Nick VanHoose, Dean Lowry, Dan Vitale all played key roles as first-years
2012: One of four true freshmen to crack the lineup in 2012 ... Earned the No. 1 spot on the depth chart at superback coming out of fall camp and excelled throughout the year ... Named to ESPN.com Big Ten All-Freshman Team ... NU's Offensive Newcomer of the Year award recipient ... Caught one pass for seven yards in his debut at Syracuse ... One catch for five yards against Vanderbilt ... Personal-best two catches for 13 yards against Boston College ... One reception vs. South Dakota for six yards ... Notched three receptions and 21 receiving yards at Minnesota ... Caught his first career touchdown pass against Nebraska, a 10-yard reception from Trevor Siemian ... It was one of two catches on the day for Vitale ... Two games later at Michigan, recorded 30 receiving yards on two catches, including a 23-yard TD catch from Kain Colter ... Enjoyed a breakout game in NU's 23-20 win at Michigan State, posting career highs of nine receptions for 110 yards that included a career-long 41-yard catch to set up NU's game-winning field goal ... It was the first 100-yard receiving game by an NU superback since Drake Dunsmore against Indiana on Oct. 29, 2011 ... His performance earned him Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week honors and NU's Offensive Player of the Game award ... Closed the year with seven receptions for 82 yards in the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl win vs. Mississippi State, including a 34-yard grab that set up NU's third touchdown.
High School: Ranked 139th nationally among defensive backs by Scout.com ... Ranked 260th nationally among wide receivers and 58th overall prospect in Illinois by ESPN.com ... Ranked 139th athletes in the nation and 36th overall prospect in the state by 247Sports ... 2011 Daily Herald All-Area first-team selection ... 2011 7A IHSCOA all-state player and first-team DuPage Valley all-conference selection ... 2011 Chicago Sun-Times All-Area first-team honors ... News-Gazette first-team selection ... 2011 Don Garner Award recipient ... Started at running back for the Tigers, rushing 276 times for 1,340 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2011 ... Hauled in 28 receptions for 191 yards out of the backfield ... Lettered three years in track, two years in football and wrestled one year at 152 lbs. ... 2010 OVC all-conference academic selection ... High honor roll student in the top 10-percent of his class ... National Honor Society member ... Coached by Ron Muhitch.
Personal: Born Dan Michael Vitale III ... Son of Lisa and Dan Vitale ... Attended same high school as Red Grange, John Belushi and Edwin Hubble ... Plans to study economics at Northwestern.