DL Jaylen Harrell, Michigan

DL Wesley Bailey, Rutgers

DL Jack Sawyer, Ohio State

DL Ty Robinson, Nebraska

DL Jalen Logan-Redding, Minnesota

LB Tommy Eichenberg, Ohio State

LB Cal Haladay, Michigan State

LB Junior Colson, Michigan

LB Abdul Carter, Penn State

LB Luke Reimer, Nebraska

LB Aaron Casey, Indiana

LB Maema Njongmeta, Wisconsin

LB Michael Barrett, Michigan

LB Jaishawn Barham, Maryland

LB Bryce Gallagher, Northwestern

LB Deion Jennings, Rutgers

LB Jacoby Windmon, Michigan State

LB Nick Jackson, Iowa

LB Steele Chambers, Ohio State

LB Curtis Jacobs, Penn State

LB Seth Coleman, Illinois

LB Nick Henrich, Nebraska

LB C.J. Goetz, Wisconsin

LB Nic Caraway, Purdue

LB Gabe Jacas, Illinois

DB Kalen King, Penn State

DB Cooper DeJean, Iowa

DB Will Johnson, Michigan

DB Lathan Ransom, Ohio State

DB Denzel Burke, Ohio State

DB Quinn Schulte, Iowa

DB Tyler Nubin, Minnesota

DB Rod Moore, Michigan

DB Max Melton, Rutgers

DB Quinton Newsome, Nebraska

DB Justin Walley, Minnesota

DB Cam Allen, Purdue

DB Mike Sainristil, Michigan

CB Tahveon Nicholson, Illinois

CB Beau Brade, Maryland

DB Keaton Ellis, Penn State

DB Hunter Wohler, Wisconsin

DB Myles Farmer, Nebraska

K Drew Stevens, Iowa

K Parker Lewis, Ohio State

K Caleb Griffin, Illinois

K Nathanial Vakos, Wisconsin

P Tory Taylor, Iowa

P Jesse Mirco, Ohio State

P James Evans, Indiana

P Brian Buschini, Nebraska

KR Jaylin Lucas, Indiana

KR Nicholas Singleton, Penn State

KR Quentin Redding, Minnesota

KR Octavian Smith, Maryland

PR A.J. Henning, Northwestern

PR Cooper DeJean, Iowa

PR Isaiah Williams, Illinois

PR Emeka Egbuka, Ohio State



2022 STATS:

2023 ROSTER: