Player News

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Yahoo! Sports Pete Thamel reports that Iowa State running game coordinator Louis Ayeni will be the new running backs coach at Northwestern.

Ayeni is a former Northwestern player who was at the school from 1999-2003, and was a team captain in his final year. He's previously coached running backs for Toledo and the Cyclones, and helped make David Montgomery one of the highest-rated analytical runners in 2017.
Jan 8 - 12:16 PM

Northwestern redshirt junior QB Clayton Thorson sustained a torn right ACL during the team's Music City Bowl win over Kentucky on Friday.

This torn ACL, confirmed by MRI, was sustained after Thorson caught a pass on a trick play. The 6-foot-4, 220-pounder will be undergoing surgery in the coming weeks. There's no current timetable for his return to action, but ACL tears typically require a 9-12 month recovery window. That very much puts his 2018 season at risk. Thorson announced that he would be returning to school, rather than jumping for the NFL Draft, in mid-December. Given that a return before the start of the next campaign is doubtful at this juncture, redshirt sophomore QB TJ Green (son of Trent Green) and Andrew Marty (he'll be a redshirt freshman next season) figure to receive heavy starting looks during the offseason.
Jan 2 - 5:28 PM

Northwestern senior QB Matt Alviti took over early in the second quarter for the injured QB Clayton Thorson (knee) in Friday's Music City Bowl win.

Alviti was thrust into action late, completing just 4-of-11 passes for 50 yards and he ran nine more times for 54 yards. While he didn't do much statistically, the understudy also did not many any mistakes and helped his team to a bowl win. It's the first time in bowl history the Wildcats have won back-to-back bowl games in school history, and Alviti played a big part.
Fri, Dec 29, 2017 09:55:00 PM

Northwestern freshman RB Jeremy Larkin ran nine times for 112 yards in Friday's 24-23 win against Kentucky in the Music City Bowl.

The highlight of Larkin's afternoon was a 64-yard scamper down the right sidelines before being caught just before hitting the end zone. The bowl game marked the first 100-yard rushing performance of his college career. With Justin Jackson, the school's all-time leading rusher, moving on it will be Larkin's job to lose in the spring. He could be the next in a long line of solid Northwestern tailbacks.
Fri, Dec 29, 2017 09:46:00 PM

Northwestern senior RB Justin Jackson ran 32 times for 157 yards and two touchdowns in Friday's 24-23 win against Kentucky, earning Music City Bowl MVP honors.

Jackson also galloped to 10th-place on college football's all-time rushing yardage list in the win. He put his teammates on his back in his final college game, picking up the slack once QB Clayton Thorson (knee) went down to injury. He was probably going to have a huge game anyway. Next stop is a trip to the Senior Bowl, then he'll have a Pro Day and work at the NFL Scouting Combine. He ascended to the top spot on Northwestern's all-time list, passing Damien Anderson, Darnell Autry and Tyrell Sutton. Now he'll look to make waves on Sundays.
Fri, Dec 29, 2017 09:40:00 PM

Northwestern sophomore WR Bennett Skowronek (head) has been ruled out for the remainder of Friday's Music City Bowl.

Skowronek (6'4/210) injured his head after being brought down hard to the turf on a tackle which drew a personal foul flag. His absence represents a true deficit for the Wildcats -- the sophomore wideout entered Friday's action with a 42-619-5 receiving line.
Fri, Dec 29, 2017 06:05:00 PM

Northwestern redshirt junior QB Clayton Thorson was carted off the field after catching a pass on a trick play early in the second quarter of Friday's Music City Bowl.

Thorson (6'4/220) rolled down the left sideline to catch the ball on the trick play, but his knee buckled under him as Kentucky defender Jordan Jones brought him down on a clean tackle inside the red zone. The redshirt junior stayed down in pain for several minutes before being carted off. We'll pass along updates as available. Thorson has already announced that he will be returning to campus next year, so at the very least, even if he's suffered a significant injury, he won't immediately be attempting to maneuver through the draft process while rehabbing this offseason. Matt Alviti will take over at quarterback for the remainder of the Music City Bowl in Thorson's place.
Fri, Dec 29, 2017 05:36:00 PM

Northwestern sophomore WR Bennett Skowronek (head) is being evaluated for a head injury and he is questionable to return to the Music City Bowl on Friday.

Skowronek, the team's leading receiver, was tackled and then slammed to the turf, drawing a penalty on the Kentucky defender. His return to the game is questionable. The Wildcats also lost QB Clayton Thorson to a right knee injury, so the Battle of the Wildcats in Nashville has been a costly one for Northwestern.
Fri, Dec 29, 2017 05:35:00 PM

Northwestern redshirt junior LB Nate Hall (knee) has been ruled out for the Music City Bowl on Friday.

Hall (6'2/230) will sit against Kentucky in the bowl contest, with redshirt senior Warren Long set to start in his place versus the Wildcats. It's a tough loss to make up for, as Hall has been a standout performer this season. He's logged 81 tackles (17.0 for loss), five sacks and two interceptions across 12 games. Those 81 tackles are good for the second highest tally on the team.
Fri, Dec 29, 2017 04:38:00 PM

Northwestern HC Pat Fitzgerald says that offensive coordinator Mick McCall will return in 2018.

McCall has been the offensive coordinator for the Wildcats since 2008, and will return for at least one more year, with the one caveat being if he takes a job somewhere else according to Fitzgerald.
Thu, Dec 28, 2017 12:03:00 PM

Northwestern senior S Godwin Igwebuike accepted an invite to play in the East-West Shrine Game.

Igwebuike (6'0/205) has been a productive player for Northwestern for four years, and was particularly productive as a junior with 108 tackles and two interceptions. He's currently viewed as a middle-round draft pick, but could improve that stock with a positive showing in the Shrine Game.
Sat, Dec 23, 2017 06:22:00 PM

Northwestern redshirt junior QB Clayton Thorson will return to the program for his final year of eligibility in 2018.

Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline was reporting near the end of November that Thorson was leaning toward a jump to the draft, but he's apparently had a mental reversal on that front over the past few weeks. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound redshirt junior has thrown for 2,809 yards (60.6% completions) with a 15/12 TD/INT ratio this year. We think a return to school is the right call for Thorson, who still has work to do in his decision-making.
Tue, Dec 19, 2017 05:08:00 PM

Northwestern senior RB Justin Jackson has accepted an invitation to the East-West Shrine Game.

Jackson (5'11/210) was quietly one of the most productive running backs in the Big Ten over the last four years, rushing for over a thousand yards every year of his career and also catching 121 passes and scoring 39 touchdowns. Scouts will look to see that versatility on display during the week of the game. If he tests well, he could get into the day-two discussion.
Sat, Dec 9, 2017 05:12:00 PM

Northwestern senior RB Justin Jackson ran for 144 yards and two scores in Saturday's 42-7 win over Illinois.

Jackson also had 13 yards receiving on three catches. Illinois was once again atrocious on both sides of the ball, and the senior tailback was happy to take advantage. His touchdown was a one-yard plunge in the in the third quarter to open up Northwestern's lead to 28-7. Jackson and the Wildcats finish with nine regular season wins and will head to a quality bowl game next month.
Sat, Nov 25, 2017 07:22:00 PM

Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline reports that Northwestern redshirt junior QB Clayson Thorson is leaning towards entering the draft after this season.

As with Tanner Lee, who Pauline also reported was leaning towards entering early, we're surprised by this news. "As one insider told me it was 'one foot in the door, one foot out the door' for both signal callers before the season even began and that it would’ve taken something major for both to return to school," Pauline wrote of the pair. Like Lee, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Thorson has reportedly been swayed by the struggles of this year's marquee quarterback prospects, like Sam Darnold and Josh Allen. We'd suggest that Darnold and Allen's play won't affect Thorson or Lee's draft standing in the least.
Mon, Nov 20, 2017 02:07:00 PM


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