In their final week of spring practice, the football team went through only their second outdoor practice of the year. Head coach Pat Fitzgerald was pleased with how far the team had progressed since the beginning of spring practices – he even had time to stop over at Long Field last weekend to give some pointers to a group of NU students tossing the pigskin – but admitted they had a long way to go.
“Today was their best practice of spring,” he said.
Because the team didn’t make a bowl game, Fitzgerald said that the whole team is starting behind because of missed bowl practices. Nevertheless, the 'Cats have made tremendous progress as a team and spirits are high heading to the last two practices of the spring. Here are a few quick parts of practice that stood out.
Players to watch:
- Second-year running back Warren Long didn’t see a whole lot of time on offense last year, but with fifth-year senior Venric Mark out with an injury, he split carries on the first team offense today with Treyvon Green. When Mark comes back, expect Long to get pushed back down the depth chart, but he was impressive Tuesday and made the most of his opportunities. He is someone to look out for in the coming years.
- Redshirt freshman quarterback Matt Alviti had a tough practice today, looking pretty shaky at times. He missed some easy routes, including a screen pass and some curls and slants. Cornerback Keith Watkins picked him off on a post pattern. But, he did have some nice passes, highlighted by a long fade route he placed perfectly for a touchdown.
- The secondary had a good practice, tallying three interceptions. The most impressive one of those was by redshirt junior cornerback Nick VanHoose, who undercut an out route on a pass by redshirt senior quarterback Trevor Simeon. Second-year cornerback Matt Harris had an interception on a poorly thrown ball that fluttered in the air nowhere close to a receiver.