The NIU Huskies Football Depth Chart is out

The depth chart just got released per John Sahly's Huskie Wire.  A lot of differences from the vague chart from the media guide.  Youth is served to say the least for Northern Illinois with 8 freshmen (4 true) and 16 sophomores listed under the two-deeps.  15 juniors and 9 seniors make up the upperclassmen.  Here is the breakdown by position:

The Offense

WR (X) 10 Willie Clark ...................................... 6-1, 196, So.-R
11 Marcus Lewis .......................................6-3, 210, Sr.
OR 1 Martel Moore ....................................... 6-2, 168, Fr.

WR (V) 81 Nathan Palmer .............................5-11, 190, So.-R
82 Preston Williams ...........................5-11, 180, Sr.-R
OR 80 Landon Cox ...........................................6-3, 213, Jr.

WR (Z) 80 Landon Cox ...........................................6-3, 213, Jr.
7 Perez Ashford ....................................5-10, 168, Fr.
OR 81 Nathan Palmer .............................5-11, 190, So.-R

I'm not an expert on NIU's current offensive system, so I can only assume that the X is on the left, V is the slot and Z is on the right.  Realistically, guys can be switched all over the field so who knows.  I bet you the ladies that went to Football 101 could probably explain this to me. Moving on, we always knew that the main three (Clark, Palmer & Cox) were the top guys coming in.  We just didn't know where they were going to fit.  Lewis & Williams look to fit in nicely as veteran reserve role-players.  True freshmen Ashford & Moore look to creep in to the lineup as deep threats.

TE (Y) 87 Jason Schepler ...................................6-3, 255, So.
83 Reed Cunningham .......................... 6-5, 255, Sr.-R

TE (H) 96 Bryan Beckner .................................. 6-4, 240, Jr.-R
97 Jack Marks ...................................... 6-6, 232, So.-R

More algebra numbers that confuse me.  Schepler & Beckner beat out Cunningham in an epic battle throughout all of the off-season.  As our offense evolves, all of these players will see extensive playing time.  Marks is the 4th guy in and surprised not to see Nick Groeniger anywhere.

LT 62 Trevor Olson .................................... 6-6, 294, So.-R
68 Keith Otis ........................................ 6-4, 314, So.-R

The only line position that has not changed since the Spring.  A good sign, because left tackle is one of the most important positions on the field.

LG 65 Jason Onyebuagu ................................6-2, 307, Sr.
60 Ed Jackson ........................................ 6-3, 297, Jr.-R

I'm extremely excited that Ed Jackson is able to claim a backup job on the offensive side of the ball after becoming too big to play on the D-Line.

C 50 Eddie Adamski ................................. 6-3, 284, Sr.-R
71 Scott Wedige................................... 6-4, 296, So.-R
OR 77 Jared Volk ............................................6-3, 302, Fr.

Wedige had mono throughout camp, so Volk saw a ton of snaps.  Hope we don't have to see them, because Adamski is one of the better linemen in the conference.

RG 72 Joe Pawlak ...................................... 6-5, 281, So.-R
70 Logan Pegram ................................. 6-3, 293, Fr.-R

Pawlak moves up to the starting spot, because of Kevin Skatrud's season-ending knee injury and Tense's switch to RT.  Pegram switched over to the right side from the left.

RT 61 Panan Tense .....................................6-4, 300, Jr.-R
OR 74 Adam Kiel ........................................ 6-5, 305, So-R

Tense has good size, so he switched from starting RG to the starting RT as stated above.  The coaching staff was high on Tense to have a spot starting on the right side even before Skatrud got hurt.

QB 12 Chandler Harnish ........................... 6-2, 213, So.-R
3 DeMarcus Grady............................. 6-1, 202, So.-R
OR 15 Ryan Morris ..................................... 6-3, 196, Sr.-R

Pretty much expected.  Looks like we'll be redshirting all our freshmen QBs.  Is the OR necessary or simply a formality for the 5th year senior in Morris?

FB 34 Kyle Skarb ............................................ 6-2, 226, Jr.
47 Connor Flahive ................................. 6-0, 240, Jr.-R
88 Nick Groeniger ......................................6-5, 242, Jr.

Top-2 were expected.  Hey, I found him!  Groeniger will play an H-Back role shifting and lining up in the backfield and all over the field.

TB 8 Me’co Brown .......................................5-7, 185, So.
OR 28 Chad Spann ..........................................5-9, 197, Jr.
21 Justin Anderson ............................... 6-0, 234, Sr.-R

Nice to see Anderson as the 3rd guy in again.  Ricky Crider is struggling with a hamstring right now, but should be OK for Saturday.

The Defense

LE 56 Brandon Bice ................................... 6-4, 250, Sr.-R
90 Alan Baxter .......................................... 6-0, 241, Fr.
OR 44 Darnell Bolding ................................. 6-2, 224, Jr.-R

Pretty much expected if you've followed the epic rise of freshman Baxter.  Both Bice and him provide huge bodies capable of stopping the run and stopping the QB.  Bolding looks to be a situational pass-rusher.

NG 92 Brian Lawson ....................................6-3, 272, Fr.-R
93 Adam Coleman ...................................6-3, 266, So.
99 Nabal Jefferson .................................5-11, 270, Fr.

Lawson is starting as a freshman now due to Mike Krause's condition.  Coleman provides tremendous depth as well.  Marist grad Nabal Jefferson is the surprise winner of the true freshman most likely to see action in the middle of the line.  Noseguard is just the defensive tackle left of the defensive tackle, if that makes any sense.

DT 98 D.J. Pirkle ............................................. 6-0, 285, Jr.
89 Ron Newcomb ................................ 6-3, 265, So.-R

Pirkle is the man and Newcomb jumps up to the backup spot as Coleman heads over to NG.

RE 54 Jake Coffman....................................6-5, 255, Jr.-R
95 Sean Progar ..................................... 6-3, 255, Fr.-R

Solid as a rock on Larry English's old position.

SLB 37 Alex Kube .......................................... 6-0, 212, Jr.-R
36 Tyrone Clark .......................................5-11, 202, Fr.
OR 27 Spencer Williamson ........................ 6-4, 218, Sr.-R

True freshman (I'm sensing a theme here) Clark frog-jumps Williamson to be the backup to the most-feared player on the defense.

MLB 53 Pat Schiller...................................... 6-2, 229, So.-R
9 Devon Butler ......................................5-11, 209, Fr.
OR 52 Phil Brown ........................................ 6-0, 225, Sr.-R

A shock here.  Where the heck did Victor Jacques go?  He went from Schiller's backup to not even making the top-3.  Something is definitely awry here.  Phil Brown continues to be in Kill's doghouse.

WLB 26 Cory Hanson .................................... 6-2, 220, Sr.-R
42 John Tranchitella .................................6-1, 236, Sr.
29 Jordan Delegal ....................................6-1, 203, So.

Two solid veterans anchor the weakside with potential speed-rushing specialist Delegal to probably see some time.

LCB 33 Patrick George ................................... 5-11, 190, Jr.
20 Tommy Davis ................................. 5-11, 190, Fr.-R
OR 2 Sean Evans ........................................5-11, 167, Fr.

Davis to play nickelback, but it looks like the smallish Evans is pushing him.

SS 25 Tracy Wilson .................................... 6-2, 204, So.-R
39 Garrett Barnas ..................................... 6-1, 205, Jr.

Nice to see Barnas get that 4th safety spot.  Wilson has been a terror since the end of last season, beating out incumbent Mike Sobol.

FS 4 David Bryant .................................. 5-11, 210, Sr.-R
38 Mike Sobol ........................................6-0, 198, Jr.-R

Sobol switches over to free safety to provide depth because Jody Van Laanen has been banged up this off-season and just returned to practice.

RCB 23 Kiaree Daniels ................................... 5-10, 193, Jr.
5 Chris Smith ........................................ 5-10, 185, Jr.

Finally looking at the depth chart has me a little more comfortable with our depth chart depth as long as Smith and the rest of these guys stay healthy.

Specialists

K 16 Mike Salerno ................................. 5-11, 170, Sr.-R
3 Ryan Fillingim .......................................6-0, 191, Jr.

P 49 Josh Wilber ........................................ 5-11, 235, Jr.
OR 6 Ryan Neir ..........................................6-3, 195, Fr.-R

DS 55 Nolan Owen ....................................... 5-10, 203, Jr.
93 Adam Coleman ...................................6-3, 266, So.

HO 15 Ryan Morris ..................................... 6-3, 196, Sr.-R
38 Mike Sobol ........................................6-0, 198, Jr.-R

The usual suspects here.  Walk-on Fillingim is emergency backup.  Nice spot for Morris to see more time on the field.

PR 20 Tommy Davis ................................. 5-11, 190, Fr.-R
OR 8 Me’co Brown .......................................5-7, 185, So.

KOR 20 Tommy Davis ................................. 5-11, 190, Fr.-R
AND 4 David Bryant .................................. 5-11, 210, Sr.-R

Well it looks like we'll be seeing a lot of Tommy Davis!  Me'co will probably only field punts in critical situations.  Don't know about using our best player on defense on kickoff returns in Bryant.  Should be interesting to see how that works out.  These spots will be open all year.

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