Williams moves to defense, Latham sidelined and other injury updates

Entering fall camp, Indiana football coach Kevin Wilson said it was likely that one of his incoming offensive freshmen would make a move to defense.

Devonte Williams is up first.

IU has switched Williams, who was recruited as a running back, to cornerback, hoping to add more speed and depth to the team’s biggest area of need. Wilson said IU is already set at running back with Jordan Howard, Devine Redding, Tommy Mister and walk-ons Ricky Brookins and Alex Rodriguez.

“That running back you’ve been talking about being an impact guy, well he is, but he might be on the other side,” Wilson said. “We’re kind of liking that. That started a couple weeks ago with our development work and all that. One of the reasons we do it is we feel good about A-Rod and Brookins and all those guys.”

Williams, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound former Marshall commit, was one of the top rushers in the Washington D.C. area last fall. He ran for 4,496 yards, averaged 7.3 yards per carry and scored 51 touchdowns over his high school career. He profiled as a player who could also help IU as a pass-catching option out of the backfield, or as an option in the slot.

Wilson said last week that freshmen athletes Issac James and Mike Majette could possibly work with rhe defensive backs, too, but both are currently beginning as receivers.

Williams, who was the No. 19 ranked prospect in Maryland and Rivals’ No. 62 ranked running back nationally, also caught 46 passes for 697 yards and eight touchdowns in high school.

“(He) could come back and be tailback and all that, but he’s got a skill set to have been a slot (and) he’s got a skill set to be corner,” Wilson said. “We’re doing (drills on) change of direction, turn your hips and move. He’s got a great vibe. I actually think, as a kid who’s played running back and is used to getting hit, he will be a little bit more of a physical DB, as well. I’m excited. Not that he’s starting yet, but he’s in the mix talentwise, and pushing with (Rashard) Fant and Ben Bach and Noel Padmore and all those guys. I really am intrigued.”

Latham not practicing

Darius Latham is expected to miss at least the next two weeks of practice after recently undergoing a knee scope.

Latham has yet to practice, but Wilson does not expect it to sideline him for much longer than the inital timetable. The IU coach believes Latham, a 6-foot-5, 305-pound junior, is on track for a big year at defensive tackle.

“He had his best summer,” Wilson said. “Darius had an unbelievable summer. He was hands-down the best I’ve seen him in work ethic, body language, buy-in, giving it all he’s got, doing it daily, doing a lot of things taht great players do in prep. So I think he’s going to have a phenomenal year. He’ll be limited for a couple weeks, so he’s not going to practice a bunch.”

Clark, Walker dealing with back issues

A pair of IU defenders are working through back issues, though one is more serious than the other.

Cornerback Donovan Clark remains limited with his lifting and his running and could be a candidate for a redshirt if his back condition does not improve soon. Wilson says Clark has missed too much time over the summer and at the start of camp where he may need to take time off.

Clark played in all 12 games as a freshman last season, making 17 tackles and breaking up one pass.

“If he’s good enough to get in the mix, he will,” Wilson said. “My concern is he’s missed enough time where I just don’t know if that’s smart. We’ll see how long this takes.”

Linebacker Zeke Walker recently aggravated his back, but his injury is not expected to be a long-term problem.

Walker, a redshirt freshman, briefly worked out as IU’s third-string quarterback during the second half of last season, but did not see any action.

“He’s a little limited right now,” Wilson said. “If you see him at practice, he’s not full-go yet.”

5 comments

  1. I had not considered Devonte at CB. But all the physical things Wilson listed about him points to athleticism a CB needs to hone into cover skills. I would hope also he is 1 of the many guys given an opportunity as a return man. With Harris out we are thin there.

  2. The writer said Walker played QB in the second half of the season. is this really Covington? I hope Latham heals quickly and plays as hard as he trained this summer. This coaching staff does a great job getting players into other positions when needed and I hope Williams gets to move back to RB in a year or two if that is what he wants to do.
    It will be nice if some of the incoming freshman get to play this year and make a difference to help win games. Some freshman are mature enough to play in their first year and it would be fun to see a couple of them have a great year this year. J-Shun last year had a good year while the other freshman didn’t do very good. I know we will be better if freshman aren’t needed but a return man or back up DB may be the difference we need this year.

    One note, it is a surprise to hear Fant is second on the depth chart as he did a great job covering receivers last year. Maybe our DBs will be better than people think.

    I can’t wait for the first game to get here. It seems like this group has the drive to excel and the talent to do well. It may be a good thing some writers rate the team so low as the players can just relax and cut loose playing up to the level they are able to play.

  3. Walker is not Covington. Covington was hurt in the Iowa game the same as NS and was out for the season. But like Covington, Walker played QB in HS and practiced the at position during the last half of last season but never played a down I’m aware of.

  4. HC, thanks for clearing that up for me as I knew Covington got hurt in the Iowa game like Nate did. I didn’t hear about Walker practicing at QB so I wasn’t sure about him. It is a bit odd that both of them are on defense this year. I hope one of them or both can add some athleticism on defense and I really like Covington’s size for defense to work at one of the hybrid positions. So many things on this team to get excited about. I sure hope they all play as hard as they can so they surprise most people with how many games they win.

  5. v13,
    Wilson’s plan was to keep Covington at QB but the kid preferred D and requested to go back, which Wilson was ok with. As I understand it Danny Cameron has shown lots of improvement and that makes CC going back to D not a negative. Walker is a natural for the D. I agree with all the athleticism the O can give up to the D. A case in point is Chase Dutra, a very good O player in HS but was recruited for S where he did a great job last year. Watch him close this year as he will turn some heads with his style of smart hustle. Much like Tegray provided at LB last year. I believe if there is no real return man established we might see CD performing there also. He was a highlight reel doing that in HS.

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