After a few days off - DAMMIT, 95 AND 96 FOR NOT HAVING PLAYERS ASSIGNED TO THEM YET - we're back on the grind. Dean Lowry's a 6'5, 230-pound defensive end who did some damn work as a freshman, and like seemingly every other damn Northwestern defensive end, has a bright future ahead of him. Let's learn about Dean and stuff:
Dean Lowry's teams were kinda good in high school: at Rockford (Ill.) Boylan Catholic, his squads went 14-0 and won state championships his junior and senior years, earning Team MVP and conference defensive MVP as well as Chicago Tribune all-State honors. But he wasn't a particularly well-regarded recruit: three stars, the No. 127 defensive end and No. 53 player in Illinois per 247's composite. He got some solid offers - B1G squads in Illinois, Iowa, Purdue, Minnesota, and Indiana, as well as Vandy and some MACkers - but picked the Wildcats.
Lowry immediately busted into a starting spot as a true freshman, one of only four (Ifeadi Odenigbo, Dan Vitale, Traveon Henry) to get playing time straight out of high school. And he made an immediate impact serving as Tyler Scott's backup. A little bit of a change-of-pace - Scott's 265, Lowry's 230 - Lowry showed the ability to be productive in pursuit of the quarterback all season long, starting with a QB hurry Week 1, another hurry and a pass deflection Week 2, through to big defensive plays against Nebraska or Michigan State. Really quality production for limited snaps. He somehow managed to not cry uncontrollably when Northwestern lost football games after winning 28 straight in high school, which is impressive.
Actually, tough choice here. I'm not gonna double up and use the same one I did for Tyler Scott - the forced fumble at the end of the Vandy game that Lowry hopped on.
The first half against Michigan State was one of the ugliest offensive quarters I've ever seen, Northwestern trailed 5-3. On third-and-eight inside his own 20-yard-line Andrew Maxwell dropped back to pass, but before he had a chance to do anything, Lowry was bearing down on him, sprinting clean past the Spartans' right tackle. Maxwell meekly backed up a few steps trying to avoid the inevitable, but soon Lowry dropped him, barely even breaking stride while recording his first career sack, a loss of 11 yards.
MSU would punt from their own three, the ensuing return would get to the 42, and although Northwestern would only pick up one first down and pick up a delay of game penalty, the field position Lowry's sack bought the Wildcats was enough for Jeff Budzien to nail a 43-yard field goal and give NU a 6-5 lead. The eventual margin of victory was three, so every FG counted.
Dean talks about playing as a true freshman, plus some highlights:
Anagram of choice
Discovering the true inner selves of the Wildcats through respelling their names
Dude owns some ladies. Not much more I can say about it. (Other options: Don Lawyer, old yawner, a nerdy owl, won dearly, early down [useful if he played on first and second along with a passing-down specialist] and real downy! [pillow company advertising claim])
Relevant musical selection
"Dear Professor", The Dean's List
I mean, this dude clearly isn't, like, a great rapper, but he does follow in the Chiddy Bang tradition of sounding cool over a flipped recently popular song, so it was perfect mid-drinking-session listening music my junior year. As for that The Band Perry joint, first of all, its gotta be super-emasculating to be the instrumentalists in a band led by your really hot sister. Second of all, they should team up with Katy Perry. Third of all, its, like, alright.
Unfortunately, after four (!!!!) successful profiles wherein the player shared a name with at least one rap act, that isn't going to carry on much further.
Vince Browne is the most recent 94, and was a damn 6'5, 265-pound monster for parts of his career. Despite an injury his freshman year, he had four sacks opposite Corey Wootton and earned freshman All-American honors. He'd grow steadily until a seven-sack, 15.5-TFL season as a junior that had everybody hyped for his final year: he was a second-team all-American in the preseason with some spots on watch lists. But he just wasn't all there as a senior, recording a career-low three sacks for a team that won six games, dropping from a seemingly likely NFL prospect to well off the board. I'll remember him more for the way he bullied past people as a freshman and junior, though. Like I said the other day, Tyler Scott reminds me a looooottttt of Browne.
How can he help
At a very early point in his career, Lowry appeared to be a physically capable all-around talent at defensive end. With Quentin Williams graduated, there's kind of a need for that. If he can extend the production he had as a backup last season into a bigger role this year, that would be quiiiiiiiite impressive.
Right now, we have Lowry as a starter opposite Tyler Scott, but there's a certain amount of semantics here. Scott's got his spot locked, while Lowry, Deonte Gibson, and Ifeadi Odenigbo will all be competing for playing time. I think the spot opposite Scott is going to be between Lowry and Gibson, with Gibson more of a late-down pass-rusher and Lowry a more all-around end. They can serve as a 1-2 punch giving opposing offensive tackles slightly different looks.