Big Ten: Brad Martin
August, 25, 2008
By Adam Rittenberg | ESPN.com
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
The Week 1 depth charts are gradually coming out around the Big Ten. Here's a look at two.
- As expected, no starting quarterback has been named for the Western Kentucky game. It will be Ben Chappell or incumbent Kellen Lewis.
- Redshirt freshman Chris Adkins has won the second starting cornerback spot opposite Chris Phillips. Donnell Jones and Richard Council are the second-stringers.
- Fifth-year senior Marcus Thigpen remains the starter at running back ahead of Bryan Payton and Demetrius McCray. Freshman Darius Willis isn't listed on the depth chart but coach Bill Lynch expects him to play this fall.
- Florida transfer Jerimy Finch, cleared to play this season, is listed behind Austin Thomas as the second-string strong safety.
- Sophomore Brad Martin is the starting tight end ahead of promising redshirt freshman Max Dedmond.
- I was a little surprised not to see freshman wideout DaMarlo Belcher on the two-deep. He was the most impressive player at last Wednesday's practice and should see the field this fall.
- The new-look starting offensive line reads as follows: left tackle Al Netter, left guard Keegan Kennedy, center Ben Burkett, right guard Joel Belding and right tackle Kurt Mattes. That means C.J. Bacher's blind side will be protected by a redshirt freshman (Netter) and a guy (Kennedy) who played the better part of three seasons at defensive tackle. It's a little scary, but Northwestern has been impressed with both players and especially Burkett at center.
- Reserve wide receiver Jeremy Ebert is the lone true freshman on the two-deep -- a telling sign about Northwestern's returning experience. Ebert also will start at kickoff returner with Stephen Simmons. The Wildcats will start Eric Peterman, Ross Lane, Andrew Brewer and Rasheed Ward at the wide receiver spots.
- Sophomore Josh Rooks has moved into the top spot at superback (tight end-fullback hybrid) after the season-ending knee injury to Drake Dunsmore. Junior Brendan Mitchell is behind Rooks.
- Sophomore Corbin Bryant will start the Syracuse game at defensive tackle in place of suspended star John Gill. Bryant had five tackles last season.
- Senior Kevin Mims holds a starting spot at defensive end ahead of hard-charging redshirt freshman Vince Browne.
- Peterman will open the season as the starting punt returner ahead of safety Brendan Smith.