Chicago Sun-Times
with Tina Akouris

July 2011 Archives

Northwestern's Jordan Mabin on defense, house rules

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Probably the best quote I got during the 2010 football season was from NU safety Brian Peters after the TicketCity Bowl. I asked him how the Wildcats' can cut down on penalties like the personal fouls that NU's defense picked up against Texas Tech in the first half:

"We have to control our violence," he said.

So fast forward eight months. I asked senior cornerback Jordan Mabin about Peters' quote. How can football players reel in their aggressiveness during games so they don't pick up that personal foul -- or two, or three.

"It's having poise and awareness and focus on your mental and physical and everything that is on the field," Mabin said. "Football is a fun game, but it's also a dynamic game so you have to focus on every little aspect and try not to overdo it. That's when mistakes happen."


During Day 2 of Big Ten Media Days at McCormick Place, Mabin said he graduated in June and is pursuing a master's degree in sports administration. He also divulged some dirt on some of his teammates, who also happen to be his roommates.

Nine Wildcats share a three-story house in Evanston. Mabin may take some heat for this but out of the group the messiest guy is safety David Arnold and the neatest is linebacker Bryce McNaul. And Mabin says, "I'm right in the middle."

Pat Fitzgerald on Dan Persa

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Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald on quarterback Dan Persa's status before camp starts on Aug. 8:

"I don't have a crystal ball for Dan, but I got cleared to do anything in the first week of July [after Fitzgerald broke his leg against Iowa his junior year] and now guys are training 365 days a year. It's going to be a different set of circumstances. He's in a different place right now mentally than he was last year."

Fitzgerald said Persa is 100 percent healed from his Achillies heel surgery, but Persa still needs to get in game shape. Fitzgerald said his quarterback will need to "get in the best shape of his life" when the Wildcats head to Camp Kenosha next month.

Fitzgerald pointed to Mike Trumpy as a starter in the Wildcats' backfield and also mentioned Adonis Smith as another top ballcarrier. 

NU's Dan Persa a player to watch

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            There may be a heat warning today, but college football season started Thursday at the McCormick Place Hyatt with Big Ten Media Days.

            For the first time in the conference's history, the league announced a Players to Watch list, which included Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa in the Leaders Division list.

            Persa's inclusion is a no-brainer, but more importantly it solidifies the fact that he's 100 percent healthy after rupturing his left Achillies tendon in the Wildcats' victory over Iowa last November.

            Overheard: There are at least 500 members of the media here, perhaps the largest media turnout ever. The large turnout surely has to do with the addition of Nebraska to the league this season.

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