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Fitz Talks Linebackers and Safeties, Plus More in the 3/7 Practice Report

by Kevin Trahan (@k_trahan)

Check out notes, quotes and video from Thursday's practice. Also, see which recruits will be on campus this week, and how our recruiting board has changed. Also read more about NU's hybrid safety/linebacker Jimmy Hall.

- Chris mentioned this in Tuesday's report, but Mike McHugh saw a lot of time today, and he should see the field as a second team receiver this year, along with Mike Jensen. There are eight guys who will regularly see time — Christian Jones, Tony Jones, Rashad Lawrence, Cameron Dickerson, Kyle Prater, Mike McHugh, Pierre Youngblood-Ary and Mike Jensen.

- An interesting quote from Pat Fitzgerald on the linebackers and safeties: "We're trying to bring in big safeties who play linebacker, and we're trying to bring in really, really athletic safeties who play safety." Someone who fits that mold is redshirt freshman Joseph Jones, who came in as a safety and is now an outside linebacker.

- Fitz said Chi Chi Ariguzo reminds him of a faster Nick Roach.

- Fitz on Drew Smith: "He thoroughly enjoys contact. I like guys that like contact at the linebacker level. He goes to bed dreaming about knocking somebody's lips off, and he goes around doing that."

- Smith on being a big hitter: "That's always been a part of my personality. Everybody knows that's what I do. I like to hit people."

- Hall on his position switches: "I came in freshman year and I was actually going to play receiver, because I played safety and I played receiver in high school. But then I got switched because they had some injuries at safety my freshman year. When I was in high school, I actually got recruited for safety mostly."

- Hall on playing linebacker: "It's kind of like playing safety in our defense, because you have to know linebacker and safety, kind of, because you have to play both."

- Hall said the decision to have him split time between safety and linebacker was made toward the end of last season.

- On playing linebacker and nickelback in the Gator Bowl: "They had me one-on-one a lot against (receiver Chad Bumphis), so they wanted to get a quicker guy on him, but still have the same tackling ability out on the field."