Wildcat running back Arby Fields idolizes former Oakland Raider Bo Jackson — and not just for his powerful running style. Like Jackson, a former pro baseball and football star, Fields is a two-sport athlete. As a freshman last fall, he galloped for 302 yards and five touchdowns, leading all running backs. He's also the starting center fielder on the baseball team.
Fields is one of two Wildcat football players who make the transition from the gridiron to the diamond. Quentin Williams, a sophomore defensive end on the football team, patrols the outfield with Fields for Paul Stevens' squad.
Fields was drafted out of high school by the Atlanta Braves in the 2009 Major League Baseball draft but decided to attend Northwestern instead. The speedy switch-hitter bats leadoff for the Wildcats and is second in steals and among the team leaders in RBIs — all while participating in spring football practices and taking classes.
Beyond physical exhaustion, Williams said life as a two-sport athlete can be mentally taxing, too. "With the speed of the day," he said, "you just have to pick out some ‘me' time once in a while."
While Williams acknowledges that he'll need to focus on one sport in the not-too-distant future, Fields said he will play both sports as long as he can. "How many people play two sports at a major Division I school?" he asked.
— Robert Levin (J12)