Seven Northwestern alums on 53-man rosters to begin the year
General: Leader of NU's offensive line during his tenure ... Started last 40 games at right tackle ... Combined tremendous size with consistent play ... Continued to work on his technique and strength ... Solid mentor for NU's younger linemen ... Earned start against Indiana in 2002 and started every game the remainder of his career ... Became NU's first offensive lineman to garner All-America honors in 22 years.
2005: Football Writers Association of America first-team All-American (NU's first first-team All-American offensive lineman in 22 years) ... Consensus second-team All-Big Ten selection ... Wildcat Warrior Award recipient ... True senior ... Phil Steele preseason fourth-team All-America and Street & Smith's preseason honorable mention All-America ... Tabbed a preseason first-team All-Big Ten selection by numerous publications: The Sporting News, Lindy's, Athlon Sports, Blue Ribbon, collegefootballnews.com, Rivals.com and Phil Steele ... Tabbed TSN's "Most Powerful Lineman" in the Big Ten and Lindy's "Best Pass Blocker" in the Big Ten ... Eighth-ranked tackle by Phil Steele, 14th by Lindy's and 19th by
TSN ... Near-unanimous preseason first-team All-Big Ten selection ... Street & Smith's preseason honorable mention All-American ... Eighth-ranked offensive tackle by Phil Steele ... Tabbed TSN's "Most Powerful Lineman" in the Big Ten and Lindy's "Best Pass Blocker" in the Big Ten ... Named one of Pro Football Weekly's top NFL prospects at tackle ... Key performer in NU's record-setting offensive season in which the Wildcats became just the second Big Ten team in league history to average more than 500 yards (500.3) per game ... That total offense average ranked fourth nationally ... Led all NU offensive players in championship game performances with 11.
2004: Consensus second-team All-Big Ten tackle ... Key player in helping NU rank 29th nationally in total offense ... Also helped the Wildcats rank among the Big Ten leaders in fewest sacks allowed ... Led all NU players with 10 championship-game performances (seven coming in Big Ten games).
2003: Named an honorable mention All-Big Ten tackle ... Awarded championship performances in nine of 12 regular-season games ... Named NU's offensive player of the game vs. Minnesota ... Played a huge role in NU's success on offense, especially its rushing offense, which ranked 14th nationally (212.2 yards per game).
2002: Started final three games of season (Indiana, Iowa and Illinois) at right tackle ...Played better and better each week and earned first career start vs. Indiana.
2001: Redshirted ... Scout team player of the week.
High School:SuperPrep All-American ... Ranked the 11th-best lineman in the Midwest by SuperPrep ... PrepStar All-Midwest Region ... Rated the 73rd-best offensive lineman in the country by Rivals100 ... Cincinnati Enquirer first-team all-city selection ... Named first-team all-conference, all-city and All-Southwestern Ohio his senior season ... First-team all-state by Kurelic Recruiting ... Second-team Associated Press All-State ... Selected to play in the Big 33 Game and North-South All-Ohio Game ... Team captain ... All-conference his sophomore and junior years ... Allowed no sacks as a senior and only one as a junior ... First player in school history to be named all-conference three consecutive years ... 50 tackles, seven tackles for loss and two sacks on defense his senior season ... Lettered seven times as a prep (3 -- football, 2 -- basketball, 2 -- track) ... Member of the honor roll all four years ... High school coach was Bob Smith.
Personal: Born Zachary David Strief on 9/22/83 ... Son of Douglas and Cathy Strief ... Chose NU over Maryland, Georgia Tech, Michigan State, Minnesota and Wisconsin ... Communication studies major and business institutions minor.
The Strief File
Q: A song that best describes you is...
A: When Worlds Collide -- Powerman 5000
Q: If you could dine with anyone from any period in history, who would it be?
A: Sir Ernest Shackleton
Q: If you could have a starring role in any film already made, which movie would you pick?
A: Maximus in Gladiator
Q: If you could choose the title of your autobiography, what would it be?
Q: What is the greatest lesson in life that you have learned?
A: Hard work will get you anywhere
Q: If you had to choose the best television show ever made, which one would you pick?
A: South Park
Q: Something people would be surprised to know about me is...
A: I'm a year ahead in school.
Q: My favorite pregame ritual is...
A: That would be going through steps with Chesty (Matt Ulrich) in the end zone.
Q: My favorite opposing stadium to play in is...
A: Ohio State
Q: The best thing about NU is...
A: The degree I will leave with
Q: My ultimate SportsCenter highlight would be...
A: Catching a touchdown pass
Q: My favorite place to visit is...
A: The Doral Golf Resort in Miami, Florida
Q: The person that inspires me the most is...
A: My father
Q: My favorite food is...
A: My mom's spaghetti and meatballs
Q: If I were not playing football, I would be...
Q: When I played football as a kid, I pretended to be...
A: A quarterback
Q: In five words or less describe Coach Walker...
Q: Which current NU football player is the biggest jokester?
A: That has to be me
Q: If you could suddenly possess an extraordinary talent in one of the arts, what would you
like it to be?
A: I would like to be able to dance. I'm bad, really bad.