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.Indiana
Its been quiet in Bloomington too.Iowa
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.Michigan
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.
The 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.Ohio State
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 focus.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