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February 27, 2012EVANSTON, Ill. -- For the second year in a row, Northwestern's spring practice schedule commences during the late stages of the winter academic quarter and resumes when players return from spring break. NU will hold five of its 15 spring practices before the Wildcats break for final exams and vacation, with the opening practice falling on Saturday, March 3.
As they do while in season, the Wildcats will practice primarily in the morning, with weekday start times varying between 6:45 a.m. in the winter quarter and 8:15 a.m. once spring quarter begins. Fans are encouraged to attend Northwestern's 15th and final practice, the spring exhibition, scheduled for noon on Saturday, April 14, at Ryan Field.
"Last year was the first time we moved the start of our spring practices up about three weeks and the feedback from our players was really positive," said Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald. "The schedule also has benefits from an academic standpoint as well as a recruiting standpoint, and it coincides well with our offseason conditioning training. Our coaching staff and players are excited to take advantage of our 15 days together on the practice field."
Spring practice marks Northwestern's first true opportunity to begin the process of replacing seven starters lost to graduation on offense and five on the defensive side. Those losses include 2011 All-Big Ten performers at quarterback, wide receiver, superback, left tackle, cornerback and safety.
Rising junior Kain Colter -- who excelled at quarterback as well as wide receiver in 2011 -- joins veteran offensive guard Brian Mulroe as Northwestern's returning all-conference selections on offense. Consensus Freshman All-American safety Ibraheim Campbell, meanwhile, will lead a secondary with likely three new starters in 2012.
Bookmark NUsports.com and follow @NU_Sports on Twitter to stay in the know on Northwestern's spring practices, with daily recaps and video interviews from Fitzgerald and the Wildcats.
NOTE: Spring practices, other than the Spring Exhibition, are CLOSED to the general public. For high school coaches, scouts, friends of the program, etc., wishing to attend practice, please contact Carolyn Fleming (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org) in Northwestern's football office (847-467-3708) for a practice credential. All media inquiries should be directed to NU's athletic communications office.