Despite being a four-year starter, Basanez flew under the radar for his first three years, but made up for that lack of recognition by garnering numerous postseason honors as a senior. The mobile quarterback is a perfect fit for a West Coast offense with his ability to scramble, throw on the move and quickly spot the defensive coverages to move the chains. An intelligent athlete, Basanez earned his undergraduate degree in August 2005 and spent the season working on his Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies. He was one of thirteen finalists for the Wuerffel Trophy (honors a player who best combines exemplary community service with outstanding academic and athletic achievement).
Basanez was the USA Today Illinois Player of the Year selection at St. Viator High School. He was accorded Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report All-American honors and was rated the 67th-best player and the tenth-best quarterback in the country by that recruiting service. He added Super Prep and Prep Star All-Region, Chicago Sun-Times Player of the Year and All-State, Chicago Tribune first-team All-State, Daily Herald first-team All-Area and Champaign News-Gazette first-team All-State honors as a senior.
Basanez was a High School Heisman Trophy finalist and participated in the National East-West High School All-Star Football Game (was the state's only representative). He was selected to play in the Down Under Bowl in Australia. Basanez served as team captain and earned MVP honors, as he threw for 2,876 yards and 39 touchdowns his senior season. He totaled 5,153 yards and 69 touchdowns passing in his final two years, breaking all of the school passing and scoring records. Basanez also was an Honor Roll student all four years at St. Viator High.
Basanez redshirted in 2001 at Northwestern. He started nine games in 2002 to earn Freshman All-American second-team honors from The Sporting News. He sat out the Penn State and Purdue contests with a left fibula fracture, but still managed to hit on 190 of 325 passes (58.5 percent) for 2,204 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He added 96 yards and four scores on 67 carries, finishing his first year as the starter with 2,300 yards in total offense.
Basanez became the fourth quarterback to lead the Northwestern team to a bowl game (loss to Bowling Green in the Motor City Bowl) in 2003. He started every game, connecting on 162 of 302 attempts (53.6 percent) for 1,916 yards, four touchdowns and twelve interceptions. He ranked fourth on the squad with 219 yards and two scores on 128 rushing attempts, finishing the year with 2,135 yards in total offense.
His mediocre performance in 2003 resulted in Basanez battling to keep his starting job the following season. But he emerged in 2004, ranking No. 22 in the nation in total offense (258.0 ypg) and No. 24 in passing (236.5 ypg). He set school single-season records with 2,837 yards on 247 pass completions, throwing for twelve touchdowns and nine interceptions. He scored five times on 83 carries for 258 yards, amassing 3,096 total yards on 543 plays.
Still, he was not considered a pro prospect by NFL scouts entering his senior season. Basanez then went on to rank third in the nation in total offense (337.1 ypg) and fourth in pass completions (26.17 avg) during the 2005 season. He was named Big Ten Conference Offensive Player of the Year and Sports Illustrated National Player of the Year. He shattered school single-season records with 314 completions in 497 attempts (63.2 percent) for 3,622 yards, 21 touchdowns and only eight interceptions. He was second on the team with 423 yards and seven scores on 113 carries (3.7 avg) and totaled 4,045 yards on 610 plays.
In 47 games with the Wildcats, Basanez started 46 times. He established 28 school records, as he completed 913 of 1,584 passes (57.6 percent) for 10,580 yards, 44 touchdowns and 36 interceptions. He rushed 391 times for 996 yards (2.5 avg) and eighteen scores, missing by four yards in his quest to become the first player in NCAA Division 1-A history to throw for over 10,000 yards and rush for over 1,000 yards in a career. He finished his time at Northwestern with 11,576 yards and 62 touchdowns while participating in 1,975 plays.
Positives: Very mobile quarterback who has to be accounted for because of his valid feet and scrambling ability
Shows good quickness in play-action and has a smooth, mechanically sound throwing motion
Puts good zip on his underneath tosses and improved his timing and touch in attempts to hit his targets coming out of their breaks
Has good pocket presence, remaining focused when avoiding a heavy rush
Shows better accuracy on the short passing game, especially on seams, check downs and screens
Also has decent accuracy on post corner and short fade routes
Does a good job of not interrupting receivers in their routes, getting the ball over the top of the outside shoulder
Escapes effectively and can improvise as a runner.
Negatives: Lacks ideal height and needs to do a better job of recognizing zone coverages and schemes (throws into traffic often)
Will under-throw a bit on passes 45 yards or longer (pass seems to tail off)
When throwing long, he lacks a consistently tight spiral (passes wobble)
Scans the field better on the move than when standing in the pocket
Will telegraph his deep throws by utilizing a long arm motion.
Basanez is a mobile quarterback with a linear structure, some shoulder muscle definition and a frame that will need to carry additional bulk to absorb punishment at the next level. He is shorter than ideal and this causes him some problems when trying to scan the field. He shows good avoidance skills escaping pocket pressure and the change of direction agility to make the initial tackler miss.
Basanez plays with good passion and showed in 2005 that he can handle pressure in big games. He has adequate footwork and quickness in play-action and when dropping back from center. Basanez gets a good push from the line of scrimmage, but appears to be more effective when moving away from the pocket than when stepping up.
He has a smooth, mechanically sound throwing motion, but lacks consistency maintaining a tight spiral on his long throws (ball wobbles some). When going deep, he tends to telegraph the throw with a long arm motion and taking the ball back far, but manages to get the ball through the throwing arc (improved in 2005 from previous seasons).
He is best when zipping the ball to the middle of the field, as his long throws tend to labor past 45 yards. He will never have a rifle for an arm, but can put good velocity behind his short and intermediate throws. However, his deep, go and out route tosses are very limited. Basanez is more comfortable throwing the seams, check downs and screens. He is accurate on short fades and post corners, but usually under-throws when throwing deep. Most of his long throw problems are the result of not setting his feet properly when rolling out.
Basanez will still try to force the ball into tight quarters. While he was more conscious of this in 2005, reducing his interception totals to eight, he misfires quite a bit on deep throws and needs to show better judgment operating in this area. He does not panic when pressured, knowing he can buy time with his feet. He has good command of the offense and in the huddle, but will still make desperation throws that prove costly.
Basanez is good at feeling pressure and avoiding the pass rush, as he has a knack for escaping without losing focus. He does a decent job of sidestepping and has good open field speed for this position. In 2005, he did a much better job of feeling protection and planting his feet before throwing the ball. He improvises on the move and has enough creativity to make plays on his own.
One area Basanez improved on in 2005 was his ability to anticipate receivers coming out of their breaks. He showed better ability to hit the open target, as he did not hold on to the ball as long as he did in the past. He did a better job of spotting his secondary targets, scanning the field effectively to find his man on underneath routes. Basanez had much better touch on swing routes or when dropping it in over the top. He finally realized that he did not have great arm strength and stopped trying to force the long ball so much. It is his feel for the underneath game that could see him be more effective in a West Coast offense than a normal pro-set.
Basanez emerged as a senior, but played in a system that was more of a move the chains type attack. He is an intelligent player, but will force the ball when rolling out of the pocket and the result has been 36 interceptions in 47 games. His lack of ideal height is a concern, but he has valid feet to create on the move. He appears to be a decent second day draft pick, but doesn't have a huge upside.
Gained 996 yarrds rushing and 10,580 yards passing, missing by four yards in his quest to become the first NCAA Division 1-A quarterback to throw for over 10,000 yards and rush for over 1,000 yards in a career
Holds the school career-records for passing yards (10,580), pass completions (9130 and total offense yardage (11,576), topping the previous marks of 7,487 yards passing, 644 completions and 8,029 yards in total offense by Len Williams (1990-93)
His 1,584 pass attempts not only set a school all-time record, but also rank second in Big Ten Conference history behind Drew Brees of Purdue (1,678 from 1997-2000)
His 913 pass completions are topped only by Brees 91,026) in Big Ten annals
His 10,580 yards passing, 1,975 plays and 11,576 yards in total offense are also second only to Brees (11,792 passing; 1,931 plays; 12,692 total offense) in conference history.
Earned Big Ten Conference Offensive Player Of The Year (media), consensus first-team All-Big Ten and Sports Illustrated National Player Of The Year honors
Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award finalist, Davey O'Brien Award semifinalist and Wuerffel Trophy finalist while adding Team MVP and NU's Big Ten Sportsmanship Award accolades
Northwestern's National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete semifinalist
Set school single-season records for total offense (4,045), passing yardage (3,622) and touchdown passes (21), breaking the old marks of 3,272 yards and 20 touchdowns by Zac Kustok in 2001 and Basanez's 2,838 yards in total offense in 2004
Completed 314 of 497 passes (63.2 percent) with eight interceptions
Second on the team with 113 carries for 423 yards (3.7 avg) and seven scores
Was sacked ten times for losses of 75 yards and had 34 of his pass attempts deflected
Three of his six fumbles were recovered by the opposition.
|2005 Game Analysis|
Opened the season with 27 of 37 tosses for 353 yards and touchdowns of 11 & 18 yards to Shaun Herbert, adding 17 yards on eight runs with a 3-yard score, but also turned the ball over on a fumble and was sacked twice for minus 11 yards.
Gained 220 yards on 21 of 32 passes and 55 yards on ten carries as the offense generated 502 yards in a 38-37 decision.
Totaled 224 yards on 24 of 37 throws with 7 & 5-yard touchdowns to Shaun Herbert, but Basanez's two fumbles proved costly in a 52-21 defeat.
Was sacked twice and intercepted once while gaining 229 yards on 20 of 38 passes and 54 yards on 21 rushing attempts in a 34-29 loss.
Rallied the team to 27 third quarter points in a 51-48 decision, hitting on 26 of 36 tosses for 361 yards and three touchdowns, including a 52-yarder to receiver Kim Thompson and rushed 12 times for 69 yards, including a 4-yard score, but also turned the ball over on a fumble
Earned Big Ten Player of the Week honors for his performance.
Racked up 506 yards in total offense on 37 of 55 throws for 463 yards and three touchdowns
Carried seven times for 43 yards and a 9-yard score
Scored the game's first touchdown on a 67-yard bomb to Eric Peterman, adding a 5-yard scoring strike to Frayne Abernathy and an 11-yard touchdown to Brandon Roberson
Provided a key block to spring tailback Tyrell Sutton for a game-winning 1-yard scoring plunge with 1:43 left to play in a 34-29 victory
His 506 yards in total offense rank third on the school's game-record list, topped only by Zac Kustok's 532 vs. Bowling Green in 2001 and Basanez's 548 vs. Texas Christian in 2004
His 463 yards passing are surpassed only by Basanez's 513 vs. Texas Christian in 2004 on the school's game-record list.
Followed with 24 of 30 passes for 331 yards and touchdowns of 14 yards to Eric Peterman and 21 yards to Mark Philmore
Basanez also ran for a pair of 4-yard scores as the offense amassed 533 yards.
Hit on 26 of 49 attempts for 326 yards and a pair of scores, but was picked off twice and sacked once for a 15-yard loss
His touchdown tosses were good for 62 & 34 yards to Mark Philmore.
Ran for 55 yards on 12 tries and completed 31 of 51 passes for 338 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including a 34-yarder to Shaun Herbert.
Collected a season-low 121 yards on 15 of 31 tosses with a touchdown and an interception
Sacked for an 11-yard loss, causing a fumble.
Fumbled once and was sacked twice for minus 18 yards, but gained 85 yards with two scores on 17 carries and 240 yards with two touchdowns on 25 of 31 passes.
UCLA (Sun Bowl)
Closed out his career with 38 of 70 passes for 416 yards, two scores and a pair of interceptions in a 50-38 loss
Rushed eight times for 32 yards
His 70 pass attempts were one shy of the school game-record of 71 by Sandy Schwab vs. Michigan in 1982.
All-Big Ten Conference honorable mention
Recipient of the team's Ballantine Award, given for outstanding leadership
Ranked 22nd in the nation in total offense (258.0 ypg), 15th in completions per game (20.6) and 24th in passing yards per game (236.5 ypg)
Set school single-season records (since broken in 2005) for passing yardage and completions
Hit on 247 of 460 passes (53.7 percent) for 2,838 yards, twelve touchdowns and nine interceptions
His 2,838 yards and 247 completions broke the old NU records of 2,735 yards and 234 completions by Sandy Schwab in 1982
Added 258 yards and five scores on 83 carries
His 3,096 yards in total offense rank third on the school's season record list behind Basanez's 2005 total of 4,045 yards and Zac Kustok's 3,272 in 2001
Sacked eleven times for losses of 65 yards and had 47 of his pass attempts deflected
Only fumbled once.
|2004 Game Analysis|
Named Big Ten Player of the Week as he set school game-records for most yards passing (513) and total offense (548), topping the previous marks of 446 aerial yards by Mike Greenfield vs. Northern Illinois in 1985 and 532 yards in total offense by Zac Kustok vs. Bowling Green in 2001
Hit on 39 of 62 attempts with an interception and four touchdowns, including 6 & 69-yarders to Jonathan Fields
Also carried seven times for 35 yards.
Was sacked three times for minus 20 yards while connecting on 21 of 38 throws for 228 yards
Rushed eight times for 30 yards and a 13-yard score.
Scored on a 15-yard run and gained 192 yards on 20 of 33 passes, including a 12-yard touchdown to Brandon Horn
Sacked twice for minus 15 yards.
Followed with 13 of 26 tosses for 121 yards and an interception
Ran for a 15-yard touchdown.
Collected 278 yards on 24 of 44 attempts with two interceptions and a pair of touchdowns, including a 27-yarder to Mark Philmore and picked up 53 yards on six rushing attempts.
Connected on 28 of 48 throws for 254 yards, an interception and a 2-yard scoring strike to Taylor Jones.
Added 185 yards on 16 of 35 passes, but was sacked twice for minus 7 yards and threw an interception
Hit Mark Philmore with a 29-yard scoring pass.
Held to 148 yards on 11 of 30 passes and 24 yards on nine carries.
Sacked once and intercepted once, completing 15 of 27 attempts for 205 yards.
Hit on 23 of 43 throws for 211 yards and a 9-yard touchdown to Brandon Horn.
Managed 184 yards on 18 of 31 passes and a 7-yard score to Jonathan Fields in overtime, but was sacked once and picked off once.
Closed out the season with 19 of 41 attempts for 319 yards, a touchdown and an interception
Carried eight times for 60 yards, finishing the day with 379 yards in total offense, but also fumbled once.
Started every game, completing 162 of 302 passes (53.6 percent) for 1,916 yards, four touch-downs and twelve interceptions
Ranked fourth on the team with 128 carries for 219 yards (1.7 avg) and two scores
Gained 2,135 yards in total offense on 430 plays
Was sacked 22 times for losses of 175 yards and had 47 of his pass attempts deflected.
|2003 Game Analysis|
On a rain-soaked field in the season opener, Basanez hit on 23 of 36 passes for 219 yards and an interception.
Followed with 15 of 38 attempts for 234 yards and a 20-yard touchdown to tailback Noah Herron, but was intercepted four times and sacked once for minus 12 yards
Also gained 49 yards on 12 rushing attempts.
Ran for a 1-yasrd score and connected on 15 of 23 throws for 177 yards, but was also sacked twice for losses of 7 yards.
Added 196 yards on 19 of 31 passes with two interceptions and scored on a 2-yard run, but was sacked three times for minus 32 yards.
Hit on 13 of 20 throws for 191 yards and a 77-yard touchdown to Brandon Horn and carried ten times for 32 yards, but also fumbled once.
Completed 10 of 23 passes for 176 yards and a 53-yard touchdown to tailback Jason Wright, but he also threw a pair of interceptions, fumbled once and was sacked once for an 8-yard loss.
Totaled 232 yards, carrying nine times for 44 yards while gaining 188 yards on 13 of 21 passes with an interception and a 41-yard touchdown to Brandon Horn.
Intercepted once, fumbled twice and was sacked four times for losses of 38 yards while completing only 3 of 9 tosses for 24 yards and finishing with a dismal 5 total yards (nine carries for minus 19 yards).
Bowling Green (Motor City Bowl)
Continued to struggle, completing only 7 of 15 throws for 58 yards in a 28-24 loss
Rushed ten times for 41 yards.
Freshman All-American second-team and Freshman All-Big Ten Conference first-team selection by The Sporting News
Missed the Penn State and Purdue games after fracturing his left fibula (lower leg) on his final play (two-point conversion) at Minnesota
Returned to the lineup vs. Indiana
Started nine games, completing 190 of 325 passes (58.5 percent) for 2,204 yards (seventh-best season total in school history), seven touchdowns and seven interceptions
Gained 96 yards with four scores on 67 carries (1.4 avg)
Saw action in 392 plays, gaining 2,300 yards in total offense
Was sacked twelve times for losses of 102 yards and had 38 of his pass attempts deflected.
|2002 Game Analysis|
Made his collegiate debut with 158 yards on 14 of 26 passes.
Completed 21 of 34 attempts for 245 yards and a pair of interceptions, adding 30 yards on nine carries with touchdowns of 1 & 17 yards.
Collected 260 yards on 20 of 26 throws, including a 5-yard score to Ronnie Foster.
Rushed nine times for 31 yards and picked up 178 yards on 15 of 36 attempts with an 8-yard touchdown to Jon Schweighardt.
Followed with 283 yards and an interception on 24 of 45 passes.
Scored on a 1-yard run and threw a 24-yard touchdown to Jon Schweighardt while completing 21 of 35 passes for 216 yards.
Returned to the lineup after missing two games with a left fibula fracture
Hit on 19 of 28 passes for 256 yards and a 6-yard score to Jon Schweighardt.
Was sacked twice and intercepted once, but totaled 166 yards on 19 of 29 attempts, including an 8-yard touchdown to Ashton Aikens.
Was sacked three times for losses of 25 yards and intercepted three times in the season finale
Completed 31 of 49 passes for a season-high 368 yards and a 23-yard touchdown to Kunle Patrick
Also ran for a 2-yard score.
Redshirted as a freshman, performing on the scout team.
2002: Missed the Penn State and Purdue games after fracturing his left fibula (lower leg) on his final play (two-point conversion) at Minnesota (10/12)
Returned to the lineup vs. Indiana (11/02).
2004: Suffered a dislocated shoulder vs. Minnesota (9/25), but did not miss a start.
Attended St. Viator (Arlington Heights, Ill.) High School, playing football for head coach Kevin Kelly
USA Today Illinois Player of the Year selection
Accorded Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report All-American honors and was rated the 67th-best player and the tenth-best quarterback in the country by that recruiting service
Added Super Prep and Prep Star All-Region, Chicago Sun-Times Player of the Year and All-State, Chicago Tribune first-team All-State, Daily Herald first-team All-Area and Champaign News-Gazette first-team All-State honors as a senior
High School Heisman Trophy finalist and participated in the National East-West High School All-Star Football Game (was the state's only representative)
Selected to play in the Down Under Bowl in Australia
Served as team captain and earned MVP honors, as he threw for 2,876 yards and 39 touchdowns his senior season
Totaled 5,153 yards and 69 touchdowns passing in his final two years, breaking all of the school passing and scoring records
Honor Roll student all four years at St. Viator High.
Graduated in August 2005 with a degree in Communication Studies and a minor in Business Institutions
Worked on his Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies during the Fall 2005 semester
Son of Marc and Ann Basanez
Born Basanez Stephen Basanez on 5/11/83
Resides in Arlington Heights, Illinois.