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Keep your enemies close: Northwestern Wildcats

Don’t look now, Northwestern has some good players!

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Who are the best players on the team Wisconsin is playing in any given week? We aim to find out and give you mini scouting reports on them so you can sound smart talking to your friends by saying “well, actually...” and then whatever smart thing we tell you. You’re welcome in advance for being the go-to friend in your group for Northwestern football knowledge.

Northwestern, most notable for being south and east of Madison, will travel north and west to take on the Badgers at Camp Randall on September 28th. Assuming Wildcat coach Fitzgerald can keep all his players off of Instagram, here are the top two players we expect to wear the wrong colors in this week 5 match-up.

Best Offensive Player: QB Hunter Johnson, sophomore, No. 15

Google “Hunter Johnson” and open a random article. $10 says you will find some variation of “his only problem is he’s not Trevor Lawrence” in that post. And, honestly, that’s a problem with which most of us have to live. I go to bed every night and shed a single sexy tear that I’m not as good a quarterback as Lawrence is.

Imagine the number of sexy tears Johnson, who was supposed to take over for Clemson QB Kelly Bryant, cried when he realized he would continue playing second fiddle to a freaking Stradivarius.

Forensic image of what Johnson’s sexy cry would look like
original image: Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

Well, Johnson found greener pasture in the overgrown field turf in Evanston when he transferred to Northwestern. He’s going to want to prove that he is a legit QB and justify his 5 star recruit status, and, unluckily for Badger fans, Johnson will attempt to take out all that pent up angst against Wisconsin.

Johnson is good. Really, really good. He’s not too big at 208 lbs and 6’2”, but that doesn’t matter one bit to me. He sat out 2018 due to transfer rules, but he did get some scrub time for Clemson in 2017 when he threw for a combined 21-of-27 for 234 yards and two touchdowns. He has everything you want in a quarterback—big arm, accurate deep ball, and good scrambling ability.

To summarize, I’m scared of Hunter Johnson.

Best Defensive Player: LB Paddy Fisher, junior, No. 42

I’m not going to be nominated for any hot take awards on this one. Paddy Fisher is one of the best in the business, and he’s only halfway through his eligibility. In 2017, he burst on the scene with 113 tackles and earned Freshman All-American honors from the Football Writers Association of America. He held onto that performance level in 2018 with 116 tackles and was first team Big Ten and a third team AP All-American.

Fisher is the definition of a solid linebacker. Amazingly, he only has one career sack, so he doesn’t get into the pass rush game too often. However, he is reliable at stopping the run and is consistently in the right place to make the tackle. He also tends to make that tackle, too.