Monday Spring Practice Report

The Wildcats spent the last two weeks taking final exams, and then going off on their spring break. But Monday morning brought the return of spring practice. Read how the team looked in their return to the practice field

• After a two-week break for finals and spring break, the Northwestern Wildcats returned to the practice field for their fifth spring practice session. The team practiced inside for two and a half hours.

• The team practiced in just their upper pads. They have practiced in full pads just once, but are expected to return to full pads on Tuesday.

• Pat Fitzgerald wasn't too impressed with the team's first practice back from break. He said there were too many spring break sun tans. Fitzgerald said the team looked "like they were still on spring break."

• Fitzgerald also added, "Knowing the leadership we have, they'll come back tomorrow."

Dan Persa spoke to the media for the first time this spring. Persa said of being on the sidelines for the spring, "I don't like it. Obviously I'd rather be out there with them, but it's definitely a learning experience.

• During a team drill, Persa was on the sidelines telling his teammates to move back. Even with the pads off, Persa is still serving as the team leader.

• Persa also described his absence as "a humbling experience."

• You can hear all of Persa's comments in our video. See the link below.

• Senior linebacker Bryce McNaul was back at practice. McNaul sat out for the Wildcats' first four practices, and said that was tough to do, but added how great it feels to be back.

• Fitzgerald said of McNaul's first day back, "It looked like it was his first day back," but added that he was excited to see him back out at practice.

• McNaul spent his offseason working out with his girlfriend, who is a former lacrosse player at Northwestern. She served as his personal trainer. McNaul said, "she really kicked my butt."

• Fitzgerald said that he likes the way the running backs have looked, and added, "Like we said coming out of the offseason, they're a year older and a year more mature. We have a pretty good offensive line, and we need to run the ball as efficiently as we can."

• Sophomore WR Rashad Lawrence spoke about his first full spring with football practice. Lawrence worked out with fellow Florida native Trevor Siemian while on break. Lawrence said, "I knew I had to keep me head in the game mentally. It was kind of hard being on spring break and knowing I had to come back, but I was doing what I had to do to stay with it."

Venric Mark continues to amaze me with his speed. On a pass over the middle, Mark turned up the jets and completely blew by the defenders.

• The biggest hit of the day came from safety Brian Peters, who came flying in to give Mike Trumpy a hard hit.

• Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith from the Big Ten Network were on hand to take in the Wildcats' practice.

• More good news for Bryce McNaul. His brother Austin, who serves in Afghanistan, is now second in command in his company with the US Army. He is expected to return on October 12th.

• Check out all of our post-practice video from today's practice. We have video from Pat Fitzgerald, Bryce McNaul, Rashad Lawrence, and the first media session with Dan Persa.

MONDAY PRACTICE VIDEO LINKS:

Pat Fitzgerald Post-Practice
Dan Persa Post-Practice
Bryce McNaul Post-Practce
Rashad Lawrence Post-Practice


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