Scrimmage Notes & LTP Tourney Bracket Challenge

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….

Streak Busting

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.

Masterful?

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.

LTP Bracket Challenge Heading In To Title Game

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.

  • jason

    I’m sorry, but Coy Brown is nowhere near the level of Voltz or Jackson. Voltz has OFFERS from Bama, Auburn, Wisconsin, Michigan, Notre Dame, etc. Jackson has OFFERS from a lot of B10 Schools. He has NO OFFERS. Of course he rated the visit a 10, if he got a schollie to a Big10 School after having no offers, I’d be ecstatic too. He would be no recruiting “win” because no one wants him as of now. Even if we get him, It will be another average recruit that will not take us to the next level.

  • Lake The Posts

    @Jason – indeed he does not. However, when a recruit is being asked to go to Alabama, Tennessee and every Big Ten school, its not like he’s on the verge of MAC or bust. Jackson and Voltz are clearly higher rated by any recruiting service account. I think attitudes will change when the big boy offers come in for Brown.

  • Steve

    I finally break into the top three of the LTP bracket challenge, and don’t get mentioned! Granted, I have a zero percent change of winning, and if UCONN wins, I drop quite a few spots.

  • Lake The Posts

    @Steve – ah, but you DID get mentioned. Kinda. I put the leaderboard up for that reason! Go Butler!

  • CGarstang

    @Steve, we both drop if UConn wins, so I’m all for Butler–and will be very happy with 2nd Place if it happens. (I’d root for Butler in any event.)

  • vaudvillain

    My bulldog and I will be pulling for Butler.

  • CatInTheHat

    Anybody read Rittenberg’s Friday Mail Blog and notice the tOSU fan who writes a lengthy screed of a question to AR decrying the fact that he “never covers” the Buckeyes, and wondering aloud how he could dare cover a ‘Cats practice before covering an OSU one, because “there are 5 OSU fans for every 1 NU fan” reading the blog, and he’s clearly biased because of where he went to college, etc., blah blah blah blah blah ad nauseam. I loved how Rittenberg put this dbag in his place with his answer. Give it a read if you haven’t already.

  • jason

    #1 – Indiana is a shitty football state. Let’s get more players from Texas, Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Cali.

    #2 – I will give you 100 dollars if he gets an offer from UT or Bama. I will be shocked if he even visits there. MAC level talent and if he does get an offer NU will be his best one. maybe Indiana too. no other B10 offers though

  • Lake The Posts

    @jason – I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a recruiting expert. Just passing along the info. According to WR, Coy is expected to do a series of one day camps to then get the offers. The first of these is on 4/16 at Tennessee. Here is a direct quote from WR’s piece today – I’m just passing along the info:

    “Brown has yet to collect any offers, but he has many suitors. He’s getting interest from every Big Ten program except Ohio State, as well schools such as Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, UCLA, Nebraska and Colorado.”

  • calmer than you are

    As for real top recruits, anybody know anything about Ifeadi Odenigbo? Scout has him as the #2 OLB in the nation and has NU along with only OSU, ND, and Stanford as “high interest”. His offers include a long list of Big Ten, Big 12, ACC, and Big East schools, including the likes of UM, Nebraska and Oklahoma. Rivals lists him as a DE.

West Division

TeamsW (Overall)L (Overall)W (B1G)L (B1G)
Minnesota0000
Northwestern0000
Wisconsin0000
Nebraska0000
Purdue0000
Iowa0000
Illinois0000

East Division

TeamsW (Overall)L (Overall)W (B1G)L (B1G)
Rutgers1000
Maryland0000
Michigan0000
Michigan State0000
Ohio State0000
Indiana0000
Penn State0000