Three fresh faces for Northwestern in 2009
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
OFFENSE -- Arby Fields, RB, Fr.
Besides having the perfect name for a running back, Fields fills a need for Northwestern, which loses four-year starter Tyrell Sutton and backup Omar Conteh. Running back traditionally is a position where the Wildcats give true freshmen a look, and though Pat Fitzgerald likes to redshirt a lot of players, Fields will have a chance to compete this summer. Like Sutton, Fields is a smallish back with good speed who will earn some playing time if he shows versatility.
DEFENSE -- Ben Johnson, LB, So.
Johnson qualifies as a newcomer because he really hasn't played much. He earned a starting job this spring alongside Quentin Davie and Nate Williams, and brings a lot of athleticism to the outside. Johnson probably could add a bit more weight but has good overall size and impressed Fitzgerald with what he did in spring ball.
SPECIAL TEAMS -- Jeff Budzien, K, Fr.
Northwestern's problems on special teams have been well documented in this blog, and the team will look to Budzien for immediate help. Budzien is expected to take over the kicking duties, and he also could fill in at punter if need be. Ranked as the nation's 19th best kicker by ESPN's Scouts Inc., Budzien converted 8 of 11 field goal-attempts as a high school senior and had 70 touchbacks.