Recapping Spring Practice Around the Big 10

Once again its time for Spring Football Practice and while the <b>Wildcats</b> don't start until April 1st, three Big 10 Teams are already out on the field getting ready for the Fall Season.<br><br> How are things going so far...?

As I assemble "Spring Practice Central"
I come upon some little tidbits of information about our future opponents. The plan is to put them in a weekly recap for those who don't have time to follow all the links...

Northwestern:
Nothing much to report yet. Randy Walker gathers the Cats for their first workout April 1st - the second day back from Spring Break.  The NGN Auction is April 5th - Spring Game is April 26th.
And from the Rest of the Big 10

Illinois:
Yes, there still is an Illinois Football Team...and they've already named Jon Beutjer as the starter. Senior Dustin Ward will be the backup but won't be able to challenge until the start of the season, because he's recovering from shoulder surgery.

Coch Ron Turner's biggest problem on Offense? - Wide Receivers. They've even moved a d-back over to WR - Jamaal Clark. They also have to replace all time leading rusher Antoineo Harris, but they think they've got the depth at RB.

The biggest question is defensive leadership - the Illini graduated their Star Middle Linebacker, Jerry Schumacher, and the challenge has been given to two Juniors - Matt Sinclair and Mika Gawelek.

Sinclair has apparently stepped up as a leader, now he has all spring to solidify the position. Stay tuned...
Michigan:
The Wolverines are pretty confident about the upcoming season - They have their entire O-Line, QB John Navarre, RB Chris Perry and WR Braylon Edwards back. Missing is the big 3rd down back - the fullback is presently Sean Sanderson, but nobody knows if he's Lloyd Carr's go to guy.

They're looking for depth, and two of the starting linebackers from last year will sit out the Spring. Carl Diggs and Zach Kaufman are nursing knee injuries. Two Sophs who had to sit out last year due to injury will plug the holes.

The third linebacker, SAM, will be Pierre Woods - who is moving from DE - sort of a reverse Napo. Then there's UM's safety problem - three of the deep d-backs graduated last year. Two of the incoming frosh could challenge for those positions.
Wisconsin:
New Athletic Director, Barry Alvarez has decreed that his primo players won't be subject to the slings and arrows of bench riders trying to earn a starting spot, so he's decided to sit out TB Anthony Davis, and other starters from the Spring Game! - no more Lee Evans type injuries.

Lots of turnover on the O-Line - 3 starters graduated - Donovan Raiola is expected to be the new Center Soph Mike Lorenz is expected to be the right tackle.

Two Badgers, Morgan Davis and Jake Wood are trying to win the left tackle slot but the coaches move some other guys around too. I'm sure Davis is concerned about who finally plays where.

Wisconsin is also excited about new TE Coach Rob Ianello.
And that's the news from the Spring Practice fields as of this morning - March 19th, 2003.

You can find Links to all these stories
and more - by going to

The Purple Reign Spring Practice Central

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