Notes: Lights, cameras, action

Northwestern held its third practice in a 36-hour span at Camp Kenosha, with the Wildcats on the field for two hours. PurpleWildcats.com was down on the sidelines and files these notes from Wisconsin-Parkside's campus.

Northwestern held two practices on Monday to open Camp Kenosha. On Tuesday morning, after a night of rest, the team was back on the field for another two-hour session. Head coach Pat Fitzgerald described it as 'hump day,' but was pleased with the players' efforts.

• Tuesday's practice was performed in front of Big Ten Network crews, part of its annual bus tour. BTN analysts Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith spent ample time on the field, taking notes from practice. Talking with them, both were impressed by the athleticism of the team.

• Fitzgerald pointed to the media after practice that nothing done in Tuesday's practice was 'for show' and it was run in similar high-tempo fashion, with music being blasted in from the sidelines. Fans will get a look at the practice when the show airs on Wednesday night at 9 pm CT.

• Northwestern director of athletics Jim Phillips also made the trip up to Kenosha, watching from the sidelines with his young son.

• During the beginning portion of practice, the Wildcats worked on special teams drill. One of the highlights came when kicker Jeff Budzien drilled a 52-yard field goal high through the uprights, flying over the fence behind the field. That was quite impressive.

• Freshman long snapper Chris Fitzpatrick spent some time working in with the field goal unit. His snaps were all consistent and on point. That's about all you can ask from a long snapper. Of course, he is likely to redshirt behind junior Pat Hickey.

• Sophomore safety Ibraheim Campbell opened a 7-on-7 drill with an impressive interception of quarterback Trevor Siemain, where he jumped in front of the open receiver and snatched the ball away. During team drills, Campbell has shown the ability to read the offense better, and his footwork and agility allows him to fly toward the ball.

• Senior running back Tyris Jones continues to receive reps with the first-team offense. He was one of four backs mentioned by Fitzgerald after Monday's practice. Jones is likely to be a weapon in third-down and/or short-yardage situations.

• The competition for the starting jobs at right guard and right tackle continue to grow interesting, though each position appears to be wide open. True freshman Eric Olsen spent time working in at right tackle, with Jack Konopka seeing most of the reps. Matt Frazier continues to work in at right guard.

• Also worth noting that Geoff Mogus looks set in the two-deep, working behind senior Brian Mulroe at right guard. Mogus has added size to his frame, now weighing in at 295 pounds, though with little body fat. A strong offseason is going to pay off for the redshirt freshman.

• It has been mentioned many times thus far, but Mike Trumpy is ready to go for the season. He had yet another impressive run today; this one with him breaking numerous tackles before being taken down. It demonstrated Trumpy is able to withstand contact and take a tough hit.

• Northwestern's superback position remains up for the taking, with many candidates still fighting for the job. Dan Vitale could be a name for the position. Mark Szott has seen many reps with the first-team, too. It's likely that the superback position won't be used much this season, especially given the Wildcats' depth at receiver.

• Speaking of Northwestern's talent at the receiver position, Fitzgerald said "this might be the biggest rotation that we've ever had." It will be interesting to see which receivers are able to earn playing time during the season.

• During team drills, it's fun to watch the competition between the first-team offense and first-team defense. Both sides are able to get their victories during each drill. There are talented playmakers on both sides of the football, and it's evident when the bullets are flying.

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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