RB Tyrell Sutton

2006 Statistics

Coach: Pat Fitzgerald
4-8, 1 year
2006 Record: 4-8
at Miami OH WON 21-3
at Nevada LOST 21-31
at Penn State LOST 7-33
at Wisconsin LOST 9-41
at Michigan LOST 3-17
at Iowa WON 21-7

2006 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2007 Outlook

Thrust into the top position last July by the untimely passing of head coach and mentor Randy Walker, the second season under legendary alum Pat Fitzgerald should see the team improve across the board. At 32, the Orland Park-product is the youngest head coach in I-A, but he retained almost the entire supporting staff of Walker in an effort to bring both continuity and a learning environment for both he and his players. Fitzgerald’s strong recruiting efforts speak of the youth movement, but it is the litany of returning starters that has the Wildcat faithful growling about this year’s chances. We will first have to see how well the offensive line (and therefore the running game) will do without their center and leader Trevor Rees calling out assignments/schemes. Depth amongst the talent guys is there, but success in ’07 will be predicated upon how well the QB position develops in this sophisticated offense. The defense has proven worth in their deep front line and starting four DBs, and the linebackers, expected to be marginal as they rebuild, actually have the potential to be another great Wildcat corps. After learning hard lessons in ’06 by facing the conferences’ seven best programs in succession (went 1-6), this year’s slate breaks up NU’s toughest games. Still, facing Ohio State and Michigan back-to-back will truly let Fitzgerald know where his team still needs work, and not playing Wisconsin and Penn State hints at a better win total. The bottom line…Northwestern will probably win against a few foes that seem better, but they will also stumble against an underdog or two to make finishing over .500 a worthwhile goal. Fitzgerald is slowly building this program right, banking on ‘old school’ fundamentals – toughness and discipline with sound blocking and tackling – that should produce a juggernaut within a few years.

Projected 2007 record: 7-5
DE Corey Wooton
QB - 3 DL - 3
RB - 4 LB - 2.5
WR - 3 DB - 3.5
OL - 3.5 ..

Passing: C.J. Bacher, 95-161-8, 1172 yds., 6 TD

Rushing: Tyrell Sutton, 189 att., 1000 yds., 5 TD

Receiving: Tyrell Sutton, 40 rec., 261 yds., 2 TD

Scoring: Tyrell Sutton, 7 TD, 42 pts.

Punting: None

Kicking: None

Tackles: Adam Kadela, 80 tot., 45 solo

Sacks: Corey Wootton, 4.5 sacks

Interceptions: Brendan Smith, 3 for 82 yds.

Kickoff returns: Sherrick McManis, 28 ret., 21.0 avg., 0 TD

Punt returns: Brendan Smith, 4 ret., 11.8 avg., 0 TD


OFFENSE: Terrell Jordan-RB, Shaun Herbert-WR, Erryn Cobb-FB/TE, Joe Tripodi-OG, Ryan Keenan-OT, Joel Howells-K
DEFENSE: Nick Roach-LB, Demetrius Eaton-LB, Marquice Cole-CB, Slade Larscheid-P

The complex, ever-changing looks employed in coordinator Garrick McGee’s offense can hopefully be mastered well enough by his players so that they don’t outsmart themselves while trying to do the same to opposing defenses. Sorting out the QB conundrum will go a long way toward allowing the offense to gain momentum. Enter junior hurler C.J. Bachér, who didn’t come close to realizing his potential in his first year (’06) as a starter. The former Old Spice Red Zone National Player of the Year, out of Sacramento, has the Academic All-Big Ten smarts to go with his quick release. And even though throwing more interceptions (eight) than TDs (six) is buoyed by his nearly 60% completion rate, he struggled at times and was only 2-3 as a starter. Initially atop the depth chart, Bachér wasn’t under center to begin the 2006 proceedings - Mike Kafka, the starter for the first four games after Bachér went down with a stress-fracture before the campaign even started, went down himself with a hamstring problem against Nevada. Kafka, a dual-threat local product (St. Rita) who only played one year of prep QB, was 2-2 as the team’s field general, though he definitely did much better as a runner (kept defenses guessing) than as a passer (one TD, five INTs). Now a receiver, Andrew Brewer discovered his new destiny after he took over for Kafka and struggled immensely against the meat of the conference. Bachér was limited in spring drills (recovering from toe surgery), but his impact during the final scrimmage proves he is still who McGee considers his top candidate. All-conference junior Tyrell Sutton is the main guy at tailback and is used extensively in the flat. Injuries this spring to ex-sprinter Stephen Simmons and Omar Conteh allowed senior Brandon Roberson to surge up the depth chart, but we expect all of these talented backs will contribute to this already established unit. We’ll hit our heads against the wall, but it has to be said - getting the ball into the hands of capable sophomore “superbacks” Mark Woodsum and Brendan Mitchell can only put linebackers that much further back on their heels. The depth at receiver is vast, though this corps needs to work together more to maximize the team’s offensive potential with their still-learning QBs. 6’3 junior Ross Lane is a great primary target who is looking at a breakout year, as is other returning starter and classmate Eric Peterman. Peterman is like Brewer, a dual-threat QB prospect who just has too much talent not to see the field for the Cats on gameday. Shifty Rasheed Ward is their solid fourth receiver, and the rest of the two-deep has extensive experience so NU’s multiple-WR sets can finally/hopefully deliver. The trio of returning senior starters on the front line had many prognosticators seeing the Wildcat’s proverbial offensive glass as half full, but the arrest (DUI) and subsequent indefinite suspension of their top lineman, center Trevor Rees, means identifying and carrying out the needed blocking schemes/assignments will suffer. Senior guard Adam Crum can slide over to compensate, but he isn’t close to the center Rees would be. 6’8 LT Dylan Thiry offers solid blindside protection, and versatile athlete Curt Mattes as Thiry’s bookend makes this a solid starting five if Rees is back. Otherwise, without him, the unit will not operate as well, especially with the green depth. No matter how sharp these offensive players may be, OC McGee over-complicating their approach won’t improve the basics of execution needed to make the offense fly. If the staff can keep it simple until the QB(s) prove(s) he/they have the system down, Northwestern can finish over .500.


C Trevor Rees


Returning Starters in bold
QB C.J. Bacher-Jr (6-2, 200) Mike Kafka-So (6-3, 220)
RB Tyrell Sutton-Jr (5-9, 190) Brandon Roberson-Sr (5-9, 200)
WR Andrew Brewer-So (6-3, 210) Jeff Yarbrough-Jr (5-11, 180)
WR Eric Peterman-Jr (6-1, 200) Carl Fisher-Fr (6-0, 200)
WR Ross Lane-Jr (6-3, 190) Tonjua Jones-Sr (6-2, 185)
WR Rasheed Ward-Jr (5-11, 180) Kim Thompson-Sr (6-4, 190)
TE/FB Mark Woodsum-So (6-0, 240) Brendan Mitchell-So (6-3, 250)
OT Dylan Thiry-Sr (6-8, 315) Mike Boyle-Fr (6-7, 275)
OG Adam Crum-Sr (6-1, 285) Desmond Taylor-So (6-3, 285)
C Trevor Rees-Sr (6-2, 280) Adam Crum-Sr (6-1, 285)
OG Joel Belding-Jr (6-3, 300) Keegan Grant-Fr (6-2, 295)
OT Kurt Mattes-So (6-6, 290) Ramon Diaz-So (6-4, 295)
K Stefan Demos-Fr (5-10, 190) Amado Villarreal-Jr (5-10, 180)



Under coach Fitzgerald and sixth-year taskmaster Greg Colby, this side of the ball has made strides in the offseason, especially in the trenches. What was a young, undeveloped front line is now a battle-tested, learn-through-their-mistakes, gelled unit ready for even the conference’s best running games. 6’7 Freshman All-American (FWAA) end Corey Wootton led the team in sacks (4.5) and TFLs (nine) as just a true freshman. Senior Mark Koehn took the starting job (opposite Wootton) from oft-injured classmate Dave Ngene and Kevin Mims, so proven depth on the outside is there to keep legs fresh. Inside, Freshman All-American (Rivals) Adam Hahn and senior starter John Gill have Keegan Kennedy pushing them for reps, but from there, the dropoff (in needed girth) could be a factor if injuries to these three hulksters occur. Overall, we expect much improvement to last year’s No.93 run defense. The linebackers fortunately have the team’s leading tackler, senior Adam Kadela, in the middle to give the rebuilding efforts an excellent foundation. Like his head coach and mentor, Kadela continues the tradition of exceptional MLBs here in Evanston. Junior Mike Dinard and senior Eddie Simpson were on the field quite often last season, so their elevation to starting status isn’t much of a surprise. More importantly, note how the backups are also all seasoned upperclassmen. Overall, this will be a surprisingly staunch corps that will stop the run better than they cover eligible receivers in open spaces (which isn’t due to a lack of speed, just their inexperience operating as one fluid unit). The secondary, ranked fifth in the Big Ten last year, returns three of its regular starters along with athletic six-foot sophomore Sherrick McManis, who started four times as a productive freshman corner, to round out their ranks. Senior corner Deante Battle hits like a Mack truck as he closes with laser precision – he should garner all-conference honors by campaign’s close. Speaking of accolades, All-Big Ten safety Brendan Smith led the team in INTs (three) as a soph from his strong slot, so we expect his junior experience to hone his already productive efforts. Senior Reggie McPherson also excels in coverage, and his history at multiple positions means he isn’t afraid to put his hat into the fray when raw strength is needed. On paper, this is a proven, extremely talented secondary, but depth issues could cost NU late in games as these guys are just worn out from how much energy they exert. Overall, this can be a special year on defense…it all hinges on how long it takes the LBs to gel and then embrace their roles as the glue that binds every stopping element.


DB Brendan Smith


Returning Starters in bold
DE Corey Wootton-So (6-7, 275) Kevin Mims-Jr (6-3, 270)
DT John Gill-Jr (6-3, 290) Marshall Thomas-So (6-3, 265)
DT Adam Hahn-So (6-4, 295) Keegan Kennedy-Jr (6-2, 285)
DE Mark Koehn-Sr (6-3, 265) David Ngene-Sr (6-3, 260)
SLB Eddie Simpson-Sr (6-1, 230) Prince Kwateng-Jr (6-2, 235)
MLB Adam Kadela-Sr (6-3, 240) Malcolm Arrington-Jr (6-2, 235)
WLB Mike Dinard-Jr (6-2, 235) Chris Malleo-Sr (6-2, 235)
CB Deante Battle-Sr (5-10, 180) Justan Vaughn-Fr (6-0, 180)
CB Sherrick McManis-So (6-0, 180) David Oredugba-Jr (6-2, 195)
SS Brendan Smith-Jr (6-0, 210) Brad Phillips-So (6-4, 210)
FS Reggie McPherson-Sr (6-1, 200) Ben Rothrauff-Sr (5-10, 195)
P Kyle Daley-Jr (6-0, 190) Stefan Demos-Fr (5-10, 190)




Improvements to what was the 109th net punting unit should be seen as last year’s No.9 kicking prospect, Scott Demos, competes with perennial big-legged backup Kyle Daley for the vacancy. Demos is a ‘shoe in’ for the placekicking opening, though Amado Villarreal is pushing him there in case Demos doesn’t live up to his hype. Coaches are excited about dangerous quicksters Brendan Smith and/or Andrew Brewer taking over the punt return duties, while Sherrick McManis is solid as a kick return specialist.