Saturday Scrimmage Report

The Wildcats wrapped up their week of practice with a full squad scrimmage on Saturday morning. Find out who stood out with our practice report.

• The Northwestern Wildcats had their second spring scrimmage on Saturday morning. They practice outside in full pads.

• Pat Fitzgerald used this scrimmage to again give some of the younger players a chance to get some reps.

• Though it was just a scrimmage, it was definitely physical. At one point, linebacker Chi Chi Ariguzo lost his helmet in a tackle. The players were really going at it.

• Fitzgerald said that the thing he was happiest about from the scrimmage was that there were no injuries. He also said he was pleased that each side of the ball had some highs during the scrimmage.

• The scrimmage started out strong for the defense, as sophomore defensive end Tyler Scott deflected a pass and intercepted it. He then ran it back for a touchdown.

• Scott said that he wasn't even supposed to be in that spot, but he read Trevor Siemian's pass and was able to bat it in the air and intercept it.

• The offense came out with a lot of energy. They were as loud as they've ever been today. At times, they would chant at the defense on the opposite sidelines, and the defense would respond with their own banter. Leading the chants for the defense was injured defensive end Kevin Watt.

• Most of the energy for the offense came from walk-on running back Tyris Jones. He is constantly encouraging his teammates. He is a very emotional player. Jones is also beginning to make a name for himself. After practice, Coach Fitzgerald said of Jones, "He's doing a good job to be the guy in short-yardage situation and to get some chances as a tailback."

• Off in the opposite end zone, Dan Persa spent his time throwing long passes to Jeremy Ebert.

• Fitzgerald said that one of the more impressive plays of practice came on a pass over the middle. Redshirt freshman linebacker Collin Ellis latched on to Charles Brown and managed to fight to bring him down.

• I talked with Mike Trumpy after practice. He is wearing a protective cast in practice, but said his wrist feels good, and he has his full range of motion back. He also said it's been hard to practice with a cast on, because he's broken a number of them. You can see the full interview with Mike Trumpy by clicking our video link below.

• I also talked with Al Netter about his leadership role with the team. He said he has taken after old teammates such as Corey Wootton and Corbin Bryant, and has tried to be more of a vocal leader. You can expect a story on Netter later this weekend.

• After having a rocky practice last Saturday, walk-on wide receiver Torin Dupper responded with a strong showing in practice.

Jeff Budzien continues to impress with field goal kicking. He has a very accurate leg. He appears to be the front-runner for the starting kicking job.

• At the end of practice, the players participated in a throwing game, where they have to hit the crossbar of the goal post with a pass. Brian Peters was the winner.

• There were a number of recruits, as well as 2011 commits. On hand were C.J. Robbins, Max Chapman, Xavier Youngblood-Ary, Jarrell Williams, Mark Szott, and Shane Mertz. We will have updates on the 2012 prospects that were on campus today.

• After that, the Wildcats had a ceremony with players of the past and future. First, they had team mentors (former players who help with the current players) speak to the team. After that, Pat Fitzgerald welcomed in a group of 2011 commits, who were on campus to visit. Those recruits had to introduce themselves to the team without a stutter. If they can speak smoothly, they get a loud cheer. If they stumble, they get booed and laughed at.

• The team will have Monday off, and will return to the practice field on Tuesday. They will practice again on Thursday before their scrimmage next Saturday in Ryan Field.

SATURDAY VIDEO LINKS:
Pat Fitzgerald Post-Practice
Mike Trumpy Post-Practice
Tyler Scott Post-Practice


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