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Northwestern practice notes: The linebacker surplus

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Lot's of interesting information on the Wildcats.

Justin K. Aller

Some notes from today's practice and interviews:

- I didn't catch much of practice, because I came to play school, but at the very end, Miles Shuler had a nice catch and run.

- Clayton Thorson was emulating Tanner McEvoy. It would make sense to assume that McEvoy will run a lot, like Thorson can.

- Collin Ellis will play on Saturday. He's been cleared.

- Ellis on Anthony Walker: "He's better (than Ellis as a freshman)." Ellis said Walker's knowledge of the concepts has allowed him to play faster, and he also said he's been telling Fitz since Kenosha that Walker is a special player.

- Ellis said the most important thing is being able to rotate linebackers, and that NU hasn't been able to do that at MIKE. With Walker playing well, they can.

- I asked if there are any packages with Ellis moving to another position, and he said they've talked about it, but he didn't seem to think it was very likely. If he does move at all, it won't be to SAM. He had played SAM last year, but said he knows all of the positions. A package with Ellis at WILL, Walker at MIKE and Jimmy Hall or Drew Smith at SAM would get a lot of speed on the field.

- Greg Kuhar said he didn't notice the Penn State linemen blocking each other on the field, but he watched it afterward. He's the one who benefitted from that and came up with the stop on fourth-and-two.

- Deonte Gibson said Xavier Washington had gotten a little down on himself earlier in the year, so it was good to see him play so well against Penn State.

- Gibson also said that he and Ifeadi Odenigbo have a contest each week to see who can get the first sack.