Best Players in Northwestern Football History

1. Pat Fitzgerald (Linebacker)

Pat stands alone at the mountain top as the best play Northwestern has ever had. Fitzgerald is not only the most decorated player in Northwestern’s history, but he has the admiration of players who played before and after him. Fitzgerald was named the Big Ten defensive player of the year twice and was also named All-American in both seasons.

2. Damien Anderson (Running Back)

Damien pretty much holds every rushing title in Northwestern history. He holds the records for all-purpose yards, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. He also holds the best single season rushing record rushing for 2063 yards and scoring 23 touchdowns during the 2000 season. He ranks as no.6 on the all times leading rushers in the Big Ten.

3. Brett Basanez (Quarter Back)

Only Drew Brees can claim to be the better quarterback in Big Ten history. Brett single-handedly holds 32 Northwestern records. He has every passing and offence record in his pocket. Basanez won the Big Ten offensive player of the year in 2005. Brett was an iron quarterback who started 40 games in a row in his career as a four-year starter at Northwestern.

4. Chris Hinton (Offensive Lineman)

A four-year starter, he was named All-American in 1982. Most Northwestern fans consider him to be the best offensive lineman in Northwestern history. Chris’s career in the NFL makes him even more prolific. He played 13 seasons for the Denver Broncos, playing in the Pro Bowl 6 times. He is still the highest drafted player in Northwestern history.

5. D’Wayne Bates (Wide Receiver)

Ever since Dwayne was a freshman, he led the team in receiving. He still holds team records for single season and all-time receiving yards, catches and touchdowns despite not playing an entire season with a broken leg. His greatest performance came in the 1995 Rose Bowl where he racked up 145 yards helping Northwestern to a stunning victory against USC.

6. Casey Dailey (Defensive Lineman)

There has never been a more successful pass rusher in Northwestern history than Casey. Dailey still holds school records for most sacks in a single season, all time sacks, all-time tackles for a loss and most tackles for a loss in a single season. He played for the Jets in the NFL.

7. Mike Adamle (Running Back)

Mike was an old school running back, lots of speed and used his power when he needed it. His best performance was in a game against Wisconsin where he ran for 316 yards; it still stands as Northwestern’s single game rushing record. He was the Big Ten MVP in 1970 was named All-American too. Mike went on to play six seasons in the NFL with the Kansas Chiefs.

8. Zach Strief (Offensive Lineman)

As far as gifted offensive linemen go, Zach was one of the best Northwestern has and will ever see. Strief stood at 6’7 and weighed in at 335 pounds. He was a beast. He was the first Offensive Lineman to be named All-American since Chris Hinton. He was a seventh-round pick by the New Orleans Saints for whom he is still playing for.

9. Anthony Walker

This still active player is shaping up to be one of the best players Northwestern has ever had. He is not yet a junior but in his first two seasons, he has broken some of Pat Fitzgerald’s records such as interceptions. He also has more tackles for a loss of yardage than Pat Fitzgerald. If he continues at the same rate, he will end up at the top of the pile, above Pat Fitzgerald who is now his coach.