Chicago Sun-Times
with Tina Akouris

Kain Colter's rising star at Northwestern

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            It seems like Kain Colter is such a different player than he was on New Year's Day in Dallas.

            Nine months ago, Colter started the TicketCity Bowl as a slotback, making his first ever college start. He was jumpy and hyper in the pregame and his emotions were boiling over.

            Now, Colter is the picture of poise as he took over for starting quarterback Dan Persa against Boston College on Saturday. Colter's poise is what won the Wildcats the ballgame, a 24-17 contest, according to wide receiver Demetrius Fields.

            Fitzgerald elaborated:  "Going through the [bowl prep] and then spring ball and the summer and going through all of camp, he showed more experience of being more comfortable in the role," coach Pat Fitzgerald said. "In the two weeks prior to the game he handled [the pressure] well."

            It seemed like Colter's only glaring misstep was an interception on a pass intended for receiver Jeremy Ebert. After the play, Colter was able to turn to Persa on the sidelines for some analysis and advice.

            "It was a miscommunication between me and Ebert," Colter said. "I thought he turned outside but he ended up turning inside. After that, [Persa said to] you have to come back out and respond. Mistakes are going to happen, and the outcome of the game is going to depend on how we respond to the adversity or success we face in the game."

            Colter has faced adversity before. He originally gave a verbal commitment to Stanford when he was a junior in high school. But after Colter tore his labrum his senior year and had surgery, Stanford lost interest and Colter, a Denver native, gave a commitment to Fitzgerald.

            Fitzgerald remembers the Colter recruitment well, and had harsh words for programs that give up on players who get hurt while they're still in high school.

            "I don't know what happened with that other school [Stanford] nor do I really care," Fitzgerald said.

            "The other school made the decision they made and I think that shows the character we have in recruiting. We're going to stand by young men who get hurt. The only way I'm going to drop a guy is if academically it doesn't work or socially they become a knucklehead.

            "I was not concerned at all about [Colter's] labrum and I was not concerned about the surgery. We're going to honor their commitment and stand by our word. Other schools are going to punt on kids and that's disappointing. When kids get hurt, [college coaches] punt on these guys and that's pathetic. We look at it differently than those guys who play roster games that don't care about kids' futures; all they care about is taking advantage of kids."

            * Injury-wise Fitzgerald announced Monday that defensive lineman Jack DiNardo has a leg injury, but Fitzgerald thinks the Hinsdale Central alum will be back in the fold sooner rather than later.

            Also, Mike Trumpy "got his bell rung" (Fitzgerald's words) against Boston College in the fourth quarter and is listed behind Jacob Schmidt in this week's depth chart for the EIU game.

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This page contains a single entry by Tina Akouris published on September 5, 2011 6:16 PM.

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