Taking over the Middle

Taking over the Middle

The two men who were Northwestern's primary men in the middle are gone to the NFL. Luis Castillo and Colby Clark have been the big force up front for the Wildcats for the last few years, but playing on the outside has been another Big Man - now Senior Defensive Tackle Barry Cofield.

He was supposed to move inside last year...
and play what many NU observer think is his natural position - Defensive Tackle.

But injuries and lack of experience up front led to Senior Barry Cofield's having to play Defensive End early, opposite, and sometimes in place of Loren Howard.

Although he was recruited as a defensive end, even as a new Freshman, Barry Cofield [6-5 275] had the size to start thinking about moving inside along with fellow 2002 recruit Ron Bardwell [6-4 290].

This was also the class with Loren Howard and Jim Devine - the class that had a full D-Line, and Tim McGarigle, but lets not get ahead of ourselves...

R. Lamberton PhotoCofield [running the Board Drill left] is now listed at 6-4 305 and has been called the "most physical player I've ever coached," by D-Line coach Eric Washington. His size and agressiveness should allow the Cats to run both the 3-4 and 4-3 sets this year, and not lose any ground in the run stopping area.

After the final Spring Practice, we caught up with Barry and asked how did the spring go this year?
BC: I thought it was a good learning experience, you know, we had a lot of guys out, so I was out there trying to be a leader, while trying to grow mentally, more myself, but we were getting to see a lot of things from a lot of the different younger guys who didn't get a chance to play. I think we accomplished a lot.
What about the move from Defensive End to Tackle this year, is that your natural position?
BC:Yeah, I always felt like a tackle - I was always one of the bigger guys, I was just playing end for the good of the team, but I always wanted to play tackle and I feel more comfortable there.

I expect to have a good year there next year.
What about following in Luis Castillo's footsteps.
BC: Oh yeah, Lou's are big shoes to follow but me and Lou are great friends, he has a lot of confidence in me, I have a lot of confidence in myself, and I got to see him play - I learned a lot from him so I feel I'm in a good position this year.

You know we played together a lot, I got to see how its done, also he provided a great example for me.
So Cofield moves inside, and joins Junior's Ron Bardwell [6-3 315] and Trevor Schultz [6-2 285]. His size and speed should allow both of them, plus the defensive ends the room to put pressure up front this year.

You can send your direct comments or "back door" information
directly to Coach Roy
[or comment on the Purple Boards]

CoachRoy74 on AIM

Go Cats Beat 'em All
Talk about it on the Purple Boards
[Click Here]
All Items Copyright 2004 by PurpleWildcats/Purple Reign

PurpleWildcats.com Recommended Stories

Up Next


49 Fans online
    Join The Conversation