Northwestern

Wildcats Start Spring Practices

Dan Persa

Dan Persa (Photo Credit: Getty Images, By: Jonathan Daniel)

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On Monday, the Northwestern Wildcats’ football team starts their 2011 spring practices.

This year’s practices start three weeks earlier than they have in the past, and just three months after their New Year’s bowl appearance.

“It really came down to getting back on the practice field earlier and not having as much of a break between the end of the bowl season and the start of spring ball,” head coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “We’re hoping this becomes a new tradition for us. We’ll see how it plays out, but I believe there are some benefits for our players with this format. It should also help us with recruiting, getting some of our coaches out one week earlier.”

The Wildcats ended the 2010 season with a 7-6 record and a loss in the Ticketcity Bowl. While progress has been made in the program, they played in their third consecutive bowl game, expectations will only grow for next season.

The Wildcats return a number of key players on offense and defense, but none are more important to the team’s success than quarterback Dan Persa. In a season cut short by an injury, Persa managed to rack up 3,093 all purpose yards (2,581 passing, 519 rushing and -7 receiving) and a 159.04 passer rating.

While Persa is ahead of schedule in his recovery from a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered last November, the quarterback is expected to watch most of spring practice form the sidelines, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Spring Practice Schedule

Date Time
March 7 6:45 to 9:15 a.m.
March 8 6:45 to 9:15 a.m.
March 10 6:45 to 9:15 a.m.
March 12 9:30 to 11:45 a.m.
March 28 8:15 to 10:30 a.m.
March 29 8:15 to 10:30 a.m.
March 31 8:15 to 10:30 a.m.
April 2 9:30 to 11:45 a.m.
April 4 8:15 to 10:30 a.m.
April 5 8:15 to 10:30 a.m.
April 7 8:15 to 10:30 a.m.
April 9 9:30 to 11:45 a.m.
April 12 8:15 to 10:30 a.m.
April 14 8:15 to 10:30 a.m.
April 16 Noon (Spring Game)