Latham back at practice after scope #iufb

As his physical health progresses following a recent knee scope procedure, Darius Latham is already where he needs to be with his playbook and his preparation.

The next step is getting back to speed on the field.

Indiana coach Kevin Wilson believes that will come quickly to the junior defensive tackle after a strong summer boosted optimism for his third season in Bloomington. Latham, who missed at least the first week of fall camp, was back on the practice field during Monday’s portion of practice open to reporters.

“If he’s behind, the more reps he gets (the better he’ll be),” Wilson said. “He’s in great shape.”

Latham spent the summer slimming down to 300 pounds after playing parts of his first two years weighing upwards of 320. On IU’s lastest roster he’s listed at 300 pounds, but Wilson said he’s weighed in at 295 and 298 during the last few months and appears in great shape.

Latham, who started 10 times last fall and has appeared in all 24 games of his career, is projected to be a starter on Indiana’s defensive line. He arrived at IU as a four-star prospect and Wilson said Latham’s work over the summer shows he’s poised to turn his potential into his best production to date.

“The whole summer he was working hard,” Wilson said. “He had great energy in his workouts, so from the physical side and his strength level, he’s getting that knee back full speed. He’s kind of close. Sometimes his doctors are going to make sure not to rush that, so I think they’re giving him a little bit of time. Based on the drill work there’s certain things they’re saying he can do and can’t do, but when he goes he looks full speed and looks good.”

Through two seasons, Latham has 48 tackles, 8.5 stops for a loss and 3.5 sacks.

“I’m looking forward to him, hopefully, having a tremendous year,” Wilson said.

Decision on Patrick expected soon

An announcement on Camion Patrick’s academic eligibility could come by the end of the week.

Wilson said the program is close to learning whether or not Patrick, a junior college receiver, has received an academic clearance for the upcoming season. Patrick, who caught 42 passes for 631 yards and 12 touchdowns in helping East Mississippi Community College to a second consecutive national title in 2014, continues to practice with the Hoosiers.

At 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, Patrick gives IU a physical presence on the outside, but his practice reports have been inconsistent. In addition to lining up with IU’s offense, Patrick has also participated in kick and punt return drills.

“He’s doing OK,” Wilson said. “He’s a little bit inconsistent as a practice player, but he looks really good once in awhile. He’s big and he’s strong, but sometimes maybe as a younger player, his urgency without the ball (is lacking). Also, I think maybe his status has got him (flustered).”

James could redshirt

The shoulder injury that freshman receiver Isaac James suffered at the beginning of camp was expected to keep him out of practice for only a couple days. Now, after a closer look at the medical reports, James could possibly need to sit out the season.

Wilson said James suffered a crack in his shoulder blade after taking a hit from linebacker Dawson Fletcher and, because of all the time he’s missed, he could be too far behind by the time he’s cleared to return during the season.

“It won’t require surgery, but it will be awhile enough that you’ll get him back during the season,” Wilson said.

Bloomington North grad Smith shut down

Ty Smith entered fall camp hoping to earn a spot on the depth chart at safety. Now, his immediate future is in question.

Wilson said Smith, a former Bloomington North standout and Herald-Times All-Area Player of the Year, has been shut down from practicing after doctors discovered a cracked vertebrae. Wilson said it was an old injury and that he’s unsure if there will be a medical procedure.

Smith joined the program as a walk-on prior to the 2013 season. He redshirted as a freshman and did not play in 2014 after moving from running back to the defensive backfield.

“It might be he doesn’t want to play and he might get into helping us coach right now,” Wilson said. “So Ty’s kind of out of the mix.”

One comment

  1. I sure hope the defensive front in general and Latham in particular have the kind of year Coach Wilson is saying he anticipates from them. It would be great to see IU have a front that is dangerous to the offenses and QBs they face.

    Thanks for the update on Patrick, he needs to relax once he is cleared and just play ball like he is capable of doing. If nothing else the receiving corps will have the size this year to put some stress on coverages. They were catching the ball better during the Spring and it would be nice to see that continue as the season starts. It doesn’t look like the receivers will be as good as our receivers were in 2013 but they should be moving back in that direction this season. It is a shame about James but he probably needed to redshirt this year and he won’t be hurt by having the year to adjust to college.

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