Tyler Lancaster received the highest playing honor Northwestern gives to its players. Lancaster will wear the No.1 jersey this season.
Northwestern players vote on the player who most exemplifies the team’s mantras and program goals and award that player the No. 1 jersey. Anthony Walker wore the jersey last year. Lancaster takes up that mantle this season.
Proud to announce that @BigLanny6767 has been selected by his teammates for our family's highest honor!
— Pat Fitzgerald (@coachfitz51) August 5, 2017
— #B1GCats Football (@NUFBFamily) August 5, 2017
Walker became the first player who took regular snaps to wear the jersey since Pat Fitzgerald began the tradition. It previously went to grinders deep on the roster like Bo Cisek, Tim Hanrahan and Patrick Hruby. But undoubtedly players like Walker and Lancaster deserve the moniker too.
Lancaster last year started every game last year at defensive tackle, recording 28 tackles including 3.5 for a loss. He has been a starter for the last two seasons.
Lancaster gained some fame this offseason for his work in the weight room.
Bruce Feldman of Sports Illustrated named Lancaster to his workout freaks list as one of the best weight room workers. Video of him doing seated thrusts with 800 pounds circulated on the web and he has 34 reps of the bench press at 225 pounds.
There is no doubt the 6-foot-4, 315-pound defensive lineman is strong. That strength will have to translate to the field.
Lancaster will undoubtedly be one of the leaders for the team this year. Especially on a defensive line that will have to generate a push for a talented, but inexperienced group of linebackers behind them. There is a huge hole to fill with Anthony Walker’s departure for the NFL.
But that is what defensive lineman do, they fill holes. And Lancaster will have to lead a defensive line that is solid throughout the season if Northwestern is going to achieve its goal and compete for a Big Ten West title.
The Wildcats will open training camp Wednesday.