Lynch: “We’re disappointed”

It’s been said many different ways in this space that Bill Lynch is an eternal optimist and does everything he can to stay positive in all of his public comments.

His season-ending press conference Tuesday was, for the most part, no different. But even Lynch had to admit, before he took questions, that this season did not go the way the Hoosiers were hoping it would.

“I think it’s important that you know that we’re very disappointed in how it turned out,” he said. “I don’t want anyone to think that up and down the hallways of this complex anyone’s satisfied with 4-8. That was not our goal when we got started.”

That being said, Lynch didn’t give the impression that he’s looking to make any wholesale changes in the wake of that disappointment, and reiterated that he does think the program made progress despite the record.

Lynch discussed a wide range of topics and was asked a wide range of questions in the final press conference. Some of the important points follow:

  • Lynch said one of the things he was happiest with this season was “the consistency in our preparation and work ethic.” He said that shows that the foundation to the program is being built. He said one thing that showed that this team was different than others at Indiana was “watching how bad it hurt week by week. How it hurt, whether it was at Iowa, at Northwestern, at Penn State or after the Bucket Game, because these kids did put the hard work in and the investment.
  • Lynch said he’s more ready to  begin preparing for the following season than he ever has been. “I can’t ever remember coaching where it’s Tuesday after the season and I can’t wait to get started again. Generally you have a tough year like that and you just feel like you need to get away from it for a couple of weeks and take a big deep breath and kind of regroup and decide which way you want to go.”
  • Indiana will stick to its policy on redshirting as many freshmen as possible and only burning a redshirt if a player can be a starter as a freshman. The Hoosiers played just one true freshman this season in defensive tackle Adam Replogle. He started every game this season. “I think sometimes you’ll hear coaches and the common thing is, ‘I’m not gonna redshirt him because why should I save him for the next coach?” Lynch said. “We bit the bullet and realized if we’re going to build this program to be a consistent winner, we need to develop kids…. We’ve played four freshmen in the last two years and all four of them were full-time starters. We made a commitment that we’re not going to play a kid unless he’s gonna be a starter. Because it’s not fair to the kid and ultimately it’s not what’s best for the program.”
  • The Hoosiers defense loses seven starters, but Lynch said he thinks he has enough talent and can move enough players around to put together a solid unit. He said some of the young defensive tackles they used this year could move to the outside, and that if defensive ends Darius Johnson and Fred Jones return completely healthy they could still have a strong defensive front. Lynch also mentioned freshman Javon Cornley, who redshirted this season. “I think Javon Cornley’s got a chance to be an outstanding pass rusher,” Lynch said. “He’s fast and he’s getting stronger. I think he’s gained 15 pounds since he got here.” At linebacker, Lynch said he expects Tyler Replogle to move from strong side linebacker to middle linebacker. He has great expectations for Chad Sherer, who saw limited time behind Replogle, Will Patterson and Justin Carrington on the outside. He also expects Leon Beckum and true freshman Damon Sims to step up. The secondary is the biggest concern, he admitted, but he was happy with the play of Donnell Jones and Adrian Burks down the stretch. Lynch also expects freshman Lawrence Barnett to be “an outstanding corner.” He didn’t say much about safety, where Nick Polk and Austin Thomas are graduating as is Collin Taylor, who filled in at nickelback down the stretch. Chris Adkins returns, and Lynch hinted that players could switch positions to help there. “At some point we’ll look at the roster and we may move a few guys like we did in the past. Like we did when we moved Nick Polk, like we did when we moved Ray Fisher. I don’t really want to talk specifics because I haven’t talked to those kids yet, you know? And I don’t want them reading the paper, ‘Aaaah, coach said I’m gonna be…’ So I think out of common courtesy I’ll talk to them first.” Lynch reiterated that he couldn’t talk about incoming recruits specifically, but said there are some that he thinks could play immediately in the secondary.
  • Among specific developments that Lynch said he was pleased with this season was that “I thought we really have become a pretty good passing team. … I think overall we’ve got a good mixture of dropback game, quick game, play-action game. … I think we have a lot of things in our passing game is pretty good.” Lynch said he also thought the pass protection has been good, but even though the numbers didn’t show it, he was also pleased with the running game, especially when tailback Darius Willis was healthy. Though the Hoosiers lose two running backs in Demetrius McCray and Bryan Payton, he said he thinks it will get better with the addition of Nick Turner, who redshirted this season.
  • The biggest problem offensively, he said, was the team’s problems on third down. “I think there were some key games we didn’t win where a conversion here or there would’ve been the difference in winning the game.”
  • The same was the case on defense. “So many times in the games, it really came down to getting off the field with a stop.”
  • Lynch also was concerned with defensive breakdowns when the team blitzed that turned into big plays. “We probably didn’t have enough sacks with our four-man rush, so that lends yourself to, if you gotta get somebody off the field and you gotta make a play then you gotta go to the blitz. We got hurt in some key situations in some key plays when we went to the blitz.”
  • Lynch said he isn’t necessarily opposed to making schematic changes on defense. He said “don’t read into this,” and said that he had not even discussed with his defensive staff or thought about a major systematic change. But the idea of changing the formation from the base 4-3 that the Hoosiers have been using isn’t set in stone. “I haven’t had one conversation with the defensive staff about doing anything different. … I don’t want to read in ‘They’re thinking about doing this, or they’re thinking about that,’ because we aren’t. I just said we’re open to anything that’s going to make us better. I’m not philosophically saying you’ve got to be a four-down team. I’m not philosophically saying you’ve gotta be a zone team. I’m not philosophically saying you’ve gotta be a man team.”
  • Lynch said he doesn’t think there’s a major need area of recruiting he needs to address with the Hooisers’ remaining open scholarships for the class of 2010. He said secondary might be one area, but otherwise “we have the program in good shape in terms of we have x number of offensive linemen, we have x number of quarterbacks, wide receivers, running backs, d-linemen, linebackers.”
  • Lynch was asked about players de-committing nationwide. He obviously couldn’t address the Jibreel Black situation, but said that he continues to recruit players who give verbal commitments. “It’s like you’ve got a girlfriend, she decides to date you, you better spend time with her,” Lynch said. “You know? Otherwise, she’s gonna go find somebody else. It’s a little bit the same way. We work very, very hard on the guys that told us they’re coming.”
  • Because of the de-committing and the effort he has to put forth there, Lynch said he supports the idea of an early signing period for football. “When the junior college guys are signing in a couple of weeks, we oughta be signing all of these kids. Then everybody knows who’s committed, where they’re going, you know who else is available and whatever needs you have. We spend a lot of time and effort and money. I think it would eliminate a lot of that if we had an early signing period.”
  • Lynch said he thinks he will fill all 25 open scholarships.
  • Lynch said he doesn’t think it will be any harder to recruit because of his contract situation. He has two years left, but earlier in the season was given a vote of confidence by athletic director Fred Glass, who said Lynch will coach out his contract. “When Fred came out and reassured everybody that I was going to be back. That really solved all that.”
  • Still, with Lynch only having two years left, the juniors he is recruiting know they are only guaranteed just one year with him. How does Lynch address that issue with a recruit? “I’m gonna sell him on my vision and what we’re gonna do here, and that Indiana University is the right place for him.”
  • Lynch said he will meet with every one of his players one-on-one for the next few weeks, “where they come in and really look you eye to eye.”
  • Lynch said was pleased with what the Hoosiers got out of the pistol formation in its first year. “What I like about it is you can run the power scheme, the toss play, the bounce play and the cut play, which were our four base runs out if it, just like you could if the quarterback was underneath center,” Lynch said. “But the mechanics of the quarterback being there in the shotgun already, it’s what we also do when we’re in the spread and the backs offset.”
  • Lynch said he’s happy with his assistant coaching staff and that he wouldn’t be looking to make any changes at all. He also said he would maintain the co-defensive coordinator situation with Brian George and Joe Palcic.
  • Lynch said he’s not against the idea of oversigning prospects and gray-shirting. But said the only reason to gray-shirt, is “if there’s a guy that you think is a better player than we could go recruit next year, then you probably would want to sign him because you get him in the fold even if he’s not going to play next year. I’m not a big one just to sign more guys so it sounds like you’re doing a better job.”
  • Lynch was asked if he would think about moving wide receiver/wildcat quarterback Mitchell Evans to safety, where he has played before. He wouldn’t commit to that because he hadn’t talked to him yet, but hinted that it was possible. “Obviously, there’s a guy that has played on both sides. He can do everything. I think Mitchell Evans could play defensive tackle if we asked him to do it. I mean, he’s just that kinda guy.”
  • Lynch said safety Nick Zachary, who redshirted this season, has a chance to be an outstanding player.
  • Lynch said there would be competition in the spring in every position including quarterback, where Ben Chappell returns after a strong junior season. Redshirt freshmen Edward Wright Baker and Dusty Kiel will both challenge, he said.


  1. I’m already itching for it myself Bill… Even though my itch usually turns into a boil. Like the one that is still festering from this season.

  2. Wow,

    We sure are happy. I better go back and review the games on my dvr. We must be 8-4.

    I want to hear what the coaching staff is UNHAPPY about, and what they are going to do about it!!!

    “I haven’t had one conversation with the defensive staff about doing anything different.”–BL

    That says it all.

  3. 4-8 isnt that bad right?? reading that makes it sound like we are on the right track, and we are not.. more of the status quo until we get a coach who realizes the big ten as a whole sucks, and there is a great opportunity here to turn a perennial loser into a respectable program.. ie kansas, duke, mississippi st

  4. No coaching changes???? Bill, if you can’t see that Matt Canada and his run the ball straight up the middle on 99% of first downs is the most ignorant strategy ever, then you need some serious help! Matt Canada has got to be the biggest moron ever!

    In the stands another guy and myself literally guessed right about 60% to 70% of the time on the play calls. A pop warner coach could watch 2 films on IU’s offense and defend it with success.

    This crap has been going on for 2 years now since you became head coach and vacated the offensive coordinator position. Bill, you did pretty darn good job in that position under Coach Hep. So I know deep down that YOU KNOW that Matt Canada is a fricking waste! FIRE HIM!!!!!!

  5. Canada is a pretty good QB coach (just look at what he did to make Kellen Lewis halfway decent), but I’m not convinced of his o-coordinator abilities by any stretch. The ideal would have been Lynch as o-coordinator with Canada as qb coach…kind of like it was for ’05-’06.

    My problem lies with the defensive coaches who, since they showed up in 2005, I have had issues with. My key example is Tracy Porter: he was a guy with average numbers and tons of potential, and now (when healthy) he is a defensive stud with New Orleans. This year, you look at the passing numbers for all of IU’s opponents and it speaks for itself. Frankly, the only thing I was happy with this year on defense was the linebackers and the young DTs. Everything else was awful. (yes, Kirlew and Middleton were okay, but they were nowhere near where they had been in the past)

  6. yeah…when are we finally going to get a coach that uses his post-season press conference to call out his players, fire his staff, and bitch and moan about his program. If only he wasn’t so positive about getting the job done.

  7. Ummmm, what job did he get done exactly? Most of the high profile positions are filled with people who aren’t in the best position to succeed(IE Lynch isn’t a head coach, Canada isn’t an O coordinator. If we were going to a bull game, that’s getting the job done, but no, we are last in a down conference, as much as I want to be an optimist (I still believed that Weis was a good coach prior to the Connecticut game).

    But uhhh, we did have 2 potential wins taken away from us (Michigan wasn’t such a sure thing, but it is the premise), so we did get kinda sorta royally screwed.

  8. Iknow it’s shortly after the season.but Lynch had better be thinking about the defense:personell,schemes,and who is going to decide who/what/how they are going to play next year.
    Was disappointed to hear of no changes in staffing,especially on the defensive staff. This certainly has been IU’s biggest weakness for several years. Feel like with the talent coming back next year on offense,scoring 25-30 points per game no out of the question. The bigger question is will that be enough to win a game. From past performances from the staff and players, I would hate to put any money on it!
    I have not played or coached football and don’t claim to be any kind of expert but surely there are plenty of schemes to consider based on players available and hopefully IU will find one that works much better than what I have watched in the last few years!

  9. Pretty frank assessment, I’d say. While it’s pretty obvious 3rd downs were this team’s demise, I’m interested to see how the myriad of deficiencies displayed on 3rds are addressed. These issues, I believe, go to the core of the program & are not easily fixed. For all the rah-rahs about building a winning culture, the fit hits the shan on 3rd down & cultural defects become painfully exposed when just one man fails to execute his assignment- & we saw this happen almost 200 times on both sides of the ball throughout the season. These breakdown define a team’s culture. This is when “don’t quit” & “play every play” must become more than catch phrases, they become the reason we win games on 3rd down. Lynch had them in position enough to win several games this year. I’m willing to give him one more year to see what he can do to improve our 3rd down culture.

  10. Saying the teams problems were failures on third downs is like when they say on television that someone died from cardiac arrest. Everyone dies from cardiac arrest. Every bad football team fails to make plays on third down.

  11. “Lynch said he’s happy with his assistant coaching staff and that he wouldn’t be looking to make any changes at all. He also said he would maintain the co-defensive coordinator situation with Brian George and Joe Palcic.”

    Yeah, WHY would he change anything on D? I mean, giving up over 400 yards per game with a senior-dominated defense isn’t bad, right? Being 11th in the Big Ten in scoring defense and total defense with guys that very well could be in the NFL next year (Kirlew, Middleton, Mayberry) certainly can’t have ANYTHING to do with schemes, huh? HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY ACCEPT THAT, LYNCH!!!!!! WE ARE THE WORST DEFENSE IN THE BIG TEN — FREAKING CHANGE SOMETHING!!!!!!!!!

  12. This is vintage Lynch. Ignore the glaring problems, because nothing is really wrong. We are going in the right direction, we will prepare for next week. Hope? Zilch.

  13. I’m going to break a promise I made in that I would not waste any more time typing out my anger here long enough to just say….Bill you may be disappointed and if that is true what changes are going to be made, sounds like none, which leads to nothing but more of the same ole same ole. You are not near as disappointed as the whole football fan base, or what is left of it, in any way or as disappointed as the fan base as a whole is in our AD for not showing you the door after yet another year of futility. People talk about staff changes but at this point I don’t think that is going to be enough because for one it doesn’t sound like there will be any and even if there is it still comes down to the head coach and that is where change is needed the most. When that change is made the other changes that need to be made will be automatically happen. If our AD doesn’t show you the door after another year of this, and that is what it will be, maybe we should consider showing him the door along with you.

  14. In all honesty, I’m bummed at the season we had but I don’t blame Bill Lynch. Besides the fluke Bowl season in which Kellen Lewis, James Hardy, and Tracy Porter lit it up, the Hoosiers competed as well this year as I have ever seen them do. For a school that has consistently won just 3 to 5 games per year over the last 15 years, IU competed well this year and was in a position to win some quality games. Honestly, they were a few key plays/calls away from being a 7-5 or 8-4 team. But most importantly, they were competitive against teams they would not have been competetive against 5, 10, or 15 years ago.

    That being said, I’m excited for next year. If Bill Lynch can’t lead us to a bowl game next year, I’ll be singing a different tune. But right now, I’m going against the trend of Hoosier fans and giving my vote of confidence to Coach Lynch.

  15. If I had a dime for everyone that says we competed hard. Did we compete last Saturday vs our rival while playing at home? A loss is a loss. Goodness!!! It is my hope that Glass tells Lynch he must make some changes in X and O’s and also staff. I had someone on faculty at IU tell me last week that when Lynch took over, it was a continuation of Hep and he has had long enough so Lynch should be shown the door. The reasons he gave were that Lynch was in on recruiting and made many decisions while Hep was at IU. If that is the case…Lynch really has had long enough. I also wonder why we ran the pistol so much last year. I know IU spent the money to learn from Nevada but the pistol uses a running QB, not a pocket passer. Nothing has made sense for the past 2 seasons…at all!!!

  16. Strangely, I find myself tired of complaining about Lynch, not because I suddenly like him, but because all that has been said has been said already.

    I am moving all my apathy and resentment towards Fred Glass, who I think is a fraud right down to his toupeé (it’s a bad one, by the way). The way he so arrogantly declared “of course Lynch will be back” for two years was an insult to the fan base, as if his decision was the most obvious one for any rational human to make. It was a smear in the face of the real fans of this program who have waited 3 years for Lynch to show us something other than being “not horrible” at times. Any level-headed AD would be much more cautious about looking two more full years into the future with a lame-duck coach who proved for 3 years that he can’t make a second-half adjustment on the way to a 5-18 record in the Big 10. If anything, Glass should have guaranteed B.L. one more year, all the while letting him know that standards aren’t being met and that changes will be expected.

    THank GOd Greenspan was here to hire Crean; other wise Glass the penny-pincher would have left us with Dan Dakich as the basketball coach and a bunch of gimmicky promotions to try to keep the fan base happy.

  17. The entire school is to be blamed for this problem. The way they have mismanaged the budget is pathetic. On top of that they aren’t creative enough to go get a good up and coming coach. Look what Clemson did with Dabo Sweeney. Guy is 30 something and is only making $800K a year. Only 150K more than Lynch. You’d think IU could find some young guy looking for a stepping stone job. Maybe Charlie Strong at UF who has been past over for so many jobs he may be willing to come. Instead they hire someone who couldn’t hack it anywhere before. IU’s chance to become respectable in football died with Coach Hep. Its a sad and its a disgrace to his memory.

  18. While I despise Clemson (an academic joke in an academic conference)they have a great pool of talent in SC and little competition. Within the state the locals think Clemson is a combination of Alabama, So Cal, and Texas.

  19. He was J Pat, but he was up and coming and never been a coach before. Lynch is a retread whose never produced anywhere.

    Clemson battles all the ACC and SEC teams for talent.

    Doe the spam protection struggle with Macs? Unless I forgot how to do math it keeps saying I enter the wrong sum

  20. Look on the bright side and don’t worry…IU has Matt Perez SIGNED AND HE IS THE REAL DEAL. The Chicago Sun Times Player of the Year. I just hope I don’t have to wait a year to see him play for IU. Perez squats 540 lbs. He power cleans 350 lbs. He runs a 4.55. Good NFL combine numbers right now and he is a senior in high school. Near 2,000 yards this season, and 63 TD’s in 2 years. However…numbers alone do not begin to describe Matt Perez. You have to see it to believe it. AWESOME RUNNING BACK. Check the future IU tailback Saturday night…Chicago area Comcast Channel #8…IHSA FINALS…MAINE SOUTH VS. MARIST. #32 FOR MAINE SOUTH. IN MY OPINION…BIG TEN READY…LAST YEAR AS A JUNIOR. I am not kidding Antwaan Randle El type of talent…absolutely explosive and violent running back. Without question…Matt Perez is the best and most complete football player I have seen play Illinois high school football…since Antwaan Randle El. YOU HAVE TO SEE IT TO BELIEVE IT…ON ANOTHER PLANET TYPE OF PLAYER. YOU WILL BE IN SHOCK WHEN HE GETS HIS SHOT AT IU. MATT PEREZ IS THE ONLY PLAYER ON ANY LEVEL OF FOOTBALL THAT REMINDS ME OF WALTER PAYTON AND I AM NOT EXAGGERATING. THE SCARY PART IS…PEREZ IS FASTER…HIS LEGS ARE JUST LIKE WALTER’S…BUT MOST OF ALL…SO IS HIS DESIRE. YOU WILL LOVE MATT PEREZ…IU FANS ARE IN FOR A TREAT ONCE HE GETS HIS CHANCE. TRUST ME…AND CHECK HIM OUT SATURDAY…YOU JUST NEVER KNOW WHAT HE WILL DO NEXT…ABSOLUTELY SHOCKING AT TIMES. Best player I have ever seen play in high school…here in Illinois…and yes…including ex-Thorton and ex-IU legend…Antwaan Randle El. Perez is the most explosive and violent running back I have ever seen at the high school level and the only player I ever said was ready to play in college immediately…and I swear to God…I said that LAST YEAR…WHEN PEREZ WAS ONLY A JUNIOR. Hits the holes like a beast…and never ever backs down. But the strength, size, speed and…the rest of his God given talents…mixed with his violent desire to keep churning…keep driving…and destroying defenders in his path…makes for a wonderful career at IU. You will agree when Perez breaks free for the 1st time as a Hoosier…it is absolutely amazing…no way to describe what he does…you be the judge Saturday night. Big Ten defenses have no idea the storm of fury about to hit them next year. HE IS A BEAST OUT THERE…JUST OUT OF THIS WORLD. GET PUMPED…ONE DAY SOON…YOU WILL SEE WHAT I MEAN. Read up on him…every SINGLE coach that plays against Perez says he is the best running back…THEY HAVE EVER SEEN.” I heard the IU coaching staff was in awe when Perez rushed for over 300 yards…two times this year. Scary thing is…MATT PEREZ IS IMPROVING IN WAVES RIGHT NOW TOO. UNBELIEVABLE RUNNING BACK…IN MY OPINION COULD HAVE STARTED AT JUST ABOUT ANY COLLEGE AT RB…LAST YEAR AS A JUNIOR. HE IS THAT GOOD. YOU’LL SEE. GET PSYCHED HOOSIER FANS.

  21. I went nuts LIKE THIS…when Antwaan Randle El was going to IU too…NOT ONE PERSON believed me about HIM, either. They all said…”too small…red shirt…never play qb in college…etc.” Well about 30 IU records later…believe me…I was DEAD ON. Matt Perez is in that elite category. Doubts? Well get rid of them. Details…Perez is the best player here in Illinois…he plays vs. mostly future Division I players…especially vs. playoff teams. Guys you would know…tons of future Big Ten players too. He plays in the largest division (8A) in Illinois…not overrated numbers vs. tiny schools. He is the best player on the #1 team in the state (Maine South). To add to his legitimacy…Maine South is ranked #9 in the nation in USA Today. In blow outs…put crazy numbers up in one half of running wild. Perez…might even be mentioned for USA Today’s National Player of the Year.

  22. Matt Perez is good. He is strong and fast. I have seen 3 games and he is a competitor. He also plays linebacker. I will not go as far as Drake. Time will tell.

  23. This guy is a two-star talent, who chose IU over Northern Illinois, Purdue, Ball State and the like.

    If he gets better, he will decommit from IU, especially after he sees Lynch run a potentially high-powered offense into the ground once again next year.

    Sorry, Drake. Tell Fred Glass or whoever is paying you to stir up excitement around here that we are not as foolish as we often sound.

  24. 2 star meat market comment for a human being…just so not Thanksgiving. I understand your frustration with IU. I am there with you. I think we should go with the spread offense like Northwestern. Hey…no I am not his dad, no one is paying me. I am just psyched we landed him. 2 star player from Rivals’ is TOTAL BS. Perez does not need to improve ANYTHING. He is the player of the year here in Illinois. Rivals and other scouting companies are WAY OFF on Matt Perez…under the radar on the national recruiting scene…and why complain about that? Probably because of exactly that…if you saw him play…as I did in person…only 2 weeks ago in the state quarter finals…here and ran for 314 yards…you would agree. Those guys are way off…best player I have ever seen. He was already great…and actually improved this year. We are lucky to get him…anyone else out there see this kid play yet? I am telling you…scary good player. Banged up now…but he put on a show for 2 seasons. I am glad the likes of schools all over the nation never found out about him. A diamond in the rough. You guys will like him…trust me. Fun to watch…be positive. Maybe he is the piece we need. 2 stars player my ass…find his game of the week vs. GBS on Comcast 100 in the Chicagoland area…and tell me he is a lowly 2 star nothing player. If the best player in the state of Illinois does not compute…to over 2 stars…then Illinois sucks for talent…and that is just stupid. So I have said all along…who cares about those ratings? Probably by people who have never even played the game before. Obviously rated by someone who has never once seen Matt Perez play…THIS YEAR. Be happy for once…maybe things will turn around next season.

  25. OK Drake, even if we believe you about Perez, which I desperately want to do, how do you contend with my second point, which is that Perez, like any rational, sane, talented recruit, will jump ship before too long because of our awful coaching staff?

    Seriously, when programs historically as lowly as Cincinnati are challenging for BCS bowls because of creative and daring coaching choices, why the heck would a talented guy like Matt Perez settle for a bottom feeder who, in lieu of actual wins, tries to argue how improved it is while finishing 1-7 in the Big 10 for a second straight year?

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING…SORRY TO ANNOY YOU GUYS WITH MATT PEREZ HYPE..but I am psyched to see him in the future is all. I am not Matt Perez. I am not his dad. I am not being paid by Fred Glass. This kid just may help right away…great player…so just be happy. Easy to be so cynical these days…but google him…and read what others say about him. Not just me at all. He never stops running hard. I am glad he was under the radar and IU signed him right on the spot when they had the chance to!! You’ll see.

  27. I know Sorry…and I am worried about IU’s ‘pistol whip’ or whatever offense too. Who is that Larry Canada guy running the offense? I get so frustrated with IU switching QB’s too…ya know? Right now…Perez is the Ace Back in a spread offense. Man…I wish he could bring the whole coaching staff here with him. They call good plays…and that is actually why Maine South is so good every single year. The announcers here always say they should replace THAT IDIOT TURNER ON THE BEARS. I watch MS play…then I watch IU…and I get so pissed watching IU. I am like…what are they doing now? Chapel is getting in rhythm…and they switch…etc. Perez wants to play right away…at IU…I think he has a shot to do that for sure. If he waited…who knows who would come looking. Perez will stick it out…he has a good attitude, but wants to win…yes. IU SERIOUSLY WAS SO CLOSE AND IF WE GET I SWEAR…JUST 75% OF WHAT I HAVE SEEN UP HERE FOR THE LAST 2 YEARS…WE CAN WIN THOSE CLOSE GAMES…AND SCORE IN THE RED ZONE. Maybe they run a bit more. Believe me…Perez brought BALANCE to a high tech high powered offense. MS loves to throw it…but you have to give it to him. Dude…I think USC or Texas…Perez would give any of those recruits they landed a run for the money. SERIOUSLY STRONG. I BET…STRONGER THAN ALL THE BACKS AT IU RIGHT NOW. He said he loved the weight room there. He will make that his home…and eat weights. UNDERRATED IS AN UNDER STATEMENT. See articles from dudes that know the area…like Taylor Bell of the Sun Times. He describes him pretty good. I wonder how many stars Antwaan Randle El had from Rivals. I bet…not that highly rated QB in high school His NFL QB rating is over 100!! Think positive dude!!

  28. Though I’m nearly comatose from turkey I looked him up. Sounds good from the Insider report on ESPN but appears he isn’t very fast. Seems thats why he is a two star player. A 4.55 is not fast for a RB. Then again I think recruiting sites are overrated so he may become the next Anthony Thompson.
    I’d really like to see IU go after Auburn’s O-coordinator. I don’t think he’d cost a ton and his offense is interesting. Either that or get the O-coordinator from Ga. Tech. The option wouldn’t be fun to watch but would probably be successful. I think without a gimmick it will be tough to win at IU

  29. I made a cranberry-chipotle chutney with clove and cinnamon and fresh cilantro that was orgasmic. I don’t know why I am telling you all this. Probably just to toot my own horn, as usual.

    Mr. Perez won’t be crap unless we have an O-line to make holes for him. I don’t like the way things are panning out for the team- we finally have a badass offensive nucleus, but no defense; conversely, we will be getting this Perez kid, but by the time he rolls around, there will be nobody left around him.

  30. Cooper, knock on Randle el was his slow 40 time but he was so hard to tackle. Thig had a fast 40 but had no moves and fell down if you barely touched him. It is a total package for sure. Husky, you need an O line and also the right play caller and redo the entire D scheme, I agree. Enjoyed reading up on the kid. You never know anymore. It is hard for me to get excited after Lynch says there will be no changes all around. Happy leftover day!

  31. If the offensive line develops…I think…Darius Willis is an awesome talent…and will be good if he recovers ok… Matt Perez may break in as perhaps a return guy..& Nick Turner…and Perez will compliment Willis in the future. Of course..along with the other RB recruits. Wide outs are good and young. Rivals and Scouts Inc. probably judged Perez as a junior…he got lower grades FOR MOVES. And 4.55 IS FAST ENOUGH…TRUST ME. If you have time…Chicagoland Comcast…select ‘ON DEMAND’…then select…’GET LOCAL’…then select ‘COMCAST CN100 CHANNEL’…then select ‘GAME OF THE WEEK’…and then select Maine South Vs. Glenbrook South. Perez ALMOST BROKE EVERY SINGLE CARRY…incredible performance. I don’t even Matt Perez knew or understood he would reach that level. As I said…the last month…on a different planet. He is Aqua Man out there…seems to have sonar. Best balance and instinctive moves and power I have seen since I was lucky enough to see Walter Payton. I am sure IU will find a good spot for him. I just hope I don’t have to wait for 2 years…but I will if I have to. He is one awesome talent…all the way around…just plain great. IU games will be so much fun to watch once Matt Perez gets his shot…and he will for sure. I hope right away. Great and lucky addition for the Hoosiers…so get psyched…we just need to put a defense together…we really need to take care of that if we want to be really good. It has to be resolved. PERIOD. No idea how IU’s A.D.’s have put up with it for so long…and just accept it. We cannot stop ANYONE. They pick some play out of their playbook…AND IT WORKS VS. IU. I am so sick of seeing that. Maybe a good running game can keep these offenses off the field as long as possible? Our defensive backs played much better…lots of interceptions in the 2nd half of the season…plus some lights out hits too. But…our inability to stop the run and put pressure on opposing QB’s still looms like a black cloud over IU’s football program. Until we solve our defensive woes…NO ROSE BOWL FOR YOU!!C’mon…we got Chapel…good young stud receivers…3 great young backs…we need to stop some of these drives…and our record would be around 8-4…THIS YEAR. IU IS SO CLOSE TO BEING A GOOD TEAM…THEY REALLY ARE GETTING BETTER. DEFENSE HAS TO GET BETTER…PERIOD. IU WOULD NOT BE THAT BAD IF WE COULD STOP A TEAM IN THE 4TH QUARTER…JUST ONCE IN A WHILE…BEND DON’T BREAK TYPE OF BILL MALLORY DEFENSE IS WHAT WE NEED TO ACHIEVE.

    PARK RIDGE, Ill. — Maine South coach David Inserra will rave about senior Matt Perez’s season for as long as you allow him.

    Inserra will tell you about Perez’s explosiveness as a running back. He’ll talk about Perez’s hard-hitting ability as a linebacker. He’ll tout Perez’s punt and kick return games. He’ll let you know Perez is not only a special athlete, but he’s put a lot work into what he’s become and he’s a good person.

    All of it is true — Perez is the High School Football Player of the Year for a reason — but it’s the sort of love you expect a coach to give his own player.

    To really appreciate all of what Perez has done this season, you have to listen to what the opposing coaches had to say about him.

    First, let’s get his eye-popping statistics out of the way. Going into the Class 8A state championship game on Saturday, Perez has rushed for 1,930 yards and 29 touchdowns on 181 carries. He has averaged 10.7 yards per run. He has caught 30 passes for 391 yards and two touchdowns. He has returned two punts for touchdowns. He also has 59 tackles, 19 of them going for a loss. Twice this season, he ran for 300-plus yards and four touchdowns against Glenbrook South. Next season, he will play at Indiana.

    Highland Park coach Hal Chiodo’s team endured 149 of those rushing yards, a rushing touchdown, 79 receiving yards and a 65-yard touchdown punt return by Perez in Week 3.


    Week 1: 117 rushing yards, 4 touchdowns vs. Schaumburg

    Week 2: 150 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 2 sacks vs. Wheaton Warrenville South

    Week 3: 149 rushing yards, touchdown run, 6 catches for 79 yards, 65-yard touchdown punt return vs. Highland Park

    Week 4: 64-yard touchdown punt return, 5 receptions for 100 yards, 2 touchdown catches, 1 touchdown run vs. Maine West

    Week 5: 144 rushing yards on 5 carries, 3 rushing touchdowns vs. Niles West

    Week 6: 119 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 sacks vs. Evanston

    Week 7: 222 rushing yards, 4 touchdowns vs. Waukegan

    Week 8: 341 rushing yards, 4 touchdowns, two sacks vs. Glenbrook South

    Week 9: 183 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns vs. New Trier

    Week 10: 125 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns vs. Oak Park

    Week 11: 1 touchdown, 1 sack vs. Leyden

    Week 12: 314 rushing yards, 4 touchdowns, 5 tackles vs. Glenbrook South

    Week 13: 63 rushing yards, 4 receptions vs. Loyola

    Week 14: Maine South vs. Marist, Saturday

    “Matt Perez is as good a running back as I have seen play high school football in Illinois,” Chiodo said. “I have been watching games and coaching now for over 30 years, and Matt is as good or better than any I have ever seen. What is especially impressive about Matt is that his best games seem to be against the best opponents. Not only is he a great player, he is even a better human being. I could not be more impressed by him.”

    New Trier coach Matt Irvin watched as Perez carried the ball 18 times for 183 yards and two touchdowns against the Trevians in Week 9.

    “He plays his best in the biggest games,” Irvin said. “He’s Mr. Football as he is dangerous in all three phases of the game. He’s a great linebacker, kick returner and remarkable running back. You have to account for him during each one.”

    Maine West coach Chris Hare knows Perez personally, as he coached him as a freshman basketball player at Maine South. So when Perez caught five passes for 100 yards and two touchdowns, rushed for a touchdown and returned a punt for a 65-yard touchdown against Maine West, Hare had a unique appreciation for the performance.

    “Now as a player, I have seen and coached against Rashard Mendenhall, and Matt is up there in talent,” Hare said. “Matt has the ability to run by you or over you. If you do not gang tackle, you will never bring him down. He is incredibly strong as a runner. He is a special back that only comes around in a great while. Not only can he run the ball, he has the ability to catch it out of the backfield. As an opposing coach, you have to game plan to try to stop or even slow him down. What happens is he cannot be stopped.

    “He is not only a talented, gifted football player, but an even better person. He always puts the team ahead of the individual, and that’s what makes him so special.”

    Wheaton Warrenville South coach Ron Muhitch saw very few opposing offensive players enjoy success against his defense this season, but Perez managed 150 yards and a touchdown against the Tigers in Week 2. Perez also had two sacks. Later, Muhitch discovered Dave Perez, who starred for Glenbard North in the late ’70s and rushed for 2,000 yards in a season, was Matt Perez’s father. Then Muhitch understood why his team had such a difficult time.

    “When I was a student-teacher back in ’76 at Wheaton Central High School, his dad ran wild for Glenbard North,” Muhitch said. “I can remember sure as I sit here today. His dad was a phenomenal runner for Glenbard North. I put those two Perez’s together, and it made a whole lot of sense to me. The son runs a lot like his dad. That’s kind of neat.”

    To open the season, Matt Perez ran for 117 yards and four touchdowns against Schaumburg coach Mark Stilling’s team. It was a performance that stuck with Stilling throughout the year.

    “Over the course of the season, in your mind, you attempt to compare players to others at their position, whether it be the current season or perhaps the previous year,” Stilling said. “Perhaps the best thing I can say about Matt Perez is that he is incomparable. His combination of power and agility is particularly impressive.

    “To truly appreciate him, I think you need to carefully look at his skills this year versus last year. I think some uninformed observers might view his improvements as being chiefly due to the absence of [last year’s Maine South quarterback] Charlie Goro. This is definitely not the case. That being said, I believe Matt could have gone through the motions during this past offseason and still have had a great season. Although I was not in the Maine South weight room for the past 12 months, I can tell you that this kid improved himself as much as anyone I have seen. The kid is a different football player, which is encouraging to me as an educator in an era of complacency.

    “Lastly, I will say that I am happier to see Matt graduate than I was Charlie!”

    Finally, a word from Inserra about his star running back.

    “He’s exceeded [my expectations],” Inserra said. “We knew he was going to be tough. We knew he had a chance to be a player-of-the-year type of candidate. I think he’s made it a no-brainer for many publications. He’s out-sized the competition because he’s doing it in all three facets. There might be some running backs who are close to his ability, and there might be some defensive players. He’s doing it offensively and defensively and on special teams. He’s just getting it done on all three sides of the ball.

    “Every run is a thing of beauty. You do shake your head. ‘Wow, he did it again.’ But all of us had those expectations. We’re not that surprised by Matt.”

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