Aug. 12, 2008
Camp Kenosha Day Four Photo Gallery
Camp Kenosha Day Four Video
Watch linebacker Prince Kwateng give his impressions of Tuesday's practice
Kwateng on his role as a leader during this year's camp
Kwateng gives his favorite part about Camp Kenosha
Kwateng tells fans why they should read his blog on NUsports.com
Watch head coach Pat Fitzgerald talk about the offense
Fitzgerald on the progress of the defense
Fitzgerald on what he wants to see the team improve on before Camp Kenosha ends
Watch superback Mark Woodsum talk about how his unit's role has changed under a new coordinator
Woodsum on his favorite part about Camp Kenosha and his new hair style
KENOSHA, Wis. -- On Day Four of Camp Kenosha Tuesday, Northwestern hit the practice field for a late-morning workout -- its lone session of the day. The Wildcats will return to the two-a-day schedule Wednesday with an open practice beginning at 8 a.m. at UW-Parkside before moving over to Carthage College for a closed 6 p.m. practice.
On Tuesday at Parkside, Northwestern again spent an intense practice working on fundamentals before concluding the workout with game situation drills. The practice was NU's 10th of the 2008 preseason and its fifth since opening Camp Kenosha last Friday.
Following the workout, Wildcat cornerback Jordan Mabin (Northfield Center, Ohio/Nordonia) and safety Brendan Smith (Andover, Mass./New Hampton Prep (N.H.) talked about the competition in NU's defensive backfield.
Q&A with redshirt freshman cornerback Jordan Mabin
Q: Talk about coming into preseason camp with a year under your belt.
A: Coming off my redshirt year, that was a good growing experience. It was good sitting back, being there with the team and just learning the schemes and the defense. In the offseason we lifted and got stronger, and all of that just helped me a lot to slow down the game for this year now that I'm on the field a lot and getting some playing time.
Q: The defensive backfield has a lot of veteran guys mixed with a lot of younger guys coming off a redshirt year. How has that mix been this preseason?
A: We have a lot of good, talented defensive backs so there is going to be a lot of competing. That is all you can ask for. I love coming out here every day knowing that if I take a play off, there will be another guy stepping in to take that play. Knowing that makes me go 100 percent, and I'm trying to make the next guy go 100 percent.
Q: Do you find yourself pushing the veterans a little more this year?
A: Oh definitely. With a year under my belt it gives me a little bit more confidence. My main goal is to play with confidence and have fun.
Q: Are the veterans pushing back?
A: We're all just having fun out there. There is a lot of having fun, competing and messing around with the offense, getting in the offense's heads.
Q&A with junior safety Brendan Smith
Q: You're a veteran now, are you just out here enjoying yourself at Camp?
A: I am, I'm really trying to enjoy myself. You never know when football is going to end, it could be my next play on the field or I could have a long career. Last year, my Kenosha was cut short so I'm going to go out there and have fun every single day and try to play the best I can.
Q: Talk about being back at Camp Kenosha after last year and being able to go full-go.
A: The team is doing well, so it is easy for me to go out there and do well and have fun. If you are the only one, it can be tough at times when it is early in the morning, or your body is hurting or it is the second practice, but it is a team effort and it is fun to have everyone out there doing well.
Q: How much fun has it been to have all of these young defensive backs pushing you?
A: It is a lot of fun, they really are pushing us. Some of these guys are a couple of years younger, so they have fresh bodies and fresh legs. It is good to get some new blood in there. I'm excited to see what they can do and what we can do as a team.
Q: You have a unique pregame play list. What's the deal there?
A: I'm a pretty quiet guy during pregame, I just put on my "Tiny Dancer" by Elton John or the Ben Harper version of "Sexual Healing" or whatever laidback music there is to get me in a good mood for that day. It is all about having fun. I tried listening to rock music to get myself all energized and mad to play aggressive, but it puts me in a bad mood and I don't want to be in a bad mood. It is a game that you should have fun playing and have fun playing fast, so that's what I try to do.