How about those Arizona Wildcats? Man, was that a beating. And how hard is it to not love Butler? Well, we’ll get to that in a bit, but first let’s get back to the Friday Purple Mafia Profiles. Today we flip from hoops to football by reconnecting with former Wildcat WR Eric Peterman who amassed more than 2,000 receiving yards at NU and was our Mr. Clutch in his junior and senior seasons. Let’s jump right in to it…
LTP: Tell us about the Beyond Sport Foundation you started and what you’re up to in general!
EP: Currently I am the Executive Director of the Beyond Sports Foundation. Beyond Sports Foundation is a non profit organization dedicated to bringing education and support to student-athletes facing significant life challenges. We partner with these high school aged individuals and work together to get them into college. More information can be found at our website. www.supportbsf.org
LTP: The NU WR corps was quite young but ultra-impactful in 2010. Can you take us through the development from being a true freshman and the difference it makes coming back as a sophomore?
EP: It is a huuuuuuuuuge difference. As a sophomore you’re now familiar with how things work in this new world called “college.” Your head stops spinning and you start to understand why you’re there and what your specific role is. In football you feel more comfortable and confident. You feel as if you belong instead of always trying to fit in. I am excited to see these young WR’s grow into big playmakers.
LTP: Tony Jones, Rashad Lawrence, Venric Mark return as sophomores. Jeremy Ebert returns as the senior leader and 1st team All-Big Ten. Plus, Charles Brown has been turning heads in spring ball. Now that you’ve had time to put your career in perspective and look back at you and your WR mates, where do you see this unit talent-wise?
EP: I think this group has some unbelievable potential. Obviously Jeremy is going to make a lot of plays but the play of the 3 young guys will be the difference maker. If they can step up and be a reliable threat then this team can be scary good.
LTP: Kevin Johns has left for Indiana. The ‘Cats picked-up Dennis Springer from Indiana. What adjustments can players expect to make with a new coach. Is it technique? Practice methodologies? Route philosophy? What kind of impact can a new WR coach have, both good and bad?
EP: Adaptability on both sides. Things are going to be different there’s no doubt about that. If Coach Springer comes in with an open mind and willing to work with the players, and the players approach the situation in the same manner in regards to Coach Springer then there’s a possibility that a great relationship might be born. Since they will be running the same offense there won’t be much change in technique or plays. Coach Springer may bring in a few tips that he has learned from his experience but for the most part there won’t be much change in terminology, technique, or play calling. It will be more about the player-coach relationship.
LTP: When you watch this group, what skills from specific player standout?
EP: Ebert – Go to guy in clutch situation, great hands
Mark – Extremely fast and great toughness
Lawrence – Extremely athletic, ability to track the deep ball well
Jones – Big playmaker ability, deep threat
LTP: You’re a QB-turned-WR. There is a lot of talk about Kain Colter having to be on the field this year even assuming Dan is starting. Tell us how challenging (or not) that is to do at this level?
EP: Kain Colter is a “football player.” Football players are football players and can play anywhere on the field. He is a guy you have to have on the field. You find a way to get him on the field.
LTP: Drake Dunsmore. He’s going through his first spring without some type of significant injury. What’s the upside for Drake in 2011? How much will a healthy Dunsmore impact Mick McCall’s philosophy with the Superback position in 2011?
EP: Drake Dunsmore = Greg Olsen. You simply can’t guard someone that big and with that athleticism. I’d look for Drake to also be a nice weapon in the deep arsenal of offensive firepower next year. Look for Drake to play a big role in the redzone and in short yardage.
LTP: Thoughts and expectations from you for our 2011 ‘Cats? Most anticipated season in memory?
EP: I just can’t wait to see them beat Iowa.
LTP: …again! Thanks for playing! Good to reconnect and we look forward to seeing you soon.
We’ll break down the bracket leaders tonight!
I had Carmody stay/go fatigue and left it to the commenters to duke it out. I just didn’t have the energy in the wake of the game to go there. Of course, local scribes are going there. I’m not a big fan of Dan McNeil but I thought this article on the irrelevance of Chicago college basketball likely captured the neutral-NU fan’s point of view pretty well. It is a somewhat objective opinion of the state of NU from someone with no ties there.
Separately, Teddy posted this piece on what next year will look like which included a quote from JerShon Cobb addressing the “whispers” of transferring by saying he’s “happy”. I’m out of the loop as I hadn’t heard the whispers.