The Chicago Bears have invited Zeke Markshausen to their rookie minicamp this weekend. He is one of around two dozen undrafted free agents invited, including Illinois quarterback Juice Williams. The former North Boone star tore up his knee as a junior, but walked on at Northwestern and was named second-team All-Big Ten as a senior, when he ranked second in the conference in receptions. You can read my story in Tuesday’s Rockford Register Star.
Markshausen will also go down in history as being the key figure in one of the Wildcats’ most memorable plays. Markshausen caught 12 passes in Northwestern’s 38-35 Alamo Bowl loss to Auburn. On the final play, with Northwestern trying to win its first bowl game since 1949, Markshausen was tackled on the 2 after a 3-yard gain on a version of the fumblerooskie on a fake field goal.
“That was a heart-breaker all right,” Markshausen told me this afternoon. “But they’ll get that bowl win this year.
“What a game! I couldn’t ask for much more for my last game. It had everything you could want in a college football game. It was such a long game. I was pooped at the end and gave everything I had. We didn’t come out on top at the end, but, man, what a game!”
What a guy! Markshausen overcame incredible odds to become one of our best-ever Division I football players — ranking No. 2 all-time in receptions — and now has a shot with the Bears. I’ll be talking to him again this weekend at the Bears’ rookie camp. It won’t be easy, but it would be awesome if he could make the team.