Mark: Only B1G-er to Make All-America Team; Plus NU Marketing

‘Tis the season for college football awards and while Northwestern players were greeted by Grinch-like status among B1G media and coaching staffs, the folks better known as the SEC cheerleaders have graced their All-America team with our very own Venric Mark. released its All-America team today and Mark was named first team as a punt returner, the ONLY Big Ten player to make first team anything. I don’t think I can remember any list in my lifetime where this has happened, but you’ll likely correct me. Click HERE to do what CBS intended to do and spike traffic by using the oldest PR trick in the book. Or, you can just look below.

Here is the complete list: All-America Team
Pos Player Ht Wt Class School
QB Johnny Manziel 6-1 200 Fr. Texas A&M
RB Ka’Deem Carey 5-10 197 Soph. Arizona
RB Johnathan Franklin 5-11 195 Sr. UCLA
WR Marqise Lee 6-0 195 Soph. USC
WR Stedman Bailey 5-10 195 Jr. West Virginia
WR Terrance Williams 6-2 205 Sr. Baylor
TE Zach Ertz 6-6 252 Jr. Stanford
OT D.J. Fluker 6-6 335 Jr. Alabama
OT Luke Joeckel 6-6 310 Jr. Texas A&M
OG Chance Warmack 6-3 320 Sr. Alabama
OG Jonathan Cooper 6-3 310 Sr. North Carolina
C Barrett Jones 6-5 302 Sr. Alabama
DE Jadeveon Clowney 6-6 256 Soph. South Carolina
DE Bjoern Werner 6-4 256 Jr. Florida State
DT Will Sutton 6-2 271 Jr. Arizona State
DT Stephon Tuitt 6-6 303 Soph. Notre Dame
LB C.J. Mosley 6-2 232 Jr. Alabama
LB Manti Te’o 6-2 255 Sr. Notre Dame
LB Jarvis Jones 6-3 241 Jr. Georgia
CB Jordan Poyer 6-0 190 Sr. Oregon State
CB Dee Milliner 6-1 199 Jr. Alabama
S Matt Elam 5-10 202 Jr. Florida
S Phillip Thomas 6-1 215 Sr. Fresno State
Special Teams
K Dustin Hopkins 6-2 190 Sr. Florida State
P Ryan Allen 6-2 215 Sr. Louisiana Tech
KR Reggie Dunn 5-10 172 Sr. Utah
PR Venric Mark 5-8 175 Jr. Northwestern
AP Tavon Austin 5-9 171 Sr. West Virginia

Congratulations to Venric, perhaps the most underrated RB in the country this season, especially when you consider our reliance on him in our gameplans, his size and the level of rush defenses we faced. The dual nature of him as a RB and return man are just one of the reasons, if he can stay healthy, he’ll enter the pantheon of all-time favorite players among NU fans. He’ll get a lot more love on Wednesday in the LTP Northwestern Awards.

Marketing Love In Chicago

The folks at the Gator Bowl are getting a quick taste of the Northwestern marketing team and the true partnership that our bowl partners get. The full page back of the Chicago Trib Sports, as well as the full page inside page of the Chicago Sun-Times, both sport the following ad today:

Destination Jacksonville

Thanks to all the folks from Jacksonville who have reached out with the offer to provide LTP readers with “guides” on what to do, where to go and how best to enjoy the ‘Cats trip to the Gator Bowl. We’ll be cranking out content on this as well as feature a Bowl Central widget where you can direct fans to buy tickets, order hotels and the like. For those, like me, that were looking to stay beach side at the famous Amelia Island resort, know that it is closed until March! We’ll also be hosting Northwestern’s Matt Herek, who wants to hear from you to help shape some events, particularly for younger alums for the festivities in J-Ville.

As you can imagine – – hasĀ a home page takeover with the travel info, including host hotel, the Hyatt Regency Waterfront. The Gator Bowl site is very good and has the host of affiliated bowl hotels as well as travel guides and everything under the January sun which you can find here at .

  • zeek

    I just want to mention for those who think that the bowl loss streak isn’t important to get out of the way that virtually every news outlet covering the story around our game pretty much mentions it prominently…

    We must get rid of that; we can’t keep talking big time and having that kind of anchor come out every Christmas…

    • Chasmo

      True and Mississippi State gives as as good a chance to do that since playing Bowling Green in Detroit.
      Let’s hope for the best.

      • zeek

        Agreed. This is the most confident that I’ve felt about our team going into a bowl game since I started following the team.

    • Agreed. Gotta finish. I contend no one remembers games that aren’t national title games, Rose Bowl or conf. championships. Except when you have infamy streaks. This would be crushing loss considering what’s at stake to set-up for 2013 and yet another historical infamy record.

      • zeek

        LTP, you’re spot on as to what’s at stake next year.

        If we win this bowl game, we could be looking at 40k+ attendance next year due to 9 months of hype about a 10 win season and a top 25 preseason ranking next year.

        I’d imagine a lot of the college football talking heads would talk about that Ohio State @ Northwestern game prominently in preseason discussions among other things.

        Huge program building opportunity for Fitz and the crew. Might be the biggest to date considering how much positive press it could lead to for the next 9 months…

    • rambo junior

      if we win though, the story will just change from ‘hasn’t won a bowl since 1949’ to ‘has only 1 bowl win in 60 years.’ That will be the new talking point.

      • CliffG

        plus, only victory is over an unranked, unheralded team (and that’s IF we win)

      • zeek

        No, you’ll see; once it’s over they’ll start to move on…

        Once we get the second win, this story will be way in the rearview mirror.

        Just got to get 1 first…

  • NUMBalumDave

    The last bowl I went to was Citrus, Jan 1 1997, and this bowl thing is UNFINISHED BUSINESS. So very much rides on this bowl game, even though it’s not make or break, program-wise. Even so, the recruiting effort and the program recognition could really use the boost a bowl win would bring. I’ll never forget Keith Jackson commenting about our Rose Bowl appearance and the chance of another in the near future: “Come on,” he snorted, “This is Northwestern we’re talking about.” That, in a nutshell, is the perception.

    • virginiacats

      well he’s right…havent gone back to the rose bowl since

      • NUMBalumDave

        As I said, unfinished business.

  • CatFam5

    I just read that the Cats are currently 2pt underdogs. Just where we want ’em…

    • ‘Catatonic Tim

      For the record, we are 11-1 against the spread this year.

      • zeek

        Expect Victory.

      • Fanaticat

        Which means we could still lose by 1 and “beat” the spread – not what we want!

  • Stephen Zgrabik

    Congrats to Venric for a GREAT season (and to all the players this year as well)! Can’t wait to see what he and the others do after a few weeks getting completely healthy and preparing!

  • David

    In addition to Venric’s amazing performance…he had at least two other explosive plays lost. Against Vandy..he went 81 yards on that swing pass…but grazed the white. Then the kick return against UM. He is a special player.

    • Great call…still ticked about that phantom call on the Mich return.

  • cece

    Congratulations to Venric Mark. you are ridiculous!!!!!

  • David

    Does this mean Vernic’s name will go up with Fitz and Otto Graham at Ryan Field?

  • Congrats to Mr. Mark. Well deserved!

    Go Cats! Beat the Bulldogs!

  • Pres

    So can we start debating whether Kain or Siemian should start at QB next year??

  • Catatonic Joe

    I would love to see that full page ad emailed to all season ticket holders to nudge any fence sitters into making the trip. See you in Jacksonville!

  • CMF

    Deadspin’s College ShameDay article is out (link below). Iowa and Mississippi State make the list. If you read the blurb on Mississippi State – it’s amazing how NU gets no respect and is actually an underdog. NU could easily be 12-1. Effing ridiculous. Let’s not just win this bowl – let’s make a statement and win by double digits!

  • UVA Cat

    Congrats to Venric Mark!

    And not to take anything away from FSU kicker Dustin Hopkins, but I’d argue that Jeff Budzien’s stats are just as good or better.

    Hopkins– 12 FG Made / 15 FG Attempts (Long 51); 40/41 on PATs

    Budzien– 17 FG Made / 18 FG Atttempts (Long 44); 46/46 on PATs

    • UVA Cat

      OK, so FSU’s own website is not up to date on these stats, so Hopkins’ stats do, in fact, look a little better when I checked ESPN’s site:

      Hopkins: 24/28 on FGs and 61/62 on PATs

      And 4 FGs of 50+ yards

      But, sure glad that we have Budzien on our team!

      • CMF

        I know very little about these kicking awards, but I believe they typically favor kickers who have 20+ FGs made. Too bad our offense started converting red zone chances into TDs after the BC game (kidding obviously).

  • cece

    NIU will give any student a ticket for free for the Orange Bowl if they pick it up in Miami. great way to encourage the student body to participate.

  • NUCats91

    I agree with those who feel better about our chances now than in many other bowls we’ve been to, and don’t want too be the wet blanket, HOWEVER, as much as we’ve made about who they’ve beaten, lets look at the ONLY teams they’ve lost to: Alabama, A&M, LSU, and their rival Ole Miss. We all know about rivalry games (Ill last year in case you forgot). Do you honestly think the ‘Cats would have beaten any of the others and had a better record? This is still a dangerous team with a good QB and they deserve respect. All that said, we’ll be there. GO ‘CATS!!

    • Yes. I saw enough LSU games to know that Northwestern would have beaten the Tigers, who are a flawed and overrated team. And I’m certain we’re better than Ole Miss, too.

      Put another way, do you think there’s any game that Northwestern lost that Mississippi State would have been as competitive in, or won? I don’t think so.

  • Sir Charles

    Venric Mark is a Junior?!? Wow, time flies…