Tuesday Spring Practice Report

One day after a rough return to the practice field, the Northwestern Wildcats came back with a great practice. Get the scoop in our Tuesday Practice Report.

• The Wildcats practiced inside in full pads for two hours and 15 minutes.

• Pat Fitzgerald said he was very pleased with how the team responded after a sloppy Monday practice. Fitzgerald said, "It was much better, as we expected. They came back with the right attitude."

• The NU coaches are rotating players in and out of positions, giving the coaches a good look at what kind of a team they have. Fitzgerald said, "We're learning a lot more, specifically about individuals, than we are about groups."

• Fitzgerald also said that this spring may have been a record semester academically for the team.

• The team was working in different players in team drills.

• The quarterbacks were on display today during passing skeleton drills. There's no real rhythm in distribution of reps, but each had their highs and lows during the drill.

• At running back, Mike Trumpy and Adonis Smith continue to see the majority of the reps.

• On the defensive line, Quentin Williams, Tyler Scott, and Niko Mafuli each rotated in, with Chance Carter seeing some time at both defensive end and defensive tackle.

• At linebacker, Bryce McNaul is back at his usual spot at "Will" linebacker, while David Nwabuisi and Damien Proby worked in at middle linebacker, and Chi Chi Ariguzo saw significant reps at "Sam" linebacker.

C.J. Bryant is working in for reps at cornerback, while Jordan Mabin and Jeravin Matthews continue to see their usual load of reps.

• The depth charts will become a lot clearer after Saturday's scrimmage.

• Fitzgerald praised the vast improvements of senior cornerback Jeravin Matthews. Going into Matthew's junior season, Fitzgerald recommended that Matthews redshirt, so he can improve. Now, Fitzgerald says that the cornerback is in line for a starting spot. Fitzgerald said, "We're playing this Saturday, and he's our starting corner, and he's earned that."

• Matthews also had a major highlight during team drills, as he grabbed a deflected pass and ran it back 40-yards for a touchdown.

• Matthews talked for a bit about his switch to cornerback. You can see that video by clicking the link below.

• Fitzgerald also praised junior linebacker David Nwabuisi—another player who switched over to linebacker. Fitzgerald said, "(Nwabuisi) is competing to be the guy at (middle linebacker), and also learning (outside linebacker). He's got a lot on his plate right now, but I think he's handling it really well."

• Sophomore QB Kain Colter talked about his first spring with the Wildcats. Colter spent his break at home in Denver. He said preparing for football over his spring break wasn't a big deal, because his dad is a football coach, and helped him train during his break.

• Colter said he threw every day each morning during his spring break. He also said the altitude likely helped his throws.

• Colter also talked about his development along with fellow sophomore Trevor Siemian. Colter said, "I think as our knowledge increases, our play gets better."

Dan Persa continues to roam the sidelines during practice. He is constantly talking with someone, either a coach or player. He often spends time with the quarterbacks. Fitzgerald believes that his presence is a huge positive for the quarterbacks. He joked, "At this point, he's probably getting annoying. He's probably on them too much." Later, he added, "They couldn't ask for anything better, a guy who's been out there in the battle, a backup, and then competing for a starting role, now he's the guy. He can talk about all aspects and all angles. That being said, they couldn't ask for anything better."

• The most impressive moment of the day was seeing walk-on Tim Hanrahan turn up the burners and blow by the defense for a touchdown.

• "At the end of practice, the team broke their huddle with "Big Ten Champs!" A reminder of their goal.

• The Wildcats will have Wednesday off, then return to the practice field on Thursday morning.

Pat Fitzgerald Post-Practice
Kain Colter Post-Practice
Jeravin Matthews Post-Practice

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