Coach Fitz and Northwestern step out of conference Saturday to host Rice
2013: True junior ... Made first career start at left tackle against Cal after opening all 13 games at right tackle in 2012 ... Started all 10 contests this season at LT ... Helping Wildcats average 184.3 yards per game on the ground ... Unit has helped QBs to complete 62.9 percent of passes this season, fourth-best mark in the Big Ten ... Wildcats rank first in the Big Ten and second in the NCAA in red zone offense (97.4%) ... Helped teammate Treyvon Green find the endzone a career-high three times at Nebraska ... NU rushed for a season-high 332 yards on the ground against Western Michigan ... Paved way for teammate Treyvon Green to gain career-high 158 yards against Western Michigan. ... Paved way for teammate Treyvon Green to gain career-high 158 yards against Western Michigan. ... Played superback as a true freshman in 2011.
2012: True sophomore ... Started all 13 games at right tackle after switching from superback following his freshman season ... Made first career start for the Wildcats at Syracuse ... Helped NU post fourth-best rushing average in the Big Ten in 2012 (225.5).
2011: Significant contributor as a true freshman, playing in all 13 games ... Began preseason camp working out at the superback position and quickly climbed the depth chart to the team's second-string position ... Played in all 13 games ... Caught first collegiate pass at Iowa, a 6-yarder ... Also played on special teams.
High School: ESPN.com three-star, SuperPrep All-Midwest and Rivals.com All-Midwest offensive lineman ... Ranked 18th among all Illinois players and 69th nationally among all offensive tackles by Rivals.com ... Daily Herald All-Area choice ... Champaign News-GazetteAll-State special mention ... Helped the Vikings win 17 games his junior and senior seasons, which included an 11-1 campaign in 2009 when Fremd reached the Class 8A quarterfinals ... Besides playing on the offensive line, also slotted at tight end (14 receptions for 98 yards, 3 TD's) and defensive end (35 tackles, 3 sacks) ... Team won the MSL West Conference title in both his junior and senior seasons ... Tabbed to play in the U.S.A. vs. the The World National Game ... Also lettered in baseball, track and basketball ... School's Honor Roll ... Coached by Mike Donatucci.
Personal: Born John Andrew Konopka ... Son of Bernadette and Andrew Konopka ... Majoring in secondary teaching.