Notes: NU continues Vandy prep

Northwestern continued its preparation for Vanderbilt with a workout in Evanston. Get the latest with the Wildcats in this PurpleWildcats.com practice report.

Ifeadi Odenigbo will be playing on Saturday and he met with the media to talk about it. Here are some of his best quotes.

• On switching from linebacker to defensive end: "I would go back and forth. I'm like, 'Alright, I'm really being a linebacker. They say I have speed, they say I have the athleticism to adapt, so I'll probably redshirt because I've never played linebacker before.' I was a true DE (in high school). I played DE the whole time. The biggest issue, when Coach Fitzgerald and Coach Bates came to my house, I was 205 and they just looked at me like, 'Man, this kid can't be a DE. We can try him at linebacker.'"

• On his dad's lack of understanding for football: "My dad, to this day, still doesn't understand football. Junior year I'm playing against Wayne and Braxton Miller, so our team scored a touchdown and my dad started jumping up and yelling, ‘home run, home run.' So my mom wouldn't forget that. They're getting better at it. My dad is trying really hard to understand it, but he's just like, ‘If it makes you happy, I'm happy.'"

• Right now he weighs 230 pounds, up from 209. He hopes to gain weight, but isn't worried about his size for Saturday: "That's the plan right now, to put on more weight, but I'm not really worried about the size because the school I went to consisted of 3,000 people, so kids I would go against every week would weigh around 280 to 300, so I had a lot of Division 1 athletes in my area, so I'm not too worried about that."

• Odenigbo will be playing with fellow true freshman defensive end Dean Lowry, who played against Syracuse. "At first it was a little nerve-racking, but as the game went on I felt more confident," Lowry said of the Syracuse game. "I felt like I was playing faster and toward the end of the game I was actually creating an impact."

• Lowry on playing with Odenigbo in the future: "I'm very excited for the future. We know that we can't let it get to our head. We've just got to keep working hard and just keep grinding."

• Fitzgerald on playing two true freshmen at DE: "We wouldn't be playing them unless we thought they were going to help us win. Our job is to win, end of discussion. There's no anything else beside that."

• Fitzgerald on Odenigbo: "Let's not read into too many things. We've got an opportunity for a guy to go play, and let's go play, and he'll be a lot better a month from now than he is today."

• Fitzgerald admitted he was probably "too loyal" to some of the veteran players last year: "For five weeks we stunk (last year). I look back at early in the year and we didn't give enough guys enough reps in game-like situations to be prepared. We had great competition through, but I think I was probably too stubborn and too loyal. So, shame on me." For that reason, he won't hesitate to play a lot of different players this year.

• Fitzgerald on Vanderbilt running back Zac Stacy: "I think Zac Stacy is as good of a running back as there is in the country. He's physical, you can see his athleticism in the way he's able to catch the ball in the backfield and then he's a dynamic return man; a lot like Venric, but bigger, from the standpoint (he) can really stick his foot in the ground, (he's) a very physical runner, very dynamic."


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