I always feel odd commenting on a scrimmage that I did not see. But, with the first of three spring scrimmages now complete it is time to stick the thermometer in to ‘Cats football. I’ve done my best to assimilate all of the information and convey what those who were there had to say. Clearly, as you’ll hear from Pat Fitzgerald WR Charles Brown has been the MVP of the spring, but the back-up QB derby was the big talk of the day. First, check out what Fitz had to say in this raw video which was captured by Scout.com and posted on YouTube:
As you likely have already read about this weekend the QB competition between Kain Colter, Evan Watkins and Trevor Siemien all had positives on Saturday, but no one has established themself as THE guy at this point for what ‘Cats fans hope is the number two slot. It appears as though the offense is ahead of the defense at this point which is both a tad unusual and also invokes the double-edged sword of paranoia (“wait, does this mean we’re not improving on “D” like we had hoped?”!!). It is so darn hard to figure out what you can take from a scrimmage as any positive is counter balanced by a negative on the same team. That being said, Kain Colter continued his “swagger” with a 5-6, 65 yd day and his usual elusiveness on a couple of runs. Evan Watkins suffered from a contagious case of WR drop-itis which unfairly was reflected in a 8-14, 66 yard TD and Trevor Siemien continued to keep eyebrows raised with a 9-12, 131 yds, 2 TD performance including the pass/catch of the day threading the needle to emerging WR Mike Jensen (4 rec, 46 yds, 1 TD).
It should be noted that Venric Mark exhibited the gamebreaker stuff we will be expecting from the super sophomore-to-be as he posted a 6 rec, 90 yard day also benefitting from the fact Jeremy Ebert is still sidelined. It is interesting to note that Charles Brown (3 rec, 57 yds, 1 TD) Mike Jensen and Brendan Barber have all had stellar springs to date as none of the three WRs were really on ‘Cats fans radar screens (OK, Charles Brown was but not to THIS level) after last season. All the talk has been about Ebert and the sophomore triumverate of Mark, Lawrence and Jones, but fellow sophomore Jensen has been earning his keep and junior WR Brendan Barber looks as though he’s going to make our deepest unit that much deeper.
Tyris Jones was the leading carrier for the ‘Cats (36 yards), although Adonis Smith looked solid in short yardage situations near the endzone (2 TDs). The ‘Cats have one more scrimmage, this Saturday, before the annual Spring Game which is April 16. You can read more about the NU scrimmage from the “official” NU reporter Skip Myslenski here. You can read Teddy Greenstein’s take here. The key theme for this team and this season is clearly attitude. Yeah, I know, every program says that, however the ‘Cats relentless addressing of the 2010 slide and the emphasis on the sheer volume of senior starters this season lead me to actually believe we are developing that killer instinct. AR picked up on this theme and ran with it here….
Adam Rittenberg nails the NU fan sentiment here as only an NU alum can with today’s feature on Northwestern and the aversion to the word “streak”. It’s great to see the players and staff not try and sidestep the bowl drought, but rather look it in the mirror and say “game on”. Definitely take a spin here as it is well worth it with some great player quotes.
For those of you salivating over the Masters this week, then this piece by Teddy Greenstein on Luke Donald’s extra edge of continuing his relationship with NU golf coach Pat Goss is a must read. Donald, still seeking his first major win, is one of the top ten favorites to do just that this weekend at Augusta. Completely off topic, Donald and Fitz live in Northfield, IL and you’ve got to think we could put together one hell of a purple block party there this summer, no?
LTP Bracket Challenge
Well we certainly are putting up some great scores. B Donaldson leads the LTP Tournament Bracket Challenge heading in to tonight’s national championship game between UCONN and Butler. With 1010 points and 320 on the line, B Donaldson has Butler as his champion. Donaldson is in the 100th percentile, sniffing the leaderboard of the 5.9 million ESPN.com entrants. With a win tonight you’ve got to believe he will be way up there. However, it isn’t over. A Huskies win and McNabb799 will squeak out the LTP title and right behind him/her is Cdm13300 who would take second place and lose by only 10 points. CGarstang was finally dethroned on Saturday and had a great run in first place over multiple weekends. We’ll be reaching out to the winner to glean some insights so buckle up for one shining moment.
Recruiting Good News
Man, do we need some. WildcatReport.com has a feature today on 2012 RB Coy Brown (6-0, 220 lbs) of Wakarusa, IN who visited NU over the weekend, and according to Louie Vaccher, rated his visit a perfect “10”. Brown has yet to get a formal offer but is being recruited by Tennessee, Alabama, and every Big Ten school not named Ohio State. Brown revealed his top three to date are Northwestern, Michigan and Indiana and Dennis Springer who came from Indiana had developed a relationship with the stud back. The ‘Cats have suffered from bridesmaid syndrome in recent recruiting wars narrowly missing on two big time players – OL Dan Voltz of Barrington and RB Vonte Jackson of Kenosha – both of whom chose Wisconsin. The ‘Cats are due for a big time recruiting win. Let’s hope Brown is one of many of those wins.