Demetrius Fields was part of deep, talented receiving cores for his first three seasons with Northwestern, but managed to contribute each game of his career. Now a senior, Fields is again part of a skillful group of Wildcat wideouts.
During fall camp, Fields was asked which receiver is being overlooked this season. Without hesitation, he gave an honest answer.
"I think I'm still being overlooked," Fields stated.
After Northwestern's season-opening win over Syracuse, Fields may have erased that notion.
Fields hauled in eight catches for 83 yards and the game-winning touchdown catch. He was a matchup nightmare for Syracuse's defense, lining up at different spots in the field and helping to pick apart a weak pass defense.
None of his eight catches were bigger than the game-winner, a nine-yard flag route to the corner of the endzone on a perfect pass from backup quarterback Trevor Siemian.
"It's a good play," Siemian said of the game-winning touchdown pass. "It has worked well for us since I've been here. ... D. Fields made a pretty good move on the safety. I kind of just threw the ball in the air and let him take care of the rest."
The play would be reviewed, and Fields was initially unsure as to whether he placed a foot in bounds, but was confident that call would be upheld based on the throw from Siemian.
"I just trust the quarterback to put me in bounds," Fields said to the media after the win. "It was a little questionable but they reviewed it and I was in."
The result was very similar to the touchdown catch Fields made against Iowa in 2010, a 21-17 win. The pass thrown by Dan Persa was lofted toward the same corner of the endzone, and Fields paced by the safety to haul in the football.
Just as he did against the Hawkeyes, Fields pointed to the sky as he celebrated the big play. It brought back memories of the heroic reception to lead Northwestern by No. 13 Iowa.
"Only as I got ready to celebrate, I was thinking about the picture," he said, referring to the game in November of 2010.
Before the catch, Fields had another memory on his mind; this one not so pleasant: his second-quarter drop on a crossing route thrown by Kain Colter.
Fields felt disappointed in the drop, which stalled a drive that resulted in a failed fourth-down conversion attempt. He made it a goal to earn redemption.
Following the drop, Fields made seven catches, his final one being the touchdown catch with 44 seconds remaining.
"If I hadn't gotten another chance, I would have been crushed," said Fields. "I was thinking, 'catch the ball,' because I knew I would be open. Glory to God."
The performance from Fields ensured he won't be overlooked anymore.