Another weekend of Spring Drills is
in the Book - here's your Big 10 Wrapup for the last day of March.
NU's Spring Practices got underway with a lot of spirit.
The move of Jeff Backes to CB may be just one move in store
for NU - there are reports that he's also playing WR again, however he
also picked off a pass during 11 on 11 drills so NU may have a double
threat working here.
Jason Wright and Noah Herron showed why they probably have a lock on the running back slots for 2003. Brett Basanez may be a little tender, but he's much improved over last Spring. Alexander Webb and Derell Jenkins are a little behind Brett right now.
OT Trai Essex is on a "leave of absence" while he works thru
some academic issues. NU officials stress he is not ineligible but
coach Walker said he needs to get his schoolwork straight. He should be
back. Rick McDole is filling in at Tackle. Senior Center Carl Matejka decided to hang 'em up last week and is not longer with the team. Jim Devine and Vince Clark are centering right now
We've also heard that Joe Wohlsheid is helping out on the O-Line, moving over from TE - Ray Bogenreif has been making some really good catches after moving over from the defense.
Nothing new to report out of Champaign.
Its been quiet in Bloomington too.
First its a continuing battle at Quarterback as the Hawks try to replace a near Heisman winner. Nathan Chandler is considered the leader right now.
The Big News was injuries to Jemelle Lewis and Marcus Schnoor. Lewis will be out until at least the Fall and coach Kirk Ferentz may have to use some frosh next year. The Hawkeye's Spring Game is now going to be practice with fans.
In other stories from Iowa, Frerentz is considering a curfew on
football players to keep them out of Iowa City bars late at night. The
town council is planning a 21 age limit downtown.
Crazy Michigan weather has forced the Wolverines to cancel the Spring
Game this weekend. Michigan will come into the 2003 season as one of
the Big 10's "stealth" teams, since we haven't heard much except
what has dribbled out of the closed indoor drills.
Lloyd Carr is reported to be impressed with the Michigan Offense. The O-Line apparently has stepped it up for the Wolves this Spring. John Navarre is
also impressing the coach. They are also trying to figure out who all
the running backs will be in the Fall - Academics is preventing the top
prospect Sean Sanderson from the practice field.
Oh yes, Thomas Clayton has apparently decided to play ball at Michigan...
The MSU offense appears on track, with Tyrell Dortch running the ball again [90 yds on 12 carries] and two QBs - Drew Stanton callenged Damon Dowdell at that position. Jeff Smoker is also working with the team, and was 7 of 12 with a TD and a FG.
The new head coach John L Smith wasn't as pleased with the 2nd week's effort as he was the first.
I saw a lot of positives today, but our operation wasn't as clean as it
was last week. We need to eliminate the mental mistakes and maintain
Looks like the Spartans might just be back on track offensively, but
the defense was playing a little "soft" according to the coaches. You
get the feeling that the new coach really wants some consistant play
from the Spartans this year.
They're trying to play baseball in football weather in Ohio this week...
Meanwhile, there's a new Middle Linebacker listed for OSU - the same one as last year this time, Fred Pagac.
who He's a senior this year, and this is his last hurrah and his
chance to fill Matt Wilhelm's shoes on the Buckeye Defense. His
challenge is to beat out Mike D'Andrea who also figures to be on the field come opening day. There are 2 other guys also looking at the MLB slot, returning starter Rober Reynolds, and A.J. Hawk are in the mix too.
Not much else coming out of Columbus, as the Bucks continue their closed practices. Even B