Football: McEvilly out for season, other notes on Northwestern depth chart

Bobby Pillote, Assistant Sports Editor

Northwestern football released its depth chart Monday for the season opener against California scheduled for Saturday. (See NU’s full depth chart here.)

Most noticeably, the chart is missing the name of senior defensive tackle Sean McEvilly. After the lineup was released it was announced that McEvilly, who was expected to start,  will miss all of this season with a foot injury that will require surgery. McEvilly will seek another year of eligibility in 2015. The loss is a big blow to a defensive line that was already lacking in depth.

Beyond that, the biggest surprise is seeing junior wide receiver Miles Shuler listed as the starter for both kick and punt return duties. Reports from training camp indicated that some combination of sophomore cornerback Matthew Harris and freshman running backs Justin Jackson and Solomon Vault would be handling kickoffs, and Shuler was conspicuously absent from punt return drills during camp.

Also unexpected is the apparent battle at right tackle between senior Jack Konopka and sophomore Eric Olson. Konopka was widely expected to return as the starter, but instead Olson is listed ahead of him with an “or” next to his name, meaning the two will split time.

Sophomore running back Warren Long is listed as the backup for senior Treyvon Green, indicating that sophomore Stephen Buckley is not yet fully recovered from the ACL tear he suffered last year.

Sophomore Jack Mitchell is listed as the starting kicker, over redshirt freshman Hunter Niswander, who is recovering from an ankle injury.

Finally, as expected, junior Drew Smith and senior Jimmy Hall will split time at outside linebacker as the defense attempts to replace the graduated Damien Proby.

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