Wilson pleased with true freshmen after first three days

Kevin Wilson played the third most true freshmen (16)  and the most total freshmen in the country last season. But his message even to those players who showed enough promise to get early time is that this group of incoming freshmen could take their spots.

At least one true freshmen, wide receiver Ricky Jones, saw some time with the first team in Saturday morning’s open practice, and a considerable number of others got work with the second team.That included most of the offensive line with freshmen Jason Spriggs, Dan Feeney, Dimitric Camiel and Jacob Bailey all working in with that group. Wilson also said Wes Rogers might be the second-team center if he were not dealing a foot injury. Wilson said he’s also pleased with freshmen defensive linemen Alex Todd, Ralphael Green and Nick Mangieri.

“Those guys are swimming and thinking,” Wilson said. “But there are some second- and third-year guys that need a great sense of urgency because we’ve had them pushing 20 months. Some of these guys we’ve had three days were as good or better today, which is exciting for them. … I like to see where some of those third-year guys that you guys have seen a little bit, they really need to step up or some of those second-team freshmen are going to be playing like last year’s freshmen. It may be a lot or it may be as quality backups.”

Wilson said he’d also like to see more from the two junior college players that joined the team in preseason but were not around for spring practice. Cornerback Antonio Marshall of Georgia Military College wasn’t graduated in time for spring semester and cornerback Tim Bennett of Ellsworth (Iowa) CC just recently signed.

“They’re out of shape, a little bit not where you need to be,” Wilson said. “I also grabbed (junior college transfer tailback) Stephen Houston and said, ‘You need to talk to these guys.’ Because a year ago, he showed up in July, and was not very good in August. We were coaching him and he was looking at us like we messed up. We were telling him to go harder and he was looking at us like we didn’t know what we were talking about. So he wasn’t very good in August, got a little bit better in September and by October he was our best back. … I said, ‘you need to tell those guys they need to practice hard and listen to the coaches.'”

Though the first three days, there doesn’t appear to be much separation among the top three quarterbacks. Tre Roberson and Cameron Coffman split reps with the first team. Roberson appeared stronger and more accurate but still showed too much of a tendency to break out of the pocket for Wilson’s liking. Coffman continues to be steady but unspectacular with an average but accurate arm and decent athleticism but not blinding speed. The 6-foot-5 Nathan Sudfeld has by far the strongest arm of the three, but was better on long throws than short throws and still has his true freshmen moments.




  1. Wilson reinforcing messages to his players through the media. When you come off a 1-11 season, no one’s job is secure. The upper clansmen better not take anything for granted.

    More evidence that the younger talent Wilson has brought in is more talented than the players Lynch brought in during his last two or three years. In fact, how many Lynch-recruited players are left on IU’s roster?

  2. Coach Wilson after practice with media.


    Right around the 50 second mark he made a statement that really caught my attention. “…We’re not at the point of being a really good defense yet. I don’t know if this year we will be a really good defense, but we have to learn to play winning defense…”

    What I hear him saying is that we are still a ways away from being a competitive defense and that improvement, if any will be minimal. Bummer, as I was hoping the juco’s would really impress. The juco’s and the defense will probably start off slow as they adjust to the competition at this level but hopefully by the end of the season they will have improved and begin showing what we can expect in 2013. I appreciate Wilson’s honesty and I think he learned his lessen about using catchy phrases that can be misconstrued like the “Win Today” he used last year.

    It’s a process boys and we are just starting our journey. Looking forward to bigger and better things with each passing season.

  3. Well, that’s not what he said. He said, “I don’t know if this year we will be a really good defense.”

    I’m not sure how you got that he said we won’t be competitive and any improvement will be minimal. While that’s entirely possible, those are your words, not his.

  4. If it equates to two wins this year – its an improvement to last year right? Three or more wins equates to much improvement. The foundation is being laid my friends and apparently there are believers out there who have purchased season tickets. Geez, can’t imagine what a winning season would do for the IU nation.

  5. Coach Wilson sounds like the great position coach he is-start with negatives, talk in direct terms about tactical issues. He hasn’t yet grown into an organizational leader. Forget wins and losses, let’s just see a team that wants to compete. That BSU game is hard to shake, a performance like that against ISU is unacceptable, not ready to re-live the Cam Cameron era….

  6. IUKoolaid; How long was Wilson a position coach? How long has been a head coach?

    It takes time for any person in a new leadership position to progress through the learning curve. But I’m seeing improvement over last year, in how Wilson carries himself and interacts with the media. More importantly, I’m seeing improvement in IU’s recruiting, which is an essential part of developing a winning team. In three weeks we’ll begin to find out if the improved talent Wilson has brought in can perform to a higher level on the field.

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