Saturday practice report
Six practices in, it's hard not to notice converted linebacker Victor Jacques.
The former fullback has made plays all over the field on defense and special teams in his sixth practice as the Huskies' newest middle linebacker.
On film, Northern Illinois coach Jerry Kill said Jacques looks even better.
"He's looked good," Kill said. "He's been great at blocking punts. He's going to be a great special teams player and a great linebacker. Victor is too good of an athlete to be standing on the sidelines."
Kill has always been high on Jacques, who signed on with the Huskies in April of 2008. At last year's MAC media days in Detroit, Kill was excited about Jacques and what he could bring to the fullback position and then brought him up again at the Chicago and DeKalb media days.
Jacques did not play last season and was the No. 3 fullback behind Kyle Skarb and Connor Flahive.
"I didn't realize Skarb and Flahive were going to play so well," Kill said. "They are good fullbacks. So why have a guy sitting at No. 3 when he can go over there and be a No. 2 linebacker and play 25-30 plays a game? I think he's going to be able to do it. I've been impressed with him."
The question is, when it comes time for two-a-days, can he push Phil Brown and Pat Schiller for playing time? It's too early to tell as Jacques is just getting the basics down at this point. But, if he continues to impress, as Kill said, he will see the field in some capacity.
Other news and notes from today:
Saturday was easily the most well-attended practice, which is no surprise considering the 10 a.m. start and the beautiful weather.
Bears coach Lovie Smith was in attendance to watch his son, Miles, who is a student volunteer assistant in the football operations department.
Safety Mike Sobol turned in his strongest practice, recovering two fumbles in 11-on-11 play. Running backs Chad Spann, Me'co Brown and Ricky Crider all struggled to hold on to the ball, as each back put at least one on the turf.
In another position move, defensive lineman Ed Jackson is now on the offensive line. Jackson had struggled to make plays from the defensive line throughout the first two weeks of spring practice.
"Moved Ed over to give him a chance," Kill said. "He's just not fast enough and not athletic enough to play on the defensive line. We've moved him over and it's hard to evaluate him. But we've thrown him in there and he's got to learn what to do. Physically he can do things. He's not a bad athlete in there."
Tight end Jason Schepler impressed Kill on a run play with his blocking. By the end of the play, Schepler was on top of defensive end Brandon Bice and continued to finish the block. Schepler has stated that improving his run blocking is one of the biggest goals he has in spring camp, and today's practice was certainly a step forward in that department.
The wide receivers had an inconsistent day. Look for more on them in Sunday's Daily Chronicle.
Come back later this afternoon for a video interview with quarterback Chandler Harnish, complete with his picks for tonight's Final Four games.
Answering your questions
Mad.Mike asked: "I could only make the practice for a little bit and thought that Jeff Sayre was looking pretty good at MLB as well. Jacques continues to impress. I didn't see Schiller out there, did he sit out part of the practice or something?"
John Sahly: Mike, you stop by practice but don't say hi? Come on, man!
I'm just kidding with you, no hard feelings. Linebacker Pat Schiller got dinged in the eye at Thursday's practice and was held out of contact drills as a precaution, but ran and lifted weights on the sidelines. He is expected to be back on Tuesday.