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Northwestern football Kenosha scrimmage preview

Henry Bushnell

Ah, yes. Another year, and another week in Kenosha for Northwestern football has just about come to an end. The team departed last Saturday for the small city just across the Wisconsin border (it is the greatest city in the world, in case you hadn't heard); this Saturday, the Wildcats will hold their final scrimmage of the camp, which will be open to the media.

For some players, Saturday's scrimmage represents a huge opportunity; for others, it doesn't. But there are three players for whom Saturday could be a make-or-break practice: Zack Oliver, Matt Alviti and Clayton Thorson. Pat Fitzgerald didn't go that far when speaking Thursday, but did say that he and his staff would use Saturday to get a good long look at all three quarterbacks competing for the starting job.

There will be other positions of interest too. This will really be our first chance to get glimpses of Jaylen Prater, Brett Walsh, Nate Hall, Joseph Jones, Cameron Queiro and Tommy Vitale. All are supposedly in contention for playing time at the WILL linebacker spot, but none have seen significant game action at the college level.

Elsewhere, the defensive tackle rotation is also still to be determined. C.J. Robbins will start, and Max Chapman should have a role in part due to seniority, but Saturday will be an opportunity to see Ben Oxley and Tyler Lancaster, two promising underclassmen, in game situations for the first time.

Another defensive tackle in the mix is Jordan Thompson, who, along with many other true and redshirt freshmen, will get a chance to show the coaches that he belongs on the field come the Fall. For all the true freshmen in contention for immediate playing time, Saturday is a proving ground.

Fitzgerald said Thursday that some veterans — he mentioned Dean Lowry and Deonte Gibson as examples — who have had strong camps won't see much time, if any, during the scrimmage. Fitzgerald already knows what many established players bring to the table. He'll use the scrimmage to evaluate those who are less experienced.

The scrimmage is scheduled to kick off around 11 a.m. CT. There will be no live broadcast like last year, but we will be there. Follow @insidenu on Twitter for live updates. We will also have comprehensive notes and observations from the scrimmage, with a focus on the quarterbacks, and possibly highlights as well.