March 26, 2007
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern's first spring practice is in the books, and the Wildcats could not have picked a better day to start their spring drills. With the temperature hovering around 70 degrees at the start of the early morning session, and near-record-high temps predicted for Chicagoland on Monday, the practice had the feel of early fall and not early spring.
The Wildcats are conducting their 11 weekday practices at 7:30 a.m. this year. Northwestern's three Saturday practices begin at 9:15 a.m. with the Spring Game slated for a noon start on April 21.
After practice, head coach Pat Fitzgerald addressed several members of the media, answering questions about the 'Cats and how he will use the spring session to get the team prepared for the 2007 campaign. Fitzgerald fielded questions about how he has matured as a head coach and how his veteran leaders such as Tyrell Sutton (Akron, Ohio/Archbishop Hoban) have set an example for the younger Wildcats.
Click Here to watch the interview on NUSports.com All-Access.
To view the entire interview, you must be an All-Access subscriber. All-Access will have interviews with players and coaches throughout spring practice.
Northwestern started its first spring practice with a short conditioning test, which was followed by a 13-period practice. The Wildcats will don full pads on Saturday.
Quarterback C.J. Bachér (Sacramento, Calif./Jesuit) and safety Brendan Smith (Andover, Mass./New Hampton Prep (N.H.)) are two returning starters who are beginning the spring on the injured list. Both players had off-season surgeries and are on schedule with their rehabilitations. Both Bacher and Smith could take part in some action later this spring.
A few returning players began spring camp with new jersey numbers. Superback Mark Woodsum is now wearing #44, defensive end Corbin Bryant is now #98, safety Todd Dockery is now #37, safety James Nussbaum is now #34 and defensive tackle Marshall Thomas is now #67.
Former Northwestern soccer goalkeeper Justin Pines (Media, Pa./Strath Haven) is participating in spring drills, trying out for the Wildcats' vacant punting position.
Northwestern's second spring practice is set for 7:25 a.m. on Tuesday, March 27.