Doss: “It’s probably too good to pass up”

On one hand, Tandon Doss saw the opportunity to sure up his family’s financial situation for the first time ever. On the other hand, he saw a situation that was promising but uncertain.

So instead of taking a chance on a new coaching staff and a new quarterback, the Indiana junior wide receiver declared that he will enter the NFL Draft this year. Doss said he talked to the NFL Draft advisory board, and though he couldn’t reveal specific information, he said he heard he could be taken in a high enough round that it was worth leaving.

“It’s probably too good to pass up,” Doss said by phone Monday. “There probably wasn’t a lot I could do to improve my draft stock. It could have hurt me not getting as many balls. I had to take it and run with it.”

Doss said he made the decision this weekend after discussion with his family, which was the primary factor in his decision. Doss, an Indianapolis native, was raised by a single mother, Nikki, who has also had to support his brother Anthony. Anthony has been diagnosed as a schizophrenic and has been in jail as well as various mental institutions. Anthony is now living at home, though, and Tandon hopes to make enough money to support both of them.

“They’ve been there for me the whole time,” Tandon said. “We haven’t had the greatest life, but we’ve made the most of our financial situations. I have an opportunity to take care of them and help with their financial struggles. We shouldn’t have to worry about that anymore.”

Doss said he’s in the process of narrowing down his list of potential agents, and will soon begin training for the NFL Draft combine.


  1. Tandon Doss has done everything you could ask for from an IU football player. So I wish him good luck in the NFL. But Tandon should be for-warned. Remember that James Hardy was a first or second round player, and he was cut after two seasons. Tandon is good, but he is neither as fast, as tall, nor as highly ranked as James was. Perhaps one more year with the REALLY talented offensive coaches that Coach Wilson has assembled for IU next season would provide him with the necessary foundation to have a 12 year NFL career, not a two year NFL career.

  2. WOW! This is big! A very talented assistant coach makes a LATERAL move from Northwestern to Indiana because of Coach Wilson! If I were a recruit, I would heed the message and go to IU for offense!

  3. A class act, who will be missed, but no one can blame him. To beatpurdue, Doss is a much better football player than Hardy ever was. Hardy was an athletic guy playing his second best sport. Hopefully Damarlo Belcher steps it up his senior year to an even higher level. Can’t wait to see Doss on Sundays.

  4. Hardy was a great athelete who had great hands, great speed, and a fair work ethic, but was scared shiiteless to cross the middle of the field on a pass route. That is why the Bills cut him and why the Colts basically laughed at him after his workout with them.

  5. We are very proud of Tandon. Tandon has been a roommate and friend to our son. He is a great role model for other kids. Despite his family dynamics, he finished high school and has done well at IU. His mother should be very proud of her son. He obviously loves his family dearly. We will miss watching him play at IU, but will enjoy watching his professional career. Good Luck Tandon!!

  6. Yes, he is a class act and will be missed. I wish him luck and hope he has a long and successful career in the NFL and makes a lot of money. He’s talented, but I think he would have done much better after another good year. Unless you get first round money, the risk is huge. Second rounders and down don’t make the big money, are easily replaced and tend to have short shelve lives.

  7. Best of luck. I think we all went to IU seeking a better life. If he feels he has a good opportunity then go for it.

  8. My reaction is I just do not believe he had enough successful production against good competition in 2010 to be very high on draft day. In many games he was the featured talent in the game plan schemes and often did not rise to the challenge. His competition for an NFL roster will be guys who spent 4 and 5 years sharpening their edge. I do wish him well but have solid reservations about declaring and what one more year could do for his FB future and earning a degree. Maybe someone can convince him to test the market but not hire an agent to get locked in.

  9. Good luck to him, hopefully he does well. His logic is pretty sound as well. He is a very good player on a weak team. Nothing he does next year will improve his stock, he never is going to be a first round pick. He could get hurt and with money being an issue he should leave.

    I don’t see him being that high a pick though, I’m thinking low 2nd-4th. I could see him as a Jabar Gaffney type receiver in the right system.

  10. HC – You are probably right about the production against good competition but, when the team barely plays any competition it is hard to do. I think Doss will do fine in the NFL.

  11. Just from chattter around town and campus I am almost positive Doss has a better head on his shoulders than Hardy but I missed one home game only while Hardy was at IU and he was a stud. The two things that stick out in my mind was how he would go up for the jump ball and also catch the ball on the slant across the middle. Lewis would throw it high and he would stick those long arms up and catch it on the run into the endzone…yes he did go across the middle at IU with no problem. Him not making it in the NFL is a huge surprise to me despite any character issues. I watched him like a hawk at IU get better and better and run nice routes and work hard in the games. GOD knows Hardy worked harder every play than T porter. I wish Doss and Hardy luck and love them both but if I am picking teams based on what I saw at IU…I would take Hardy, just my opinion.

  12. In many games he was the featured talent in the game plan schemes and often did not rise to the challenge. I do wish him well but have solid reservations about declaring and what one more year could do for his FB future and earning a degree. Maybe someone can convince him to test the market but not hire an agent to get locked in.

  13. J Pat,

    I have to disagree with you on Hardy. He would go across the middle (so did Doss), but Hardy ran bad routes here, his cuts were never crisp enough, and more often than not him and another receiver ended up way to close together.

    You should have noticed that most times when Lewis would take off out of the pocket, Hardy gave up on the route, he rarely worked his way back to his QB and had no clue how to block downfield for Lewis or any of his running backs.

    His biggest assets at IU was having a foot of height and a foot more of vertical leaping ability against those who were guarding him. That, and the fact that defense had to account for Lewis and couldn’t double up on him is really why Hardy was a stud.

    I would take a Tandon Doss over a Hardy ANY day of the week.

  14. You consider #4 Wisconsin, #5 OSU, PSU, Iowa, NW barely competition? Ask Doss.

    Driver Download,

    I like your thinking.

  15. Mike P, you paint a bad picture of Hardy. I have to disagree. I will give you that he sometimes gave up on routes when Lewis left the pocket but that is it and let’s be honest, Lewis was not throwing when he left the pocket. I can remember the last year hardy was here…he blocked really well. I think his routes were run just as well as Doss’ routes, I really do so we can agree to disagree. If you are telling me that in a pure football game as a wide receiver, if you were picking, you would pick Doss over Hardy…I am surprised but oh well. Let me ask you this and go another direction…did you expect more this past year out of Doss, especially considering how much he had the ball in his hands from behind the center? As always, fun to talk football with you.

  16. The not hiring an agent thing only works for basketball. In football once you declare for the draft your eligibility is over. There is no “testing the market” in football.

  17. We’ll find out in April if any NFL team thinks Doss is more talented or has more potential than Hardy. Hardy was a mid-second round pick. I doubt Doss goes higher than that. I’d guess third or fourth round pick. I hope I’m wrong for his sake, but I doubt Doss gets drafted higher than Hardy did.

    A lot of people have speculated about Hardy’s character, work ethic, route running, etc. But a lot of NFL guys believe those things can be worked on through coaching, incentives and motivation techniques. You can’t coach height and jumping ability, and Hardy had huge upside potential because of that potential in the red zone offense. That’s why he was drafted in the second round in spite of his perceived weaknesses. From a physical standpoint, Doss is very good, but does not offer any special physical attribute like Hardy did.

  18. I am sorry but Doss can change his mind tomorrow and play in 2011. As long as he does not accept money, hire an agent and leave school he is still an amateur.


    One thing Doss offers Hardy did not is return kicks and maybe other special teams duties. Still think another year would do wonders for his NFL future.

  19. JPat, Mike P: Do either one of you know what you are talking about? Do you understand that those whose opinion matters (scouts, scouting combines, coaches…in other words, professionals in their realm) think that both Hardy and Doss were competitive with other like talent.

    Neither of you have ever shown so much as a fiber of knowledge close to the pomposity of your statements.

    Please, a bit of moderation…a bit of humility…most important, respect for the game…and a little less public arrogance. It will earn you respect.

  20. T T G,

    J Pat And Mike P. have earned all my respect. On the other hand you are deficient in the earned respect area.

  21. Tsao, from what I read from you…you bash people on here and you saying I know nothing actually makes you sound arrogant, not me. GOD knows I know sports, if anything in life I know sports. Because Mike and I are talking positives/negatives about two wideouts does not make us bad people, that is what this forum is for, right? I have never called you out or disrepected you in any way. If you want to meet sometime for a beer, I will buy and you can tell me all you know and I will so the same…let me know where and when and I will be there. Until then, if you don’t like mine or Mikes posts, quit reading or stop whining.
    lastly, if I ever come off arrogant on here I will straight up aplogize for that. I am not an arrogant person at all. I hate that you feel that way am sorry you feel that way.

  22. TTG; That was just a little over the line. What’s your problem? I went back and read all the posts on this string from Mike P and J Pat and found nothing that warranted your comments. What am I missing?

    Unless you explain the source of your displeasure and why you’re attacking people in the above type posts, you come off as completely unstable and irrational to everyone reading the board. This is a forum for discussing or debating IU sports, not venting your spleen when you disagree with someone’s opinion. If you have to make personal attacks to win a debate, you’ve already lost the argument.

  23. They disagreed with him and the postings are anonymous. That’s all that is required to be a name caller these days. Have you ever seen the garbage on Yahoo? FWIW I thought your posts were perfectly reasonable, for which I, too, will no doubt be verbally accosted. After which, I will smile and watch the Sugar Bowl.

  24. J Pat,

    Don’t get me wrong, I think there is plenty of potential in Hardy if he had the right coaching. I just think he lacked in a lot of areas that I see Doss do better.

    As for TTG, considering Hardy was CUT and not picked back up, apparently his short comings are noticed by the scouts, coaches, general managers and owners (you know, the guys who matter?) in the NFL or he’d be on a roster and not sitting at home! Guess I don’t know anything? Thanks for playing though.

  25. What bothered me was the treatment of Mr. Hardy and an attitude that bordered on a bigoted perception of his experience. Likewise, when discussing the merits and expectations of Mr. Doss, stereotyping him based on similarities to Mr. Hardy.
    I recall stories (in this paper) that depicted Hardy as struggling with emotional and behavioral issues. I also remember our late coach Terry Hoeppner making extra efforts to help him and Hardy’s accepting criticism of his behavior.
    Comments here tend to get mixed, confused…unfairly revealing anger with 18-22 year olds for what they accomplish or do not on a field where they play games. College sports and fans obsessively turn these youngsters into icons rather than accept their vulnerability as men and women. When their humanity disappoints us…they just as quickly, become the object of scorn and very, very personal attacks. Mr. Hardy, I suspect, simply could not extend beyond the limits of his humanity. No one should criticize or attack him in such a demeaning way or lie in wait for future stumbles by Doss, Watford, Creek (for God’s sake, give him his time to recover fully).
    Still, you are probably right…I expected comments to be impersonal, ethical,… even compassionate (as in the case of Hardy)to the challenges of a time when media and commentary, (as is often reflected in this blog) reflects a following closer to Caligula’s Coliseum than to the standards and nobility portrayed by the guns at the entrance to Memorial Stadium.
    Perhaps, whoever said it was right and the fault is mine…I should just adjust my own expectations to the standard level evident in the blog. Point taken.

  26. TTG,

    My comments about Doss and Hardy have nothing to do with them as a person or what they did off the field. Hardy put up amazing numbers because of his physical artributes that were far superior to his defensive counter parts in college.

    I always thought he left a lot to be desired in other aspects of his game and unfortuantly he never seemed to improve on those lackings enough to keep him on an NFL roster. Yes they are kids playing a game, but when they jump to the NFL, they open themselves up more. I hold nothing personal against Hardy, everyone has their demons and we all have to deal with them.

  27. TTG; thanks for the response. But as I read your recent post, it occurred to me that you were taking your general frustration about human nature, or about the nature of sports fans commenting on players, out on Mike P and J Pat. I also think you read way too much into these posts, as if you have a huge chip on your shoulder. I saw nothing in their posts that questioned Hardy’s “humanity” or the value of him as a man. Their comments/opinions pertained to his performance as an athlete, especially as a professional athlete. That’s certainly fair game and comes with the territory when you get paid as a professional athlete.

    But you sir, appear to have jumped to conclusions regarding J Pat and Mike P’s intent and questioned their humanity, making you quilty of doing exactly what you accused them of doing.

    By the way, we need to stop calling males and females over the age of 21 “kids.” More importantly, we need to stop treating people in their early 20’s as if they were kids. A person who is 22 or 23 is NOT a “kid”, they are grown men and women. Maybe if we elevate our expectations of people in their early 20’s, they’ll be more likely to behave as adults.

  28. podunker, well said and thanks. I must have read what I wrote up top 10 times and I still am not sure saying it was borderline bigotry is even close. My skin has grown thick on here but I will admit that hurt a little…not me in the least making a racial statement, anyone who reads this blog knows that is not me.

  29. J Pat;Some people see what they are pre-disposed to see. And if you look into it, this was not the first time this person went on a rant against posters that he perceived had made an “insensitive” comment about an IU athlete. He seems to consider himself the righteous arbiter of an athletes’ character and humanity, compelled to defend what only he can see as “bigoted perceptions.” In his eyes, a comment criticizing the way a wide receiver runs routes across the middle is proof of anger and a “bigoted perception.”

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