Hoosiers get an early start

Indiana’s football players jumped back and forth over benches, raced each other while pushing heavy metal sleds and ran repeated 40-yard sprints.

Ah, there’s nothing quite like a 6 a.m. workout on a frigid winter day when the start of the season is months away.

The hour-long off-season workout this morning at Mellencamp Pavilion was the second of what coach Terry Hoeppner has dubbed “The Winning Edge.” After loosening up with some brief stretching, players rotated from one station to another to perform fast-paced running and jumping drills that were supervised by IU’s coaches.

Despite the early hour, players appeared to be in good spirits, yelling and urging each other on.

In the series of 40-yard sprints that ended the workout, the two players who stood out for repeatedly finishing first in their groups were Josiah Sears and James Hardy. The one player who repeatedly lagged behind his group, perhaps as he gets used to a different level of conditioning at IU, was new JUCO transfer Kevin Burrus.

The Hoosiers started this week on an offseason conditioning schedule that has players participating in the “Winning Edge” on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 a.m. and lifting weights on Mondays and Wednesdays at 6 a.m.

Several reporters attended the Thursday morning workout after Hoeppner made an invitation to all those present at his Wednesday press conference to announce his 2007 recruiting class.

7 comments

  1. Doug,

    My question on this, did you accept Hep’s invitation to participate, and if you did, how did you fair to the other guys?

  2. Hey Mike,

    Coach Hoeppner decided not to suit us up and have us work out after all, which was a big, big disappointment. I think he didn’t want us to embarrass the players.

    I figure that besides being way in front of the other reporters in knocking out a few 40s, I would have been ahead of Thigpen too. My strict regimen of cheeseburgers, pale ale and physical inactivity (rested legs!) would have given me the winning edge.

  3. I wondered that, too. Thigpen was running in the same group as Hardy and Hardy won every sprint except one, which was won by Demetrius McCray. It looked like Hardy was really hustling at full speed while Thigpen – like most of the players – was in more of a controlled sprint, at something less than top speed.

    That was why I mentioned Hardy and Sears. They were the two guys who really stood out to me for running like they had something to prove or like they were trying to set an example for everyone else.

    At the end of the running, they had one last sprint to decide a champion among the guys who had been winning in the smaller groups. In that run, Sears edged Hardy for fastest guy of the day.

  4. Hi:

    One of the players that intrigues me is the new punter/quarterback Chris Hagerup. Other reports from yesterday morning highlighted him as being unusually big and athletic for a new freshman (who should be a high school senior). Did you notice him yesterday? How is his speed? Could you give us some updates on how he is doing so far? From his film and comments, he looks like he has a real bright future. Thanks.

  5. Hi Bob,

    I saw Hagerup and noticed that he looked like a good athlete, but with watching 100 guys work out at once, I didn’t see enough of him to say much more than that. From what I’ve heard, his future is more likely as a punter than as a QB, but I don’t know a lot more about him at this point. Since he’s one of two new players on campus this semester, I’ll try to talk to him and his coaches and write a story about him soon.

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