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12 The Daily Northwestern

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TOMORROWinSports

DAILY QUOTA

Read tomorrow’s Daily to find out how volleyball middle blockers Sabel Moffett and Naomi Johnson lead NU’s offensive attack.

“Who is going to be the next Jake Herbert?” NU wrestling coach Tim Cysewski, on his team’s young nucleus

Former LB shines professionally in UFL By Danny Daly

nection with my roommate, he’s a good guy, so that’s made everything a little bit easier.” California’s head coach is Dennis Green, who The United Football League was founded to spent more than a decade presiding over the give young players spurned by the National Foot- Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals. A disball League a way to prove they can compete at ciple of legendary San Francisco coach and West Coast offense mastermind Bill Walsh, Green also the highest level. Former Northwestern linebacker Prince coached Stanford and NU in the college ranks. The fiery Green might be most famous for his Kwateng is one of those players trying to stand postgame “They are who we thought they out in football’s new minor league. Kwateng was a senior on last year’s Football were!” rant after his Cardinals lost to the then-undefeated Chicago Bears in 2006. team that went to the Alamo Bowl. As the He displays his passion in the UFL, too. Wildcats are closing in on a bowl berth “He g i ve s s ome re a l l y go o d for the second consecutive season, he is speeches, and he’s a funny guy,” Kwaadjusting to the cut-throat nature of pro teng said. “One day after practice, he football with the California Redwoods. “Now it’s a job,” Kwateng said. “I still have a gave us his fight song from high school. It lot of fun playing, but it feels like a lot more is on was out of the blue — at the end of practice the line every day when you step out for practice. he just brought us up and started screaming Even if you’re in a meeting room, there’s just a lot his fight song, just to show how much pride he has in everything he’s associated with.” more pressure because you want to perform.” Four years at NU were a good learning exThe day before graduation, Redwoods secondary coach Martin Bayless called Kwateng to perience for Kwateng. The intense UFL atsay the team planned to draft him. Bayless, who mosphere is similar to the environment of played 14 years in the NFL himself, has a son “competitive depth” coach Pat Fitzgerald encourages in Evanston. who attends NU and was redshirted last season. “It prepared me a lot,” Kwateng said. “I Since NFL training camps were underway and Kwateng did not have anything else lined had some great coaches throughout the years. They’ve helped me develop my skills, up, he jumped at the chance. “I had contacted (Bayless) expressing in- and almost everything that they taught me terest in the league,” Kwateng said. “They I continue to use today.” Shortly before last April’s NFL Draft, someliked what they saw and decided to give me one from the Baltimore Ravens tried to get in an opportunity to play.” So far, Kwateng is making the most of it. He touch with Kwateng. Unfortunately for Kwateng, ranks third on the Redwoods in tackles with 17.5, he missed the call because he was in class, and earning substantial playing time and making an the Ravens went in a different direction. Fitzgerald has been impressed with Kwaimpact even though there are players in the league with NFL experience. Overall, California teng’s resolve. The 6-foot-2 linebacker is one of three former NU players in the UFL, along is the youngest team in the UFL. Having Bayless’ familiar face on the with safety Tim McGarrigle and quarterback coaching staff has made the transition C.J. Bachér. “I’ve been following him online and texting smoother for Kwateng. He also has much in common with his roommate, former Notre (Kwateng),” coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “I’m really proud of him, continuing to try to fight to play.” Dame linebacker Maurice Crum, Jr. Fitzgerald is not the only one keeping up with “It always nice when you feel like you know someone that you can really talk to,” Kwateng Kwateng’s career. Junior linebacker Quentin Dasaid. “The whole coaching staff is great and my teammates are great. I have a little Midwest conSee kwateng, page 10 the daily northwestern

daily file photo

Former NU linebacker Prince Kwateng is currently playing in the UFL for the California Redwoods, ranking third on the team in tackles with 17.5. The team is led by former Arizona Cardinals coach Dennis Green. Players can sign with NFL franchises at the end of the UFL season in November.

D-line ‘cavalry’ finally healthy for NU By DavID Uberti the daily northwestern

In the offseason, coach Pat Fitzgerald asked his defensive linemen to do something they’ve always tried to take away from quarterbacks. “I just told them to be patient,” he said. Junior defensive tackle Corbin Bryant suffered a season-ending ACL injury against Michigan last year. Senior defensive end Corey Wootton tore his ACL in Northwestern’s loss to Missouri in the 2008 Alamo Bowl. Then, on the second day of spring practice, senior defensive tackle Adam Hahn broke his foot. All three injuries required surgery, landing three of NU’s four starting defensive lineman in rehabilitation. “It’s a really hard road to go down when you battle to come off of a major injury,” Fitzgerald said. “(Recover y) is going to come probably two or three weeks later than you want it to.” Fitzgerald knew exactly what his players would be going through from experience. During his junior season in 1995, the All-American linebacker suffered a broken leg two games before the Wildcats’ Rose Bowl appearance. In 1996 he returned from his injury, leading NU to a second straight Big Ten title. Despite Fitzgerald’s guidance, the road to recovery was rougher than expected for Hahn. He said he anticipated missing eight weeks with his foot injury but ended up being out more than five months. He was even inactive during NU’s first two games this season. “(The most important thing is) trusting that your body is going to be all right and not second-guessing it,” Hahn said. “Staying focused is the hardest thing when you’re not on the field.” Wootton’s injury gave NU faithful its bigge s t re a s on t o w or r y. T he 6 -f o ot-7, Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cats look to control big play threats By Robbie Levin the daily northwestern

little frustrating for me at first,” Wootton said. Although he was named a preseason AllAmerican by Playboy, the senior looked reluctant to test his knee early in the year. He recorded only eight tackles and was held without a sack in the Cats’ first seven games. But things look to be shaping up for Wootton and the rest of the defensive line. The unit helped hold Iowa to only 65 yards rushing on Saturday, matching its lowest total

Northwestern’s defense has held firm inside the 20, limiting opponents to the third-fewest red zone scores in the Big Ten. But between the 20-yard lines has been a different story. In their last two games Notebook alone, the Wildcats have given up three touchdowns of 50 yards or more. While NU faced two highlyranked teams in Penn State and Iowa, coach Pat Fitzgerald said the reason for the big plays didn’t come from the opposing sideline. Instead, he placed the blame squarely on his own team. “No disrespect to Penn State or Iowa, but they didn’t do anything to accomplish those plays,” he said. “Those were self-inflicted wounds.” This trend extends further back than those two games. Of the last 12 touchdowns scored on the Cats, half came on plays of 40 yards or longer. “Of course t here are going to be some of those big plays, it’s just the nature of football,” sophomore defensive lineman Kevin Watt said. “Minimizing those big plays is the key to us being a top-25 defense.”

See d-Line, page 11

See NOTEBOOK, page 11

daily file by ray whitehouse

Junior defensive tackle Corbin Bryant was one of a few NU defensive lineman to suffer an injury in the last year. Though the line has been banged up, the players are getting healthy at the right time. Against Iowa on Saturday, the line held the Hawkeyes to a season-low 65 yards rushing. 280-pounder racked up 10 sacks during his junior season, earning the team’s Most Valuable Player award. He was also an honorable mention selection to the Sports Illustrated All-America Team. Wootton returned to football after the expected six months of rehabilitation. It was clear he wasn’t the same player at the outset of the 2009 season. He also suffered another leg injury early in the year. “I just want to be able to do everything I can for my teammates, and that’s why it was a

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The Daily Northwestern 11/12/09  

The Daily Northwestern 11/12/09

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