Northwestern’s soccer program has noticed exponential expansion prior to now decade, due to the manufacturing of a lot of avid gamers that experience established themselves as program greats all through the previous 10 years. From quarterbacks to kickers, we took a take a look at the intensity chart of the last decade.

Our ultimate version will duvet the particular groups stars that experience handed thru Evanston prior to now ten years.

Reminder: this staff’s variety is primarily based only on each and every participant’s Northwestern occupation. Now let’s get to it.


First Group: Jeff Budzien, 2010-2013

No longer handiest used to be Budzien the most productive kicker to play for Northwestern, he used to be some of the easiest kickers within the nation whilst in Evanston. A primary staff All American, two-time Giant Ten kicker of the yr and all time NU issues chief, Budzien used to be an improbable participant, smashing the ball in the course of the uprights with super reliability throughout his occupation. Budzien by no means overlooked an additional level and had a exceptional 87 p.c conversion charge on box objectives. In any case, this feature wasn’t even a query.

2d Group: Jack Mitchell, 2014-2016

Despite the fact that Mitchell didn’t have the numbers that Budzien did, he used to be every other forged and dependable kicker for Fitz’s staff. Maximum significantly, Mitchell knocked in two 40+ backyard box objectives in that well-known win 2014 in opposition to the Combating Irish. He’s 3rd in Northwestern’s historical past for issues scored and made a powerful mark at the program.

Honorable Mentions: Charlie Kuhbander


First Group: Hunter Niswander, 2014-2017

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Purdue

Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports activities

Comparing a punter’s talent statistically isn’t all the time the perfect factor to do, as reasonable is a reasonably deceiving stat, however Niswander’s tells a sexy excellent tale. The Ohio local had a large leg, averaging 40+ yards consistent with punt over his NU occupation, however he additionally had the facility to pin warring parties within their twenty on a constant foundation.

2d Group: Brandon Williams, 2010-2013

Highlighted within the above symbol as a holder, Williams used to be a 4 yr starter that had a knack for giving warring parties deficient box place. He additionally had a various talent set as a punter, each bombing punts (his file lengthy used to be a 77 backyard blast) and pinning balls within the 20 in the proper scenarios.

Honorable Mentions: Jake Collins

Punt Returner

First Group: Venric Mark, 2010-2013

Mark used to be but every other exceptional particular groups skill for NU. A primary staff All-American punt returner (the one participant in this complete two-deep, at any place, who can say that), Mark averaged 18 yards consistent with go back, a daft quantity, and reached the tip zone two times on punts in particular. He used to be a playmaker within the open box and whilst the latter finish of his occupation used to be hampered because of accidents, his shiftiness and quickness won’t ever be forgotten through ‘Cats lovers.

2d Group: Riley Lees, 2017-2019

NCAA Football: Massachusetts at Northwestern

Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports activities

Lees isn’t essentially the flashiest participant, and he surely isn’t going to get you 18 yards consistent with go back, however he’s an effective punt returner that may infrequently make main mistakes, and that’s all Fitz will in most cases ask for.

All in all, Lees is a participant that will get the activity this is requested of him achieved when fielding punts, and even though he had shaky moments previous in his occupation, there’s a explanation why that we referred to as him the “smartest punt returner in school soccer” a number of instances right through 2019. Lees has really grown into the function, and is greater than succesful with regards to fielding punts.

Kick Returner

First Group: Solomon Vault, 2014-2018

NCAA Football: Nebraska at Northwestern

Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports activities

A prolific kick returner, Vault used to be a four-year weapon for the ‘Cats. He notched 4 go back touchdowns whilst in Evanston, averaging 25 yards consistent with kick go back. That quantity allowed Northwestern to regularly get started with forged box place, and he had the ability to shift the momentum of a sport in a heartbeat, significantly within the giant 2016 win over Michigan State or that very same season in opposition to Duke. His efforts had been rewarded as two times Vault used to be named to the All-Giant Ten staff as a go back specialist.

2d Group: Venric Mark, 2010-2013

His 2d look at the two-deep is easily warranted. Mark averaged 23 yards consistent with go back and ran one again right through his tenure. Whilst he wasn’t moderately as prolific on kick returns as he used to be on punts, he used to be an efficient go back guy that posed a risk to groups that may kick to him, and he nonetheless does hang each the all time and single-season kick go back yards file in Evanston.

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