Kain Colter hits the practice field

Kain Colter looks well on the way to taking the reins on Saturday, Jamie Lovegrove writes.

Kain Colter was back to doing what he does best at Northwestern practice Wednesday. No more stationary bike for quarterback 1-a.

Though practice is still non-contact for quarterbacks, the signs were encouraging as Colter participated in all drills and scrimmages.

"I felt good. I'm playing to play this week," Colter said after practice. "Right now it's just a step-by-step procedure and I think there's a few more steps. But right now I'm on pace, so I'm planning to play."

With family in the stands at the Bear Den on Saturday, Colter was frustrated to spend all but two plays on the sidelines. The Wildcats went on to win 44-30, bu Colter spent much of that time trying to convince Pat Fitzgerald to let him back in the game.

"Clearly I wasn't very persuasive," he says.

If his concussion recovery continues on the same path, Colter might not have to do as much convincing this week. He threw successfully throughout Wednesday's practice and for the most part looked as though he'd never missed a beat.

"He's a competitor, so he wants to play," Fitzgerald said after practice. "I thought he was great today."

Despite getting hit hard on two consecutive plays on Saturday, Colter says his attacking mindset will be no different if he gets a chance to lead the offense against Syracuse at Ryan Field.

"I've taken way bigger hits than that and you can't play football scared," he said. "I'm going to still be the same player. Don't expect me to go out there and truck safeties and linebackers, but I'm going to go out there and make all the plays I can make and I'm going to be the same player."

Time will tell regarding the role Colter plays on Saturday. Running back Venric Mark–another key piece–is also day-to-day as he continues to work towards recovery.

But no matter how many plays the coaching staff feels comfortable giving Colter on Saturday, nobody's hiding the fact that the senior is rearing to get back on the field.

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