Day One Practice Report

The Wildcats moved their first summer practice indoors with lightning in the area. Pat Fitzgerald seemed pleased with his team's first effort. Find out how Dan Persa looked, who is moving where, and who is working with the first-team in today's (free) practice report.

• Practice was supposed to be on the outdoors practice field but Pat Fitzgerald moved it indoors after rain and lightning in the area forced them away. Fitzgerald admitted that a practice in the elements wouldn't do the team much good on their first day.

Dan Persa was back! I repeat, Dan Persa was back! The senior quarterback took to the practice field for the first time since his season-ending injury last November. Persa showed no ill-effects. His throws had the usual zip and his footwork seemed like the usual. All is well from day one of the Persa watch.

• Persa did not have any sort of protection on his achillies. He admitted after practice, I'm rusty, but it's great to be out here.

• NU head coach Pat Fitzgerald was asked how they will monitor Persa. Fitzgerald said, "We'll probably monitor him all season long.

• Persa said he's excited for the PersaStrong campaign because it brings in attention to the football program. He also said his teammates have made fun of him for it, and that his parents are hoping to get their hands on PersaStrong dumbbells.

• There was some interesting shuffling along the offensive line. Senior center and Rimington Watch List member Ben Burkett worked in at right guard, while Brandon Vitabile saw time as the first-team center. Pat Fitzgerald declined to comment on the depth chart, though he said, "We've got ten guys who can play and we're going to find out who the best five are."

• Fitzgerald said the "no-name linebackers" looked like they had no names today. David Nwabuisi worked in as the first-team middle linebacker while Bryce McNaul returned to his spot as the starter on the outside. Meanwhile, redshirt freshman Collin Ellis saw time as the starter at "Will" linebacker.

• The reps at defensive end were distributed fairly evenly. Kevin Watt and Tyler Scott are set to battle it out for that spot. Watt described the competition as friendly and added, "We're all just trying to get better."

• Junior guard Brian Mulroe said he is trying to take on a leadership role with the freshman offensive lineman, just as it was when he was a freshman. He said the key is to be encouraging and help guide them. Mulroe also said as a freshman, he was "a chicken with its head cut off."

• Though he wouldn't specify on any details, Pat Fitzgerald said they hope to find a role for sophomore quarterback Kain Colter.

• Fitzgerald also had positive comments about new strength and conditioning coach Jay Hooten. He admitted that the team came back in great shape.

• The Wildcats will take to the field on Tuesday afternoon for their second practice. will have another practice report and more post-practice video.

Post-Practice Video
Pat Fitzgerald
Dan Persa
Kevin Watt
Brian Mulroe
Brian Peters

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