Wednesday Practice Report

The Wildcats started their Wednesday in Kenosha with a short practice. The team took the field for just more than an hour and a half before a full session in the evening. PurpleWildcats.com was in Kenosha and filed this practice report.

• The Wildcats started their Wednesday in Kenosha with a brief practice. Pat Fitzgerald described the workout as "really physical."

• Fitzgerald described this time as "the grind of camp." He said that some of the players are getting heavy-legged.

• A number of veteran players got the morning off. Al Netter, Vince Browne, and Jordan Mabin each sat out. For each 12 starts accumulated by a Northwestern player, an off-day is rewarded.

• Pat Fitzgerald said of the team, "I like our attitude, guys are going with great enthusiasm, and we're getting better."

• A big emphasis of today's practice was situational work and emphasizing different in-game situations. Fitzgerald said the team will work on special teams during the night practice.

• The play of the day came from Evan Watkins, who busted out of the pocket and scampered alone down the sidelines. Watkins appears a bit more mobile than he was last season.

• Coach Fitzgerald also expressed excitement in the play at linebacker. He said, "I like the way that whole linebacker core is playing."

• Redshirt freshman linebacker Collin Ellis spoke with me after practice. He said the competition at linebacker is going very well, but they don't expect a starter to be announced till Boston College week.

• Ellis said he worked with senior safety Brian Peters during the offseason. Ellis wanted to learn what the safety is doing on certain times so he can play off of Peters.

Tyris Jones showed off his power at running back. On a run to the outside, Jones lowered the shoulder and took down Ibraheim Campbell while gaining some extra yardage.

• Speaking of lowering the shoulder, look for Adonis Smith to do that a few times this season. Smith is up to 200 pounds—up from 175 pounds last season. The extra weight has made him a more versatile running back and gives him some power which adds to his breakaway speed.

• Smith, an Oakland Raiders fan, said he hopes to resemble Darren McFadden in power and Reggie Bush in speed.

• When speaking of his new versatility, Smiths said, "I can shove off the linebacker instead of juking him out. Now, I have both."

• Smith said that in his second season, he feels more like a veteran at Camp Kenosha.

• A highlight on defense came from defensive end Tyler Scott. He completely jumped a snap and intercepted a pitch from Evan Watkins.

• Overall, Coach Fitzgerald feels like the right kind of chemistry is being built through a few days in Kenosha. He credits that to the senior leadership.

• The Wildcats will return to the practice field this evening for a full practice. That practice will be closed to fans and media.

WEDNESDAY LINKS:
Pat Fitzgerald
Collin Ellis
Adonis Smith


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