April 12, 2010
WATCH: 10 Questions with senior cornerback J. Vaughn
WATCH: Fitz Video Blog #1 (4/10)
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Following Saturday's scrimmage, the Wildcats began the third week of their spring season Monday morning with a brisk 17-period practice on their FieldTurf practice field. Northwestern worked out in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts today.
After beginning the day with several periods of special teams work and individual drills, the Wildcats closed with five periods of seven-on-seven and full team exercises. The Wildcats spent two of those last five periods working on third-down situations. (NU ranked 17th nationally in 2009 with a .457 third-down conversion percentage.)
Some individual/team highlights from the day:
During its third-down situation drills, Northwestern had several receivers step up and make some key catches. Walk-on Brendan Barber (Erie, Pa./Cathedral Prep) caught a perfectly thrown long ball from redshirt freshman Evan Watkins (Carol Stream, Ill./Glenbard North) during seven-on-seven drills.
Other receivers who made a number of catches on the day: junior Jeremy Ebert (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Darby), sophomore Demetrius Fields (Dallas, Texas/South Oak Cliff), senior Lee Coleman (Gainesville, Ga./East Hall), running back Arby Fields (Alta Loma, Calif./Los Osos) and superback John Plasencia (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Jesuit). (Senior Sidney Stewart was not present for the latter half of Monday's practice due to a class.)
Safety David Arnold (Copley, Ohio/Copley) turned in one of the better defensive plays of the day, stripping the ball from a Wildcat receiver and then securing it for the recovery.
Following practice, NUsports.com chatted with cornerback Justan Vaughn (Pearland, Texas/Pearland) for its ongoing "10 Questions With ..." segment. Vaughn, the leading candidate to replace Sherrick McManis at cornerback, has played in 20 career games with three starts at corner. In today's interview, Vaughn chats with NUsports.com about the defensive secondary, his recent struggles with injuries, his love for movies and a very special family member.
Northwestern will hold full-pad practices on Tuesday and Thursday before conducting its second spring scrimmage on Saturday afternoon.
Wildcat fans can visit NUsports.com's All-Access page for Coach Fitz's video blog, or view the blog on the football program's web site, nufootballfamily.com.