From Nick Roach to Barry Gardner to Napoleon Harris, Northwestern has produced it’s fair share of NFL linebackers recently. And 6-4, 230 pound Quentin Davie could be the next in line. He enters this fall as arguably NU’s best player, and the member of the roster most likely to make an impact at the next level. (Although we might be saying the same thing one day soon about sophomore starting Right Tackle Patrick Ward).
“Davie’s been mentioned a lot because of the 3-4 stuff that people play and he can certainly fill that role at the next level,” said NU Defensive Coordinator Mike Hankwitz.
By Paul M. Banks
Davie is NU’s leading active career tackler with 172, and is tied with senior defensive end Vince Browne for sacks among active Wildcats. Davie made the Sporting News All-Big Ten preseason first team, and the second team for three other publications. He’s also on the Butkus Award preseason watch list.
“If you look statistically the last two years, Quentin was second in sacks both years, second or third in tackles for loss since we moved him from Sam to Will in ’08. Now he ends up in the box playing the run more,” Hankwitz said.
Hank has also compared this year’s defense to the ’08 unit, so I asked Davie what he thought about that comparison.
“You’ll see a much faster defense,” he responded.
I also asked him what he believes his biggest strength as a player is. “Covering sideline to sideline, having range when I see the ball and getting to it,” he said.
Davie will start on the outside along with junior Bryce McNaul. Nate Williams will play the middle in NU’s base 3-4, backed up by David Nwabuisi. Damien Proby and Ben Johnson round out the two deep at the outside positions. This position will no doubt continue to be a source of strength for the Wildcats moving forward. Especially when you consider the man leading the program is Pat Fitzgerald, one of the greatest collegiate linebackers in history. And the first man to win the Bednarik Award (nation’s best defender) twice.
“He reminds me of the things I need to keep doing, and he stays in my head about the things I’m not doing,” Davie said about the advantages of having Fitzgerald as his Head Coach.
Written by Paul M. Banks, president and CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest-focused webzine. He is also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, the Chicago Tribune’s blog network, Walter Football.com, the Washington Times Communities, Yardbarker Network and Fox Sports.com
You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank and @bigtenguru