Wildcats play two in Kenosha

Northwestern opened its annual trip to Camp Kenosha with two practices at Wisconsin-Parkside. PurpleWildcats.com was along the sidelines watching both workouts, and files plenty of notes from day one north of the border.

Morning Practice Report

• So much for the dog days of summer. Northwestern took to the practice field in Kenosha on a cold, rainy day, with temperatures barely above 60 degrees. Most players wore warm Under Armour long sleeves. An unprepared reporter suffered through in shorts.

• An important addition at Camp Kenosha is sophomore running back Treyvon Green, who joined the team after a scare in Friday's practice. Green was released from the hospital on Saturday. He is not practicing, but Pat Fitzgerald anticipates he'll be ready to play for the season-opener.

• At this early point in preseason camp, I am projecting Venric Mark to see the majority of carries at running back, though plenty can change between now and week one. However, Mark has been very impressive, showing true instincts to combine with his natural talents.

• Fitzgerald said of Mark's strong beginning to camp: "I'm very pleased with the way he has started camp." He also added that Mike Trumpy, recovered from a knee injury, has impressed, too. "Michael is getting more and more confident," he said.

• Fitzgerald allows his veterans off practice off for each 12 starts accumulated. Today, senior guard Brian Mulroe took advantage of the allowance by watching from the sidelines. Redshirt freshman Geoff Mogus stepped in and primarily worked with the first-team offensive line.

• A few other second-year Wildcats saw some time in with the first-team offense. Matt Frazier worked in with the first-team offensive line at right guard, while Jack Konopka saw some reps with at right tackle. Fitzgerald said not to look too deeply into the depth chart just yet. Still, that's an encouraging sign for those young lineman.

Dean Lowry, a true freshman, has emerged as a possible candidate for playing time. Lowry has added some size to his frame, and appears ready for the chance to play. He could end up in the Wildcats' two-deep.

• Senior linebacker David Nwabuisi completed a pick-six of quarterback Kain Colter during team drills. Nwabuisi has worked primarily at weakside linebacker. He has the athleticism to track down a pass and make plays.

• Near the end of practice, former walk-on Doug Diedrick, now a superback, caught a touchdown pass on a beautiful play-action fake by Zack Oliver. After the catch, Diedrick was mobbed my teammates.

• Pat Fitzgerald quotes Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks in saying, "Let's play two!" Northwestern hits the practice field again this afternoon. Listed below are the notes from Northwestern's evening session.

Evening Practice Report

• Oh how perfect it was, the expected thunder storms were staved off from Kenosha, giving the Wildcats a cool, beautiful night to practice on. The team spent less than two hours in its second workout of the day.

• Prior to the practice, Northwestern met for a team meeting, recapping the morning session and reviewing film. The players were focused and ready to close out the first day.

• Running back Mike Trumpy busted an impressive run during team drills, running through the middle then turning it up to the outside. It is evident that his wheels are healthy and ready to go.

• Freshman superback Dan Vitale has seen some meaningful reps during the preseason. On one low pass in the endzone, he made an impressive sliding catch to haul in the touchdown.

• A fun moment in practice came when redshirt freshman quarterback Zack Oliver connected with classmate Pierre Youngblood-Ary, who sprinted by the defenders to the endzone.

• Shortly after, Oliver was picked off by Ibraheim Campbell, who made a solid effort on the return. Campbell has become better at judging whether to step in the box or drop into coverage. Proper reads this season could make Campbell and All-Big Ten player.

• Recruited as a defensive back, true freshman Joseph Jones is now working in with the linebackers. This will be a fun transition to follow, as Jones has track star abilities, but some size, too. With time in the weight room, he could be a very talented linebacker.

• Offensive line coach Adam Cushing confirmed that Paul Jorgensen is strictly competing for the starting right tackle job, along with Jack Konopka and Chuck Porcelli. At right guard, redshirt freshman Matt Frazier is battling with senior Neal Deiters.

• The Wildcats return to the practice field at Wisconsin-Parkside on Tuesday morning, where they will work in front of Big Ten Network crews. PurpleWildcats.com will also be on the sidelines for plenty of coverage.

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college athletics and professional baseball for FOX Sports Next since 2009. Emma covered the Nebraska Cornhuskers for Big Red Report, and currently covers the Northwestern Wildcats and Chicago Cubs. He currently resides on Chicago's north side.
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