Created:Tuesday, April 13, 2010 10:22 p.m.CDT
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Patient Wedige finally gets his chance

By JOHN SAHLY - jsahly@daily-chronicle.com
Northern Illinois center Scott Wedige looks on at practice this past Thursday at Huskie Stadium. (Rob Winner – rwinner@daily-chronicle.com)

DeKALB – The first time Scott Wedige stepped in as the No. 1 center at spring practice, he wasn’t nervous, apprehensive. He didn’t have any of the jitters that come with replacing a four-year stalwart in Eddie Adamski.

“It was actually kind of a relief,” Wedige said. “It was something I had been waiting a long, long time for.”

The redshirt junior sat behind Adamski for the past three seasons as Adamski finished his career as a four-year starter. All the while, Wedige has been the one waiting in the wings, waiting for his opportunity.

Wedige called the wait a good process, one in which he got to learn from the All-MAC center.

“He taught me a lot,” Wedige said. “He was a role model for me. It was always nice to have him around in case I had any questions. It was a great learning process for me. I feel ready now, finally.”

Offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover said Wedige’s wait was a good thing for the center. It allowed for Limegrover to work with Wedige without the pressure of learning in games.

That didn’t always make it easy for Wedige, but Limegrover believes the junior is a better center for it.

“It’s frustrating at times for him, and it takes patience,” Limegrover said. “But it’s one of those things I told him it’s going to pay off. He didn’t have to get rushed into something. He was really able to take in a lot. That’s a huge advantage.”

Now, Wedige has been inserted next to Ed Jackson at left guard and Joe Pawlek at right guard. Two-thirds of that trio are brand new on the No. 1 line, with Pawlek having one year of experience as a starter.

It’s been Weidge’s job to get the line set and communicate with Pawlek and Jackson on blocking assignments, something he feels he’s handled well so far.

“I feel like I’ve gotten better at the run game,” Wedige said. “I’m seeing things better and passing things off to other linemen, just kind of getting a mesh with Joe and Ed.”

Wedige played in relief of an injured Adamski last season against Idaho and was instantly lauded by the coaches for his ability to step in and play well on short notice.

The confidence gained in Wedige that day hasn’t gone away.

“I kind of knew we were in pretty good hands last year against Idaho when Eddie got banged up and Scott went in and you never really saw the point of when Eddie came out and when Scott went in,” Limegrover said. “I thought, ‘You know, we’re going to be OK.’ “

And that type of play from Wedige may remind fans of the former center they were used to watching.

“He’s a lot like how Eddie was,” Limegrover said. “He’s not going to be a rah-rah guy, but he’ll do the things he needs to. I think he’s just feeling confident in how he’s playing.”

Given a full slate of games against Big Ten teams, which team finishes with the best record?
NIU
Purdue
Northwestern