Safety in numbers for IU

 Nick Polk is meaner this year than last year.

This is the eighth and last in a series of position-by-position previews.

PROJECTED STARTERS: CB Christopher Phillips, 6-0, 187, Sr.; CB Chris Adkins, 6-1, 185, Fr.; FS Nick Polk, 6-0, 218, Jr.; SS Austin Thomas, 6-2, 222; Jr.

STARTERS LOST: CB Tracy Porter (13 games started); CB Leslie Majors (11 games started).

KEY RESERVES: CB Donnell Jones, 5-10, 210, Fr.; CB Richard Council, 6-1, 189; FS Joe Kleinsmith, 5-11, 197, Sr.; SS Jerimy Finch, 6-1, 215, So.

2007 REVIEW: Indiana had its best set of cornerbacks in recent years with Tracy Porter and Leslie Majors. Porter is now playing for the New Orleans Saints and Majors is with the Chicago Bears. The move of Nick Polk from wide receiver to free safety made the Hoosiers more athletic in the defensive backfield, but the team was relatively inexperienced at safety. As a sophomore, strong safety Austin Thomas was IU’s leading tackler. Polk and Thomas made IU at least adequate at safety last year after the team had been relatively weak at that position the previous couple of seasons.

2008 OUTLOOK: Safety should become one of the defense’s strength’s this season with continued improvement from Polk and Thomas, and with transfer Jerimy Finch added to the mix. Polk and Thomas are two of the Hoosiers who are noticeably bigger and stronger this fall after a summer of weight lifting, and Polk has improved his technique at safety. Finch is expected to see some playing time right away, and has the ability to be one of IU’s best players once he fully learns the defense. One of the team’s biggest question marks is how its two new starters at cornerback will play. IU’s coaches like what they’ve seen from Phillips on one side and Adkins, Jones and Council on the other side, but the proof is in playing well in games.

QUOTABLE: “This is the first time since we’ve been here that we have real depth across our secondary and our whole defense,” co-defensive coordinator Joe Palcic.

Q&A WITH NICK POLK

Q: What is your major?

A: “As of right now, I’m a general studies major with a telecom minor. I got kind of a slow start, but just becoming a general studies major you can explore a lot of different majors and get a lot of classes in that you can choose yourself.”

Q: What’s been your best class at IU so far?

A: “Yoga, I took a yoga class. I wasn’t flexible at all when I came in and I think it’s definitely helped me with flexibility on the field and just being able to relax.”

Q: What’s your favorite place to eat in Bloomington?

A: “Definitely Asuka, the Japanese steakhouse. It’s a great place. It’s great food and the chefs are really fun.”

Q: “What’s your game-day ritual? Any superstitions?

A: “I put on the same thing (the same arm pads, cleats and pants). I try to wear the same shoes. I listen to the same music (usually R&B and rap, often Jay-Z).”

Q: What’s one thing you want to do better this year?

A: “I definitely want to cover better as well as tackling. I missed a quite a few tackles last year that I believe I’ll be able to make this year. I put on eight to 10 pounds. I’m trying to bring a bigger punch as a hitter.”

8 comments

  1. I know this is a football story, but I heard a basketball rumor today that I want to throw out there. Has anyone heard that Steven VanTreese is going to walk on?

    Good luck in the season opener! Go Hoosiers!!!

  2. Nothing prettier than a secondary flying around the defensive backfield, inflicting worries on the offense. Got get em guys!

  3. Someone better check the local gun store because I think Polk stole a couple!! Damn kid. You put ten pounds on alright….in your arms! You are starting to look like a Safety in the Big Ten. Our safeties are our deepest position with LBs on defense and these cats are as a unit are going to lay some poor fools out this year.

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