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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Northwestern
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  10/16/21 - Ryan HilinskirSo/2024, Northwestern, 6-2, 225 (DS#30 QB) + More +

  Ryan Hilinski threw for 267 yards and two touchdown passes on Saturday afternoon to boost Northwestern to a 21-7 victory over Rutgers. Hilinski, making his third start since transferring from South Carolina, opened the scoring for the Wildcats (3-3, 1-2 Big Ten) by capping off a 98-yard drive in the first quarter, hitting Malik Washington for a 64-yard touchdown pass. The completion - Hilinski's longest as a Wildcat - helped his team secure its first conference win of the season. "I think one of the biggest things is that we're continuing to have fun," Hilinski said. "This is a game we played when we were 5 years old. I personally play best when I'm having fun and just recognizing that this is a game we've been playing our whole lives." Washington plowed through a downfield defender on his touchdown grab and finished with 84 receiving yards on five catches.

Fellow wideout Stephon Robinson Jr. had 115 yards, taking pressure off a Wildcats rushing attack that struggled to get going throughout the day. Often a key to Northwestern's offensive approach, the ground game combined for just 135 yards on 48 attempts. "Really proud of the squad," Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. "The way they bounced back this game and these last couple weeks. I thought they put a ton of work in to get better fundamentally. We were able to carry our preparation over into the game." - Northwestern/AP College Football


(DS#30 QB) rSo/2024 QB Ryan HilinskiNorthwestern
News Source: Northwestern/AP College Football
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  09/27/21 - Evan HullrSo/2024, Northwestern, 5-11, 210 (DS#34 RB) + More +

  SEPT 27 BIG TEN CO-OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Evan Hull, Northwestern, RB – So. – Maple Grove, Minn. – Maple Grove (Minn.),...Rushed for 216 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries (9.8 avg.) in Northwestern's 35-6 win over Ohio. Hull's 216 yards are the seventh-most by an FBS player and the third most by a Big Ten player this season...Scored on a career-long 90-yard run in the first quarter, marking the Wildcats' longest play from scrimmage since Jeremy Ebert's 90-yard touchdown reception vs. Rice on Nov. 12, 2011...Hull's 90-yard touchdown run was just the second 90-plus yard touchdown run by an FBS player this season and the fourth 90-plus yard run in Northwestern history. The last time a Wildcat recorded a 90-plus yard run was Sept. 30, 1961 (Bill Swingle 95 yards vs. Boston College)...Earns his first career Offensive Player of the Week accolade; was named Freshman of the Week on Nov. 18, 2019...Last Northwestern Offensive Player of the Week: Flynn Nagel (Oct. 15, 2018). - Big Ten Football

(DS#34 RB) rSo/2024 RB Evan HullNorthwestern
News Source: Big Ten Football
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  09/25/21 - Evan HullrSo/2024, Northwestern, 5-11, 210 (DS#34 RB) + More +

  Evan Hull rushed for 216 yards and a pair of touchdowns Saturday afternoon to lead Northwestern to a 35-6 win over Ohio. Hull bounced off a defender at the line of scrimmage late in the first quarter before sprinting away for a 90-yard score that helped set the Wildcats (2-2) up for their first win over an FBS team this season. The Wildcats' ground game amassed 373 yards to take the pressure off sophomore Ryan Hilinski, who completed just 12 passes for 88 yards in his first start replacing Hunter Johnson.

While its defense struggled to stop the hosts, Ohio (0-4) remained winless after often killing its own drives with a combination of turnovers, costly penalties and sacks. Kurtis Rourke was 20-for-29 for 166 yards with a fumble and an interception. Anthony Tyus III and Jake Arthurs added late touchdown runs and Charlie Kuhbander made a pair of short field goals for Northwestern, which led 17-0 at intermission. Ohio staved off a shutout when backup quarterback Armani Rogers scored on a 55-yard keeper on the game's final play. - Northwestern/AP College Football


(DS#34 RB) rSo/2024 RB Evan HullNorthwestern
News Source: Northwestern/AP College Football
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  09/11/21 - Evan HullrSo/2024, Northwestern, 5-11, 210 (DS#34 RB) + More +

  Evan Hull ran for 126 yards and two touchdowns and Northwestern beat Indiana State 24-6 on Saturday. Hull led the way for a Wildcats rushing unit that surpassed last week's 117 total yards against Michigan State at the half and finished with 209. He ran for 51 yards on the team's opening drive and capped it with a 3-yard touchdown run. "When you look at where you're at as a Big Ten team playing against a FCS team, you have to pound the ball," Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. "For the most part, when we targeted things right and executed I thought we did a good job." The Wildcats (1-1) never trailed, stopping the Sycamores (1-1) in the first matchup between the two programs.

After throwing for 283 yards against Michigan State, Hunter Johnson finished with 66 yards passing with a touchdown. The senior completed 9 of 16 passes in his second start as the Wildcat starter. Freshman Anthony Tyus III rushed for 71 yards for Northwestern, which outgained Indiana State 275-169 in total yards and 209-91 in rushing. Indiana State's Anthony Thompson passed for 132 yards and a touchdown, completing 21 of 34 passes in his second start for Indiana State after transferring from Northern Illinois. Matt Sora rushed for 13 yards to lead the Sycamores. - Northwestern/AP College Football


(DS#34 RB) rSo/2024 RB Evan HullNorthwestern
News Source: Northwestern/AP College Football
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  08/23/21 - Hunter JohnsonrSr/2022, Northwestern, 6-1, 215 (DS#34 QB) + More +

  Former Clemson quarterback Hunter Johnson is the new starter at Northwestern. The fifth-year senior won the position during fall camp over a QB group that included housemate Ryan Hilinski, who transferred in from the University of South Carolina in December. The Wildcats confirmed the news on their Twitter page. "I've seen a lot of football, which is good, so that's, I think that's always been an advantage for me that I've been through a lot of football system and terminology," Johnson told reporters Aug. 9. "Year Two with (offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Bajakian) is great...I'm definitely feeling more confident coming around this year." Johnson left Clemson during the summer of 2018 following a freshman season where he threw for 234 yards and two touchdowns behind Kelly Bryant, who transferred a few games into 2018 after Trevor Lawrence took over the starting job.

Johnson, a former five-star recruit, sat out his sophomore season at Northwestern due to transfer rules. He appeared in six games with five starts during his junior campaign for the Wildcats. During that time, he recorded 432 yards and a score while rushing for 64 yards and a TD. "I think today versus when I first got here, I think I've matured a lot," Johnson said. "Gone through a lot and learned, learned a lot from personal experiences, football experiences and I think I'm mentally a lot stronger than I was as a sophomore coming in here...I think I've just had some experiences that have helped me grow a little bit." - The State


(DS#34 QB) rSr/2022 QB Hunter JohnsonNorthwestern
News Source: The State
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  08/23/21 - Andrew ClairrSr/2022, Northwestern, 5-10, 202 (DS#60 RB) + More +

  The Wildcats also announced that running back Cam Porter, who led them in rushing as a freshman last fall, will miss the season after suffering a lower-body injury during preseason camp. Porter rushed for 333 yards with five touchdowns in seven games last season. With Porter out, the rushing duties likely will be shared among Bowling Green graduate transfer Andrew Clair, redshirt sophomore Evan Hull and freshman Anthony Tyus III. The versatile Clair rushed for 1,937 yards and 13 touchdowns and caught 44 passes for 330 yards and four scores in 30 games over four seasons at Bowling Green, twice earning third-team All-MAC recognition. Hull has 495 rushing yards and six touchdowns in 13 games over the last two seasons. - Chicago Tribune

(DS#60 RB) rSr/2022 RB Andrew ClairNorthwestern
News Source: Chicago Tribune
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  Just weeks before Northwestern's season opener against Michigan State on Sept. 3, injuries dealt Northwestern's offense major blows in the backfield and in the trenches. Sophomore running back Cam Porter and redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Zachary Franks will miss the 2021 season with lower-body injuries, the team announced on Tuesday. Coach Pat Fitzgerald said that Porter's injury was "non-contact, kind of just a freak deal." "You feel for (Porter) and Zach," Fitzgerald said. coach Pat Fitzgerald said. "You don't want to ever see anything happen and they're both somewhat freak deals. That was obviously disappointing" The offensive line depth will take a hit with the loss of Franks. The Baltimore, Md. native was a camp standout in 2020 and appeared in eight games. - The Daily Northwestern

(DS#999 OT) rSo/2024 OT Zachary FranksNorthwestern
News Source: The Daily Northwestern
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  08/22/21 - Hunter JohnsonrSr/2022, Northwestern, 6-1, 215 (DS#34 QB) + More +

  After Northwestern's 2019 season, Mike Bajakian got to work. Bajakian, who was named the Wildcats' new offensive coordinator in December, proceeded to watch every play of NU's 3-9 campaign. Featuring prominently in the footage was Hunter Johnson. On film, the former five-star recruit's struggles were well documented. They ranged from committing three turnovers - including a game-clinching fumble - in the season opener at Stanford to being benched in a three-touchdown loss to Michigan State after throwing for just 88 yards.

Johnson also suffered a knee injury against Wisconsin, which was re-aggravated in a game versus Indiana. A sack by Minnesota safety Antoine Winfield Jr. left him sidelined for the remainder of the season. But things have changed since 2019, when the Clemson transfer threw for 432 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions with a 46.3 completion percentage. Bajakian noticed Johnson's improvement this year, from the start of spring camp to the summer. He threw with consistency and competency. He made better on-field decisions. He forced fewer throws into coverage. He found a rhythm with NU's receivers and tight ends during offseason practice. - The Daily Northwestern


(DS#34 QB) rSr/2022 QB Hunter JohnsonNorthwestern
News Source: The Daily Northwestern
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  05/11/21 - Cameron MitchellrSo/2024, Northwestern, 5-11, 195 (DS#65 CB) + More +

  At the beginning of each season, Northwestern selects one player to wear the No. 1 jersey. The honor, created in 2011, recognizes "the student-athlete who truly embodies the values and character of the Northwestern football family." A decade later, Greg Newsome II started a new tradition with the No. 2 jersey. Before he was selected 26th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns, the former Wildcats cornerback passed down No. 2 - his own jersey number - to redshirt sophomore defensive back Cameron Mitchell, who wore No. 21 last season and allowed the lowest completion rate in the Big Ten. "He's one of the next guys up, so I wanted to pass the number down to him," Newsome told The Daily in April. "(No.) 2 is gonna be something that we're starting now." Earning the No. 2 jersey is a new honor for the best returning secondaries in the country. - The Daily Northwestern

(DS#65 CB) rSo/2024 CB Cameron MitchellNorthwestern
News Source: The Daily Northwestern
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  05/01/21 - Rashawn SlaterSr/2021, Northwestern, 6-4, 304 (DS#1 OG) + More +

  On Thursday night Northwestern had two players drafted in the first round for the first time in team history. Northwestern offensive tackle Rashawn Slater, one of 12 players on site in Cleveland for the 2021 NFL draft, was selected 13th overall by the Los Angeles Chargers in Thursday's first round. Cornerback Greg Newsome II watched virtually with his family as he was taken with the 26th overall pick by the Cleveland Browns. Slater, a 6-foot-5, 304-pound left tackle who opted out of the 2020 season, was the first Wildcats player taken in the first round since defensive tackle Luis Castillo in 2005. His selection ended the third-longest active first-round drought among Power Five programs. - Chicago Tribune

(DS#1 OG) Sr/2021 OG Rashawn SlaterNorthwestern
News Source: Chicago Tribune
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  West Virginia University football has yet another unexpected loss to its starting defensive lineup. On Wednesday afternoon, senior defensive lineman Jeffery Pooler Jr. took to social media to announce his decision to enter the NCAA transfer portal. Pooler took advantage of the NCAA's offered extra year of eligibility after last season, but as it turns out, that extra season won't come with the Mountaineers. Pooler becomes the third starter off of the Mountaineer defense to transfer this offseason, joining spear Tykee Smith and cornerback Dreshun Miller, who have since landed at Georgia and Auburn, respectively. Pooler appeared in 38 games over four seasons with the Mountaineers, making 52 tackles, with 23 of them coming last season. He also set career highs in sacks (three) and tackles for loss (six) in 2020. - Charleston Gazette-Mail

(DS#104 DE) rSr/2022 DE Jeffery Pooler Jr.Northwestern
News Source: Charleston Gazette-Mail
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  Another day, another West Virginia player says goodbye. This time it's in football as defensive end Jeffery Pooler, an experienced player, a third starter from the defense, announced on Twitter that he is entering the transfer portal. The way that's going there may wind up with more players across the country in the portal than not, last year's cycle having included almost 2,000 players. Pooler was expected to share the position with Taijh Alston, who missed most of the past two seasons with injuries but who now is healthy and played well in the spring game. Still, Pooler hurts the depth on the offensive line, which is one of the most potent units the Mountaineers have with Dante Stills at tackle and Akheem Mesidor at nose guard, backed up by Jordan Jefferson. Pooler had 26 tackles last year, 5.5 for a loss, with 2.5 sacks and three pass deflections. - Charleston Gazette-Mail

(DS#104 DE) rSr/2022 DE Jeffery Pooler Jr.Northwestern
News Source: Charleston Gazette-Mail
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  04/28/21 - Jack OlsenSo/2024, Northwestern, 5-09, 180 (DS#999 K) + More +

  One of the top kicking prospects in the 2020 recruiting class has made plans to leave the Michigan State football program. Jack Olsen entered the NCAA transfer portal Sunday, less than 24 hours after the Spartans held their final spring practice. Olsen, who was on scholarship, has joined the exodus of players out of East Lansing that began last fall. Nineteen members of the team have entered the portal since November as head coach Mel Tucker has overhauled the roster by securing the commitments of 14 players from other college programs. - Lansing State Journal

(DS#999 K) So/2024 K Jack OlsenNorthwestern
News Source: Lansing State Journal
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  03/09/21 - Andrew ClairrSr/2022, Northwestern, 5-10, 202 (DS#60 RB) + More +

  Northwestern added valuable depth to its running back room Monday, receiving a commitment from graduate transfer running back Andrew Clair, formerly of Bowling Green. "2021 will be full of accomplishments and new beginnings," Clair said in announcing his decision via Twitter early Monday afternoon. "See you in Evanston in the fall." Clair leaves the Falcons after a successful four-year career in which he rushed for 1,937 yards and 13 touchdowns in 30 games. He accomplished these feats despite BGSU going 8-33 in his four years with the program, a litany of injuries, and an unthinkable personal tragedy in the loss of his 25-year-old sister, Tanisha Watson, to COVID-19 in the fall of 2020. - The Daily Northwestern

(DS#60 RB) rSr/2022 RB Andrew ClairNorthwestern
News Source: The Daily Northwestern
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  03/09/21 - Rashawn SlaterSr/2021, Northwestern, 6-4, 304 (DS#1 OG) + More +

  For the seventh consecutive year, Uplifting Athletes is empowering NFL prospects with the opportunity to use their NFL Pro Day as a platform to give back by raising funds and awareness in support of the Rare Disease Community. Reps For Rare Diseases has been used as a way for athletes to give back at a pivotal point in their quest to play at the highest level as they put their skills on display for NFL teams.

Eight former Northwestern Wildcat football players are using the next step toward their NFL dream as an opportunity to use their platform and make a difference. Each former Northwestern standout is running a 2021 Reps For Rare Diseases campaign for their upcoming NFL workout on March 9th to support Uplifting Athletes. Former Northwestern standouts offensive tackle Rashawn Slater, cornerback Greg Newsome II, defensive end Earnest Brown IV, linebacker Blake Gallagher, quarterback Peyton Ramsey, linebacker Paddy Fisher, offensive lineman Gunnar Vogel and wide receiver Riley Lees have each chosen to launch individual campaigns this year. - Northwestern Football


(DS#1 OG) Sr/2021 OG Rashawn SlaterNorthwestern
News Source: Northwestern Football
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