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Notes from Northwestern practice, August 26

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Lot's of defensive notes today.

Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Not a ton of notes today because we'll have a bigger piece on the defense coming soon. But here are some interesting tidbits.

- Jimmy Hall was practicing with the ones. As Fitz indicated, I'd expect him to play more against Cal since the Bears are a passing focused team. We'll see more of Drew Smith against run-focused teams like Wisconsin and Iowa.

- The second team linebackers were interesting today. As expected, Drew Smith and Joseph Jones were on the outside, but Anthony Walker was in the middle. Brett Walsh was listed as the backup MIKE linebacker on the depth chart and Walker was listed on the outside, but Walker told me he's exclusively playing in the middle. It will be interesting to see if Walker is used more than Walsh against Cal to counteract the Bear Raid.

- Solomon Vault and Miles Shuler both had nice catch-and-runs. Their presence should be one of the things that excites NU fans the most in the upcoming season.

- Kyle Prater had a nice leaping catch. His hands seemed to have improved overall this year, and he's a lot more fluid.

- I wouldn't be surprised to see a 3-3-5 at some point this year (and Cal would be a time to do it), with Hall at nickelback. That would fit the personnel pretty well and would be a nice change-of-pace for a team that typically doesn't change it up a ton