No. 19 Northwestern ready to face Wisconsin at Camp Randall Saturday
2013: Redshirt junior ... 2013 team captain ... Phil Steele midseason All-Big Ten First Team honoree ... Has started all 36 games of his career ... 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 ... Named to preseason watch lists for Rimington Award and Outland Trophy.
2012: Redshirt sophomore ... Started every game at center for the second straight year ... 26 career starts ... Named to preseason watch list for Rimington Award, presented annually to nation's top center ... Helped NU post fourth-best rushing average in the Big Ten (225.5) and rank No. 1 in fewest sacks allowed ... Made a key fumble recovery on a run by Venric Mark in the third quarter of NU's 22-13 win over Boston College ... Named NU's offensive big playmaker for the win over Minnesota and the team's Offensive Player of the Game against Illinois ... Big Ten Distinguished Scholar (3.7 GPA or above) and Academic All-Big Ten.
2011: Redshirt freshman ... Made first collegiate start at center against Boston College ... Impressed coaches with his play during the spring, which led to his role as NU's starting center and the move of three-year starting center Ben Burkett to offensive guard ... Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
2010: Did not see action.
High School:Rivals.com All-Atlantic East Region, SuperPrep All-Northeast Region and PrepStar All-East Region offensive lineman ... Ranked the 10th-best player (second among offensive linemen) by Rivals.com in New Jersey's player ranking and sixth-best prospect in New Jersey by SuperPrep ... Ranked sixth nationally among centers by Rivals.com and 17th nationally among centers by SuperPrep ... 2009 all-area, All-Greater Middlesex Conference and all-state first-team selection ... Star-Ledger All-American ... Home News Tribuneall-area first team ... New Jersey Football Coaches Association "2009 Super 100 All-State football team" selection ... Played in Aloha Prep Bowl on Dec. 12, 2009 ... Helped lead the Trojans to a three-year mark of 29-9 and three straight postseason appearances ... Earned a prestigious spot on the Greater Middlesex Conference All-Decade team (2000-09) ... MaxPreps New Jersey first-team all-stater ... Team captain ... Also lettered in basketball and baseball ... NFF and College Hall of Fame scholarship recipient ... Italian American Cultural Center academic scholarship recipient ... News 12 and New Jersey Education Association Scholar-Athlete winner ... National Honor Society, Hispanic Honor Society, Top 10 percent of senior class ... Coached by Ron Hilliard.
Personal: Born Brandon Michael Vitabile ... Son of Maureen McCann and Peter Vitabile ... Majoring in economics.