Saturday Practice Report

The Wildcats have their last practice before a two-week break. They took the field in full pads for the first time this spring.

The Wildcats took to the practice field in full pads for the first time this spring. Here's the scoop from practice.

• The team practice in full pads for two hours and 15 minutes.

• Saturday is Junior Day at Northwestern. The program welcomed a long list of recruits. For the entire list, click this link

• At the end of practice, Fitzgerald said, "We got a lot of work to do, but we're gaining on it. Their attitude is in the right place, and that's all I can ask for."

• Each individual position spent extended time with their individual group working on techniques. Fitzgerald said of these drills, ""It's fundamentals and techniques that we work on in these individuals drills. The first thing to go is your mind. If your mind goes, then there goes your body. We got sloppy."

• Fitzgerald said he thought his team's intensity was ok, but later added, "On the 1-10-o-meter, I think I'd give it a 1.75. We're ok—baby steps, we got a long, long way to go."

• While working in team drills, two of Northwestern's best playmakers on offense had the opportunity to shine. Sophomore WR Venric Mark showed off his breakaway speed as he was able to blow by the defense down the sidelines. Later, sophomore QB Kain Colter showed off his impressive speed by juking a defender and also taking it down the sidelines. After the play, a defender said, "dang, you're fast!"

Dan Persa is still a huge part of each practice. During team drills, he is behind the play with the coaches, and on the headset with the coaching staff. Prior to each play, Persa helps give the signals to the quarterbacks, then after each play, Persa is there to give guidance.

Drake Dunsmore was back at practice. Fitzgerald joked after practice that he gave him a big high-five and said he hadn't seen him in a while. Dunsmore said after practice that he's feeling healthy and ready to go.

• Dunsmore also is taking a leadership role in trying to help the younger players out. Dunsmore said, "They're learning the plays, they're coming along quickly. We old guys have to help them out and piece them along."

• The defense continues to look very impressive. This spring is a new beginning for the defense, and they are taking advantage. They look faster, and much more mobile to the ball. When asked about the defense, Fitzgerald said the past is the past, and added, "I think we're getting back to the attitude that we've always had."

• At the conclusion of practice, the offensive and defensive lineman took part in "The Gauntlet" drill. In the drill, the players are spun around 10 times to get dizzied. Then, they run through a gauntlet of their teammates. Each lineman has to catch six footballs. Patrick Ward won the game, catching all six passes, including a laser from Dan Persa.

• The team has a long layoff until the next practice. Finals and spring break are coming up, so the program will take two weeks away from practice. They will again take to the practice field on Monday, March 28th.

Stay with PurpleWildcats.com for updates on Junior Day. If any news breaks—we'll bring it to you immediately.

Pat Fitzgerald Post-Practice
Drake Dunsmore Post-Practice
Vince Browne Post-Practice


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