According to the Chicago Tribune’s Teddy Greenstein, TJ Green has won the backup quarterback job, and will start next Thursday at Purdue if Clayton Thorson can’t go. Greenstein said the walk-on — who’s known for his intelligence and grasp for the offense — beat out underclassmen Aidan Smith and Andrew Marty for the job.
All signs point to Thorson being ready for Week 1, and he’s getting the majority of the reps with the first-team, but it remains unclear whether Dr. James Andrews has medically cleared Thorson for game action. Pat Fitzgerald has said he plans to publicly announce the starter next Thursday — on gameday.
Stopped by #Northwestern practice today. QB Clayton Thorson looked really good, but no word on whether he'll play in the opener at Purdue. Coach Pat Fitzgerald doesn't plan on naming a starting QB publicly before next Thursday's kickoff.— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) August 22, 2018
Other news from Greenstein’s practice observations:
- John Moten IV “figures to be” the No. 2 running back behind Jeremy Larkin
- Bennett Skowronek, Riley Lees and Flynn Nagel are the top three receivers, and JJ Jefferson should get some touches this season (confirming what we saw at Kenosha)
- Jared Thomas has the inside track to start at center
- Blake Gallagher should be the third starting linebacker with Paddy Fisher and Nate Hall
- Trae Williams appears to be the second starting cornerback alongside Montre Hartage
- The two starting safeties will come from Jared McGee, JR Pace and Bryce Jackson
- NU plans to release a depth chart Monday, probably with an “or” at quarterback