Tuesday Practice Report

Day two of Northwestern football camp is in the books. The coaches continued to try out some different players at different positions and the intensity escalated on more than one occasion. Get the details from practice with our PurpleWildcats.com practice report.

• It was a beautiful day in Evanston and the Wildcats took advantage. They practiced in the sunshine for a little more than two hours.

Pat Fitzgerald said the team looked tired today after their first day of practice, but added, "we pushed through."

• Though the Wildcats were not in pads, the intensity was not lacking. Things grew especially chippy when the first-team offense and defense squared off. Fifth-year seniors Brian Peters and Charles Brown squared off in a shoving match, but were quickly separated. A few plays later, Tyris Jones gave a good shot to redshirt freshman safety Ibraheim Campbell. As Jeremy Ebert said after practice, "That's football."

• Yes, Dan Persa practiced again today. After watching him closely, I'd say he has not lost anything since the injury. His throws were right on the money and his footwork appeared to be fine.

• Fitzgerald added on Persa, "He threw the ball well. I thought he had good poise and good demand. Now he just has to get back in shape."

• I asked Fitzgerald if any freshman have stood out yet. He simply answered, "No."

• The front-five had the same look as they did yesterday. Ben Burkett worked in at right guard again, while Brandon Vitabile gave snaps to the quarterbacks. Burkett said he's comfortable at right guard, and last played the position in 2007—his freshman season with Northwestern.

• Burkett also addressed his back problem, which held him out of the Wildcats' spring drills. He said he feels "100 percent" and is in great shape.

• Fitzgerald addressed the swap on the offensive line. He said, "Nothing is an experiment, everything we do is by design."

• Redshirt freshman linebacker Collin Ellis was back with the first-team defense today.

• There was some shuffling on the defensive line. Chance Carter worked in with the first-team defensive line, but at defensive tackle rather than defensive end. Carter also did this during spring practice.

Neal Deiters stepped in for Ben Burkett and worked at right guard with the first-team offense.

• Sophomore Tyler Scott also worked in as the first-team defensive end today. He and Kevin Watt are in a competition for that spot. Yesterday, Watt saw the majority of reps at that position.

• The highlight of the day came from sophomore running back Adonis Smith. During ones-against-ones, he broke an 80-yard run as he outran everyone on the defense. Smith looks faster than ever.

• The Wildcats finished up practice with conditioning drills. As they did up-down drills, they yelled out "one finish", "two finish", "three finish".

• After the team broke huddle, they gathered together to honor former equipment manager Bill Jarvis, who returned to watch the team practice this afternoon. The entire team—players and coaches—gathered to sing the fight song to Jarv. A very nice touch by the players and staff.

• The Wildcats practice again on Wednesday at 4:00. PurpleWildcats.com will be there!

Post-Practice Video Links:
Pat Fitzgerald post-practice
Jeremy Ebert post-practice
Ben Burkett post-practice
Kain Colter post-practice

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