Practice Notes: Mark on display

Sylvan Lane with notes from Wednesday's practice, where Venric Mark looked good. Pat Fitzgerald and Kain Colter addressed their differences regarding the quarterback's "APU" demonstration.

— Today's Northwestern practice included almost no one from the two-deep, but Venric Mark looked to be in peak form against the scout defense. He was as explosive and elusive as ever out of the backfield.

— Speaking of Oliver and Alviti, both quarterbacks had their share of good and bad throws in drills, 7-on-7's and scrimmage. Although he overthrew or just plain missed a few targets, Alviti hit Cermak Bland over the middle with an absolute bullet in tight coverage.

— The scout defense also did an excellent job of breaking up passes and stripping the ball. Matt Harris looked strong at corner, and though he wasn't charged with defending a starting receiver, his play was encouraging at a position with clear depth issues.

— As the scrimmage portion of practice was ending, Kain Colter—who was in plain clothes—was made available for interview. Colter was asked and spoke exclusively about Saturday's demonstration in support of the National College Players Association (NCPA).

Colter said he became involved with the NCPA this summer, and the idea of writing "APU" (All Players United) on different parts of player's uniforms came up in a weekly conference call.

"We've been having brainstorming sessions about how to get the awareness out, and how to get our opinions heard, so we came up with an idea, just kind of a little symbol. We wanted to come up with a small gesture to represent what we believe in and players coming together for a bigger cause and to promote a change that needs to be made," Colter said.

— In regards to how Pat Fitzgerald reacted to his demonstration, Colter said, "I'm sure he felt a little blindsided by it, but in my perspective, it's tough to ask permission to be able to do something just because there's a chance that it could get shot down. And the whole APU thing, it goes against having to ask permission to voice our opinions."

— When Pat Fitzgerald was asked what he thought of the demonstration, he said he was fully supportive of what Colter and the NCPA stands for, but wanted any sort of action to take place within the team structure.

"I've been pretty steadfast in my comments about believing what's best for the student athletes and I believe in our guys and I believe in what they support," he added.

— Reporters spoke to Colter for about eight minutes as practice was winding down. Five minutes in, Fitzgerald informed reporters that they had three minutes to speak with him, leveraging his time against Colter's. After counting down the time periodically, he left the field, but spoke to reporters afterward.


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