Preps Talk

Colter ready to shine in starting role

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Colter ready to shine in starting role

One word seems to dominate conversations about Kain Colter.
Hes athletic, they say.
He can throw. He can run. He can catch. His all-around performance catapulted Northwestern to an upset of Nebraska last season. Though Colter has filled various roles for Northwestern in his two seasons, he now owns the coveted title of starting quarterback.
Last season, Colter filled in for injured starter Dan Persa for the first three games of the season before Persa recovered from his torn Achilles tendon. Now Colter, a junior, is the No. 1 quarterback.
(If) were playing Syracuse tomorrow, hes every down. Hes our starting quarterback, coach Pat Fitzgerald said Friday at Big Ten Football Media Day at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place. Thats where were at to this point of the evaluation. I know hes excited about it. Thats why he came to Northwestern.
Still, Colter boasts skills that make him an attractive player at other positions, Fitzgerald said. He is the Wildcats leading returning passer (673 yards), rusher (654) and receiver (466). In the upset of ranked Nebraska, he threw for 115 yards and a touchdown, ran for 57 yards with two touchdowns and caught three passes for 57 yards.
Last year was a great indication of what we can do offensively with a skill set like his, Fitzgerald said. We reserve the right to get the best 11 guys on the field on every play.
And his throwing could get better. Colters arm strength has improved since he underwent labrum surgery in high school.
It gets better every day, Fitzgerald said. You go back to when he couldnt throw the ball 15 yards when he first got here because of the labrum. Thats why we moved him to wide receiver.
Opposing players have taken notice of Colters athleticism and versatility. Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase recalled his introduction to Colter, when Colter made his collegiate debut as a true freshman in the teams meeting at Wrigley Field two years ago.
What he was able to do last year, playing a whole lot of positions, he did a great job at quarterback, Scheelhaase said. First time I ever saw him, we played them at Wrigley, and I thought he was a heck of a player there.
Hes a team guy, one of the most athletic dudes in this conference. Colter learned from Persa, who earned all-Big Ten honorable mention last season and completed 73.4 percent of his passes (218 of 297) for 2,376 yards and 17 touchdowns with seven interceptions. Colter went 55 of 82 for six touchdowns and an interception.
He was the smartest quarterback Ive ever been around, the hardest working Ive ever been around, Colter said. I learned a lot from him. At the same time, its time for me to grow, time to step into that leadership role and be a leader on this team.
After filling the backup role, Colter said hes ready to accept the responsibility and scrutiny associated with being the starting quarterback.
Youre going to get all the blame and all the credit, he said. Thats something that comes with the territory of playing quarterback. So, it definitely excites me, but at the same time, I have a bunch of playmakers around me, so I dont have to put too muchpressure on myself.
As for where hell play on the field, Colter said hes strictly a quarterback entering camp.
After that
Im going to leave that up to the offensive coordinator, Colter said. Usually, thats a game-plan deal. As we start scouting these other teams, you never know where Ill be at.

VOTE: Viewers' Choice Game Of The Week

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NBC Sports Chicago

VOTE: Viewers' Choice Game Of The Week

Who wants it more?

We are putting High School Lites, Chicagoland's top prep sports show, in the hands of area football fans in our "Viewers' Choice Game of the Week." Fans will get the chance to pick one game that the @NBCSPreps crew will cover on Friday night. We will send our cameras to the game that gets the most votes; highlights and postgame reaction of that game will appear on that night's "High School Lites" broadcast at 11 p.m. — just after Chicago White Sox baseball. The show also live streams at www.nbcsportschicago.com/watchlive. High School Lites will also have broadcast replays at 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. the following Saturday. This week we spotlight some Indiana vs. Illinois border wars:

Gary (West Side) at Woodstock, 7 p.m.

Hammond (HS) at Reavis, 7 p.m.

Hammond (Gavit) at St. Ignatius, 7:30 p.m.  

Poll opens Monday at 12 p.m. and closes Thursday at 4 p.m. Here is what fans need to do to vote:

— Follow @NBCSPreps on Twitter.
— Note the "pinned Tweet" atop the @NBCSPreps feed. Vote for the game you want us to cover.
— Spread the word! 

We will make an announcement on @NBCSPreps just after 4 p.m. Thursday with the official results of which game will be covered. And as a reminder, be sure to follow @NBCSPreps for updates on the "Viewers' Choice Game of the week," along with other high school sports news, scores and highlights this season.

Power Rankings: #4 - Batavia

Power Rankings: #4 - Batavia

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Batavia

Head coach: Dennis Piron

Assistant coaches: Matt Holm, Billy Colamatteo, Sean Anderson, PJ White, Dan Cadena, Adam Lester, Steve Bailey, Alvin Cole, Shane Holl and Gary Urwiler

How they fared in 2017: 13-1 (5-1 Upstate Eight River Conference). Batavia made the 7A state playoff field and defeated Glenbard North, Wheaton North, Lincoln-Way West and Benet Academy. They went on to defeat Lake Zurich in the state title game to capture the 7A state championship.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Lemont

Aug. 31 vs Naperville North

Sept. 7 vs Lake Park

Sept. 14 @ Glenbard North

Sept. 21 vs Wheaton Warrenville South

Sept. 28 vs Geneva

Oct. 5 @ St. Charles East

Oct. 12 vs St. Charles North

Oct. 19 @ Wheaton North

[MORE: 89 Days to Kickoff - St. Charles East]

Biggest storyline: Can the Bulldogs, winners of state titles in 2013 and 2017, get back to state and claim another 7A title?

Names to watch this season: LB Luke Weerts (North Dakota State) and LB Michael Jansey Jr. (Northwestern)

Biggest holes to fill: The Bulldogs will need to replace nine graduated starters from last seasons's state championship squad. 

EDGY's Early Take: The Bulldogs are turning the page from their championship season, which was capped off with a 21-14 OT victory over Lake Zurich in the title game. While the offense will be inexperienced to start the season, the program has never been in better shape under head coach Dennis Piron. The Bulldogs' defense feature two D-1 senior team leaders in Luke Weerts (North Dakota State) and Michael Jansey Jr. (Northwestern). The offense will look to run the football behind two starters back on the offensive line in senior Evan Holden and senior Anthony Glisson. Batavia will also see a ramped-up schedule, thanks to the new DuKane Conference. It will challenge the Bulldogs week in and week out. Bulldogs fans also have an added treat: this season marks the 100th rendition of the Batavia-Geneva rivalry game. If Batavia can get their play-action passing game sorted out they have the tools to make another deep run in 2018.