April 4, 2007
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern resumed spring practice outside on Wednesday morning, but the weather conditions were more like winter -- cloudy, windy, 32 degrees with wind chill temperatures in the low 20s.
Despite the less-than-ideal weather conditions, the Wildcats had a spirited 14-period practice in shells (helmets and shoulder pads) after a longer, full-pad session on Tuesday. Four of the team's 14 periods were spent working on team offense and defense (11-on-11), in addition to several periods dedicated to special teams.
One area the Wildcats expect to improve in 2007 is their defensive secondary, which returns three starters and several key reserves. One of those three returning starters is cornerback Deante Battle (Fayetteville, Ga./Starr's Mill), who had an outstanding winter season.
Battle, who spoke to NUsports.com on Wednesday, discusses his role as a veteran in the secondary, the role of younger players in the secondary as well as the addition of graduate assistant coach Rayna Stewart, a former player in the NFL and at Northern Arizona, to the Wildcat staff.
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.
The Wildcats are conducting their 11 weekday practices at 7:25 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.
Northwestern returns to full pads on Thursday. The Wildcats will conduct a longer practice, similar to Tuesday, which will start at 7:25 a.m. Northwestern then takes Friday off before conducting its first scrimmage of the spring on Saturday morning.
On Tuesday, Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald was named one of the Ten Outstanding Young People in Illinois by the Jaycees' organization.
Linebacker Chris Jeske (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic), who has been shelved his first two years at Northwestern due to a back injury, continues his comeback. He has been wearing a black jersey this week in practice and competing in every linebacker and team drill.