April 1, 2010
WATCH: 10 Questions with CB J. Mabin
EVANSTON, Ill. -- With weather conditions that are more typical for September than April, Northwestern held its first outdoor spring practice today on NU's FieldTurf facility. When practice began at 8:15 a.m., the temperature was 64 degrees and weather forecasts were predicting a high in the mid to upper 70s, well above the average high for the day -- 50 degrees.
The Wildcats practiced with shoulder pads, so there was an obvious increase in hitting from the first two practice sessions earlier in the week. On Saturday, Northwestern will work out in full pads in what is typically the most anticipated practice of the spring.
In the team's 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills, junior quarterback Dan Persa (Bethlehem, Pa./Liberty) looked sharp throwing the football, making all the passes to his receiving corps. Junior Jeremy Ebert (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Darby) is one wideout who is standing out in the early going. Ebert was slowed a bit with a hip injury last year, but is expected to be one of NU's frontline receivers in 2010.
Today's "10 Questions With ..." interview is with junior cornerback Jordan Mabin (Northfield Center, Ohio/Nordonia), the lone returning starter in the defensive backfield. Mabin discusses the secondary's 2010 outlook among other topics in this NUsports.com interview.
Visiting practice today was Chicago Bears' assistant coach Eric Washington, the Wildcats' former defensive line coach.
Also covering practice today was ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg. He will have plenty of Northwestern coverage and several video interviews Wildcat players and coaches in the coming days.
Northwestern's winter academic report is in and the Wildcats continue to excel in the classroom. A school-record 60 student-athletes touted a 3.0 or better GPA for the quarter, and as a team, NU recorded a 3.0 team GPA.
Northwestern will now hold its Saturday, April 17 practice at 2:45 p.m. (not 9:30 a.m.). This practice is closed to the media.