Cover Story: A trip down memory lane

Danny Daly

Desmond Taylor

Why NU? “The overall combination of academics, athletics and fraternity – it was just the best package around.”

Best part of being an O-lineman: “Just being in the trenches and doing your job and knowing the rest of them are succeeding because of you.”

Camp Kenosha reflections: “What I’ll remember most is not the practices, not how much my body ached, but the different pranks and jokes.”

Next year’s replacement: “I’m really excited to see Brian Mulroe and what he does next year. He has a lot of promise, and he’ll be there right in the heat of things.”

NU football five years from now: “The future is bright. The program is already on its way up, and the sky’s the limit. It’s going to be a powerhouse in a few years, I’m calling it.”

Actor who’d play him in movie: “Anthony Anderson.”

Post-grad plans: “I’m thinking of getting into music technology, and I’m also thinking about potentially going to law school for entertainment law.”

Marshall Thomas

Why NU? “When I visited, I really bonded with the guys. I only knew them for a day or two, but it felt like I was back home. They were like my boys that I’d known for years.”

Favorite on-field moment: “The touchdown against Iowa.”

Camp Kenosha reflections: “I’m going to miss it for sure. It kind of sucks, but just being there with your friends and your buddies – you have your moments.”

Best prank: “Usually, there’s this bowl of butter and it kind of looks like ice cream. So you get the freshmen to come along, they haven’t been around much and they don’t know it’s butter. So we dress it up, put some whipped cream on it, some cherries, chocolate fudge. They take one bite of it, and they know immediately it’s butter. We’ve gotten a lot of people with that.”

Actor who’d play him in movie: “Terry Crews – I’m big and silly.”

Post-grad plans: “I have an interview with a Teach For America representative today, that’s something I was looking into.”

Brad Phillips

Why NU? “You’re playing Big Ten football with Ivy League academics.”

Proudest accomplishment: “Beating Iowa three times at Iowa.”

Camp Kenosha reflections: “It’s one of the hardest mental things you’ll have to get through as a player here. I won’t miss it.”

The best part of road trips is…“Celebrating after wins, especially at Iowa. When we’re in that pink locker room and we’re banging the lockers around, it’s pretty special.”

Next year’s replacement: “Brian Peters has done a good job this year, and Jared Carpenter has done a good job when he’s gotten a chance.”

What makes this team special: “We like to give a lead up at the beginning and come back at the end of games.”

Actor who’d play him in movie: “I’d like The Rock to play me because he’s so swole.”

Best NU tradition: “It’s pretty cool when you’re driving from Chipotle or something and you see the clock is purple.”

Post-grad plans: “I’m not really sure yet. I’ve got two paths I’m looking at. Obviously I’m trying to play, but I’ve got a couple interviews at investment banks.”

Adam Hahn

Favorite on-field moment: “After the Iowa win this year… It was a culmination of all the hard work you’ve put in over five years.”

Camp Kenosha reflections: “It’s a grind, it definitely is. You’re away from everyone, you’re alone, you’re doing football 24/7.”

Coach Fitz has…“been there, done it at the highest level.”

Best prank: “During my true freshman year, when we were in bowl practices, we were getting ready to run sprints. Brett Basanez and Zach Strief had set it up beforehand with coach (Randy) Walker they were going to fake they were mad and walk off the field. So they were like, ‘Oh, we’re done.’ Out of nowhere, Mark Philmore comes running up and he’s like, ‘I’m done, too!’ But he had no idea about the prank.”

This team vs. past ones: “While maybe there are some games we’d like to have back, we have some great wins, too. And we wouldn’t trade those for anything.”

Downtime activities: “I don’t get to see my wife a lot. When we do have free time, I’m a lineman so we like to go to dinner, try different places to eat and relax a lot.”

Actor who’d play him in movie: “Vince Vaughn.”

Post-grad plans: “Work in a front office or athletic department.”

Mark Woodsum

Why NU? “They gave me a chance to walk on, and they were the only Big Ten team that gave me an opportunity. It was one of my dreams growing up, to play Big Ten football.”

Favorite on-field moment: “My only touchdown catch, three seasons ago against Iowa at home. It was a catch on the goal line.”

Favorite opponent: “The next one on the schedule.”

Camp Kenosha reflections: “When August comes around and I’m not going there, it’s going to be a little bit of a surprise.”

Coach Fitz is…“A passionate coach that always has our back.”Next year’s replacement: “Although he’s currently a linebacker, Aaron Nagel might replace me. He’s been working a lot with the offense on the scout team.”

This team vs. past ones: “It’s up near the top. We’re bowl-eligible, I’ve only been here for a couple of teams that have done that. We have a chance to get nine wins.”

Actor who’d play him in movie: “John Cena.”

Post-grad plans: “I’m in the process of setting up an internship with the National Parks Service.”

Mike Kafka

Favorite on-field moment: “Probably my first touchdown pass, which was freshman year in my first start against Miami (OH). I remember it like it was yesterday.” Camp Kenosha reflections: “There’s nothing really like Camp Kenosha, where you’re stuck with each other for 10, 15 days no matter what. There are some parts I’ll miss, some parts I definitely won’t miss.” Next year’s replacement: “Right now, Danny (Persa) is getting a lot of playing time. I think Danny will be the guy, and Evan (Watkins) will definitely push him.” This team vs. past ones: “In years past, we’ve had a lot of immature guys. This year, we have a lot of mature guys who have stepped into roles and really grown up.” Actor who’d play him in movie: “Adam Sandler. He’s played football before.” Best NU tradition: “Singing the fight song after wins.” Post-grad plans: “I’ve taken some internships, but I want to play football for as long as I can.”

– Danny Daly