Our preseason look at three players likely taking on bigger roles this fall continues with the Northwestern Wildcats.
OFFENSE: Tony Jones, WR, sophomore, 6-1, 175
Northwestern is loaded at receiver and boasts experience throughout the offense, but Jones has a good chance to increase his role. Sidelined by a shoulder injury for the first four games, Jones debuted against Minnesota in the Big Ten opener and recorded a 45-yard touchdown on his first career catch in college. He finished the season with 11 catches for 157 yards (14.3 ypc). Jones boasts excellent speed and while he certainly could add a few pounds, he has the ability to stretch the field along with fellow sophomore wideouts Rashad Lawrence and Venric Mark.
DEFENSE: Ibraheim Campbell, S, redshirt freshman, 5-11, 205
Campbell really impressed Pat Fitzgerald and the rest of the coaching staff this spring, rising to a backup role on the preseason depth chart. He could challenge for a starting job opposite Brian Peters and likely will be on the field when Northwestern uses more than four defensive backs. The speedy Campbell came on strong during TicketCity Bowl practice and carried things over into spring ball, where he was arguably the team's top playmaker on defense. He also should be a factor on kickoff returns but will make his mark in the secondary.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Jeff Budzien, K, sophomore, 5-11, 170
The competition at kicker will continue into camp between Budzien and Steve Flaherty, but it'd be surprising if Northwestern leaves its scholarship specialist on the sideline. Budzien is in the mix both for field goals and kickoffs as Northwestern replaces Stefan Demos, a four-year starting specialist who appeared in a team-record 50 games. Budzien, a two-time first-team all-state selection in Wisconsin as a high school star, converted an extra-point attempt last season in his collegiate debut. He boasts a strong leg, recording at least 70 touchbacks on kickoffs in each of his final two high school seasons.
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