Seven Northwestern alums on 53-man rosters to begin the year
General: Four-year letterwinner ... Professional prospect ... Played in 45 career games, starting 32 ... Career was shortened by four games when he suffered a career-ending broken leg against Michigan State on Oct. 21, 2006 ... One of the Big Ten's most underrated linebackers ... One of the 'Cats' defensive leaders ... A skilled and versatile player who played outside (will) linebacker ... Possessed a great package of speed and strength ... Closed career with 241 tackles (137 solos), 16 TFL's and 2 interceptions.
2006: Academic All-Big Ten ... Team Co-MVP with Tyrell Sutton ... Suffered a season- and career-ending broken right leg early in the second half vs. Michigan State ... Team's starting outside linebacker ... One of four team captains ... Led NU in opener at Miami (Ohio) with eight tackles (four solos) and an 8-yard pass sack ... Notched a team-best 10 tackles (eight solos) vs. New Hampshire ... Team-high nine tackles and a QB hurry vs. Eastern Michigan ... Five tackles, including a 9-yard pass sack, at Nevada ... Recorded his second career interception, and first of the season, at Penn State, which set up NU's only touchdown ... Added six tackles , which included a TFL ... Game-best 11 tackles (nine solos), as well as a TFL, at Wisconsin ... 10 tackles and a pair of QB hurries vs. Purdue ... Credited with three tackles prior to the injury against Michigan State ... Led NU in tackles in five games ... Ranked third in Big Ten tackles per game prior to the MSU game ...
Named a third-team preseason All-Big Ten selection by Athlon's and Phil Steele's.
2005: True junior ... Underwent sports hernia surgery just prior to the start of preseason camp ... Returned to practice just days prior to the season opener ... Team's second-leading tackler (77 tackles) ... Hurt his back in the Iowa game (5 tackles, 1 sack), but returned to play at Ohio State ... Led the Wildcats with 10 tackles vs. the Buckeyes ... Prior to Ohio State, had his top three performances of the year: a team-leading nine tackles (seven solo hits), which included a 3-yard TFL, and a pass breakup at Michigan State; 12 tackles and a pass breakup vs. Michigan; and the effort vs. Iowa before being injured ... Started first two games, but was forced to miss a chunk of the Northern Illinois game with dehydration ... Three tackles in season opener vs. Ohio ... Five tackles and a quarterback hurry vs. Northern Illinois ... Notched four tackles and a forced fumble at Arizona State ... Two tackles, including a TFL, vs. Penn State ... Totaled seven tackles, including a 0.5 TFL, vs. Wisconsin ... Credited with a team- and season-best 10 tackles (five solos) at Purdue ... Four tackles at Illinois ... Six tackles and a 35-yard interception return for a TD vs. UCLA in the Sun Bowl ... The interception was the first of his career.
2004: Earned NGN Defensive Newcomer of the Year Award ... Second on team with 7.5 TFLs ... Had best performance of the season vs. Kansas: 9 tackles (6 solos), 3 TFL's (one was a sack), a pass breakup and a QB hurry ... Topped that against Illinois: career-high 15 tackles (nine solos), a forced fumble and a sack ... Started first collegiate game at TCU and registered three tackles ... Totaled six tackles, a pass breakup and a 1/2 sack vs. Arizona State ... Team's co-leader in tackles (nine) at Minnesota ... Also had a TFL against the Gophers ... Notched nine tackles (seven solos), including 1.5 pass sacks against Ohio State ... Suffered an injury in first quarter vs. Indiana and did not play remainder of game (two tackles, including one TFL) ... Cleared to play at Wisconsin, but suffered a mild concussion in practice that week ... Started UW game, but was "dinged" early and left after recording just one tackle ... Credited with 11 tackles and two pass breakups vs. Purdue ... Had five tackles, which included a 3-yard sack, at Penn State ... Registered nine tackles (six solos) at Michigan ... Four tackles at Hawaii ... Ranked 25th in Big Ten tackles per game.
2003: Played the most defensive snaps among any true freshman ... Appeared in all 13 games ... Notched 19 tackles, including a season-high eight hits (four solos) versus Minnesota ... Recorded three tackles versus Michigan ... Had two tackles, including a 12-yard sack vs. Duke ... Played reserve linebacker and on special teams.
High School:SuperPrep All-Midwest Region ... PrepStar/Rivals All-Midwest Region honoree ... Played both linebacker and wide receiver/running back and excelled on both sides of the ball ... 2002 first-team all-state, two-time first-team all-conference (2001-02), 2002 Associated Press all-state honorable mention ... 2001 and 2002 North Shore Receiver of the Year ... 2001 All-Southeast Wisconsin Coaches' List ... Red Knights' 2002 team MVP and 2001 and 2002 Offensive Player of the Year ... In final two seasons, totaled 82 receptions for 1,293 yards, 27 TD's and 162 points ... Also had 897 rushing yards on 78 carries ... Totaled 126 tackles, three sacks, 10 tackles for loss, one interception (for TD), three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery ... Had two punt and two kickoff returns for TD's as a senior ... Also lettered in basketball and track ... Slated to play in North/South Shrine Bowl in July ... Helped the Red Knights win the most games in 30 years and advance to second round of playoffs for first time in school history in 2002 ... Coached by Lonnie Pries.
Personal: Born Nicholas Alexander Roach on 6/16/85 ... Son of Deborah Stanford and Anthony Roach ... His uncle, John Rhodes, played basketball at Ohio University and presently serves as an assistant basketball coach for the Bobcats, and an aunt, Jennifer Rhodes, played basketball at Wisconsin (1993-98) ... Selected as NU's 2005 representative to the NCAA Leadership Conference in Orlando, Fla. (May 29-June 2) ... Played seven years with the Wisconsin Shooters AAU basketball team and won two state championships ... Art theory and practice major and business institutions minor.
The Nick Roach File
Q: A song that best describes you is ...
A: Footprints by G-Unit
Q: If you could dine with anyone from any period in history, who would it be?
A: Leonardo Da Vinci
Q: If you could have a starring role in any film already made, which movie would you pick?
A: Pootie Tang
Q: If you could choose the title of your autobiography, what would it be?
A: "Nick Roach: True Gemini"
Q: What is the greatest lesson in life that you have learned?
A: Be appreciative and content. Things could always be worse.
Q: Something people would be surprised to know about me is ...
A: My dad was born in Barbados
Q: My favorite opposing stadium to play in is ...
A: Penn State
Q: The person that inspires me the most is ...
A: My mom
Q: My favorite food is...
A: My mom's catfish and spaghetti, with hush puppies
Q: When I played football as a kid, I pretended to be ...
A: Barry Sanders
Q: Which currrent NU football player is the biggest jokester?
A: Demetrius Eaton
Q: If you could suddenly possess an extraordinary talent in one of the arts, what would you like it to be?
A: I wish I could sing
Q: My favorite pre-game ritual is...
A: Snack in the hotel before the game
Q: To improve as a player, I need to...
A: Bring more physicality