Unfortunate news today from Northwestern football - redshirt sophomore superback John Placensia's career at Northwestern is over, due to undisclosed medical conditions that apparently make further football unfeasible. The news from Wildcat Report:
John Plasencia's football career at Northwestern is over.... He told WildcatReport that Northwestern team doctors decided that he should end his career rather than risk any further injury.
Placensia had potential to contribute as a more tight end-type player for Northwestern, but had no receptions in 13 career games. Placensia was a tight end for the USA team in the Junior World Football Championships before coming to Northwestern, but never got the opportunity to contribute on field.
This leaves Northwestern with pretty much no depth at the superback spot in the wake of the graduation of Drake Dunsmore. NU has four players listed at superback: Tim Riley, Mark Szott, Brian Smith, and of course, Evan Watkins. Riley is a converted linebacker, Smith is a converted offensive lineman, former superback Jack Konopka now plays offensive line. (Possible point: it might be difficult to recruit players to play "superback".) None of these players have ever really contributed on the field, except, of course, for Watkins' stint as starting quarterback in 2010. So it's tough to say what will become of this role. You have to assume superbacks will contribute in goal line sets, but with the cupboard filled with talented wide receivers, I foresee Northwestern going 5-wide a lot next year and rarely busting out tight end/fullback style players.
But we digress: this is unfortunate for Placensia, and it's a shame circumstances prevented him from being a contributor for Northwestern.