Decision on Diamont’s redshirt still pending

Sometime before Indiana opens its season against Southern Illinois on Saturday afternoon, IU coach Kevin Wilson knows he needs to decide on a backup quarterback.

Wilson said this week that he hasn’t spent much time worrying about the position, but added that the time has come to meet with offensive coordinator Kevin Johns and discuss the options. Wilson was pleased with the way sophomore Zander Diamont looked during the team’s fall camp and, given his preseason performance and his experience over the final six games of last year, Diamont seems to be a fit as Nate Sudfeld’s understudy.

However, the decision is complicated by IU’s desire to give Diamont the redshirt year he lost a season ago.

“Right now, I guess I just have to sort in my mind, long term, we are going to do what’s best for the team this year and then long term, is it best for Zander?” Wilson said. “Can Zander help the team … playing this year? Or can he still be (with) the second team and mop-up duty can come from Nate Boudreau and Danny Cameron, who we have got a lot of confidence in.”

Cameron, a redshirt freshman, was in a head-to-head competition with Diamont for backup reps this August. Wilson has praised both for their development over the span of a year, though the IU coach seems inclined this season to give Cameron an opportunity at the end of games that have already been decided and save Diamont in case Indiana needs its backup to appear in more than a couple series’ worth of action.

Diamont completed 64 of his 132 passes for one touchdown in 2014.

Wilson said last month that if both Diamont and Cameron are at comparable levels by the opening week, or if Diamont is only a little ahead, he would prefer to give Cameron the backup reps and allow Diamont to continue to grow. On Tuesday, the IU coach released a depth chart with Diamont in the No. 2 quarterback slot.

In either case, Wilson believes the Hoosiers are in a better situation at backup quarterback than they were entering the 2014 season.

“I think Zander has done a little bit better, although he still needs to be a little bit cleaner with the ball and be a little smarter from time to time,” Wilson said. “But he can make some plays, he has more strength and he has got more zip and he can run around and definitely do some stuff. Nate Boudreau, Danny Cameron have both been rock solid. So we are way better across the board with those four guys. We like the freshmen (Austin King and Donovan Hale) we have brought in.”

Last year, Wilson sought to redshirt Diamont so that the California native could add strength. Cameron and Diamont each stand at 6-foot-1, but the latter weighs 180 pounds. Cameron weighs in at 208.

“We (have to) think: does it help him grow, does it help him mature to get on the field (and) are we going to play him some?” Wilson said. “If we said he’s not going to have a role and it’s just mop-up, I guess we can try to redshirt him. But does he have a role — he can run around and make some plays, and even as good as Nate is, is it good to have that? So we have got to ponder a few things I guess and get there.”

46 comments

  1. I don’t see Diamont growing a lot in the future so I would use him as the backup. Second there have been times in Nate’s career where things are going well for a couple of series; Zander would be a good change up much like Tre used to be. The third reason is down in the red zone often a QB that can run will be more effective than a purely dropback QB. Cameron would only give IU a mop up QB while Zander gives coaches an alternative when one is needed. Remember OSU had a hard time containing Zander.

  2. I don’t understand Wilson’s dilemma! The casual nature of his approach to addressing this issue is a little disturbing. Given that his job may be on the line, I recommend Wilson do what’s in the best interest of the team THIS YEAR. I’m sure Wilson’s goals for this season are high and that he understands that his team needs to produce a minimum of six wins this season to guarantee that he keeps his job. And if Diamont gives IU the best chance of winning games if Sudfeld goes down, than the decision should be a no-brainer. There might not be a “next year” for Wilson if his team fails to win six. He gets a pass for last year’s losing season because of the injury to Sudfeld and the unexpected transfer of Tre, but he won’t get a pass for two years in a row because his starting QB gets hurt. He either has a capable back-up this year, or he doesn’t. And if he doesn’t, that’s on him. It would appear to me that Diamont is that capable back-up and that he would be IU’s best bet should Sudfeld get banged up. So what’s the dilemma? What am I missing?

  3. Podunker-

    You should get into going to the big tent….You could find a new way to make a career out of escape goats always walking the line.

  4. vesuvius

    what do you mean zander will not grow? have you seen his dad? that is the stupidest thing i’ve heard here in a while

  5. Speaking of QBs, has anyone seen Wisconsin’s QB depth chart. It has all three of their QBs listed as #1. Always keep ’em guessing.

  6. Po, I will be laughing about “I don’t understand Wilson’s dilemma” for at least a month. He just spoke to doing what is best for the team and AD. Don’t try an make up story lines as h4h does. The decision is fluid until NS needs a break, hurt or the proverbial mop up. I am sure the proper consideration will be exercised right up to 8 seconds before a decision is needed. Oh, and if he does not consult with me I totally understand.

  7. Crean has all the story lines he needs without my help….He can no longer even hold down a recruit the quality of Malik Story. The boomerang of thick condemnation of everything and everyone below his pious podium has returned on winds of truth and gross incompetence he can no longer hide. He’ll have plenty more “stories” to come….Did you not see how Bobby looked him in the eye at a Madison Square Garden game years ago? Bobby knew that the only thing Crean could create or build was a story living in the shadows of banners he is not qualified to offer the teaching tools behind his protected locked doors.

  8. Maybe it’s Wilson’s hyper-intelligence that makes it difficult for him to complete sentences like normal people. Maybe it’s because he sometimes thinks out loud and presents both sides of the equation. Maybe the story was poorly transcribed. But his comments as presented suggest Wilson has yet to decide between doing what is best for the team (this year) vs what may be best for Diamont’s future. That’s what they call a dilemma. I suggest that Wilson needs to do what gives him the best chance to win six games this year, otherwise he might lose the ability to influence Diamont’s future. I’m also curious about what Wilson considers “mop up” time in a game. Is that the last three minutes of the fourth quarter with IU up or down by at least three touchdowns? Or is it the entire fourth quarter with IU up or down by at least three touchdowns?

  9. Double Down, Podunker, and coachv…Do they all share the same beach bungalow in California? Cue he Beach Party flick starring Don Rickles and Stevie on harmonica…. I haven’t seen this sort of lofty blow for California muscle since Franky Avalon muscled Annette Funicello more than Arnold a house nanny. Just hope Zander can take a hit better than Hoetzel could stand to take a charge. All the steroid juice eventually goes back to its soft silk sheets of soap opera love scenes,

  10. oops…Frankie Avalon…

    IU Football…Rah!..Rah!..while b-ball drowns in the drink of Happy Street. Zander is quite the wonder boy….About as frail as a teenage Stevie, too. Yippee

  11. HC, you also laughed a few years ago when I opined that IU’s O-line was too small, and was in fact smaller than Ball State’s O-line. You lost that debate by refusing to acknowledge the facts. So maybe you should ease up on the condescending tone.

    From the HTO, Saturday, August 29, written by Mike Miller, Wilson validated my opinion from back then; “The truth hurt, and Kevin Wilson was determined to change it. It was 2011, and the program he envisioned building at Indiana was far from reach. Wilson, in his first season as IU football coach, didn’t need to look further than the offensive line to see why. The bodies up front were, by Big Ten standards, insufficient. Not a single starter weighed over 300 pounds, and in the weight room, they were lacking. “It used to kill me,” Wilson said. Now, entering his fifth year in Bloomington, Wilson believes his program is ready for the heavyweight division. When he arrived at IU, Wilson inherited a line that averaged 6-foot-4, 295 pounds. Entering Saturday’s season opener against Southern Illinois, Indiana’s projected starting offensive line averages 6-5 and 305 pounds. “We’re getting to where there’s some size, some length and some strength,” Wilson said.”

    How could someone with your expertise fail to see the obvious?

  12. Podunker,

    Zander will play if anything happens to Nate. If all we need is a guy for a few snaps, then it will likely be Danny. He can decide on the spot. You don’t have to “announce” a redshirt before the season. Don’t overthink this.

  13. I really don’t know about all the mud thrown in #12 but BSU’s line was not bigger than IU’s. That is the obvious fact. But you were so mesmerized by the blubber of Wisky’s down linemen you could not fix your attention on anything else. Now don’t crap your pants as to who is going to be the B/U QB as Coach Wilson will have the decision made in plenty of time to make that substitution.

  14. Harv, take your frustrations out in the basketball thread. Stop pooping on the football threads with rants about basketball. Some of us want to talk football.

  15. i don’t have a subscription that gets me to the paywall stories from HTO, but I found the piece by Mike Miller that Podunker was quoting in post #12.

    Don’t really care about the debate on how much the average Hoosier lineman with an added 10 lbs in “blubber” and a whopping 1″ in height will mean to IU football’s success. Though I will say that those small differences are probably numbers easily fudged….or “cheesed.” .And I’m not sure how much 10 lbs means for a man that must be custom fitted to wear a Smart Car for a helmet.

    And speaking of Wiscy, there is a Wisconsin cheese company that offers a 300 lb. wheel of cheese for wholesale purposes…But anything over 300 lbs(sorry new Hoosier lineman) is not available in Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack & Habanero Jack mammoth wheels….The 300 lb. cheese wheel measures 22″ in diameter and 20″ in height.

    If Tom Crean was a football charlatan at Wisconsin appropriately badgered, he’d probably say his offensive line…”rolls, it just rolls.”

    What did I really get from the piece( fondly able to read in its entirety because it was distributed to some podunk tiny paper’s online site free of charge)? Mike Miller’s piece wasn’t the standard fare….Really nice job of writing and I particularly liked the breaks that kept the eye interested and rolling faster than a cheese wheel blistering down 37 just before the college ave. exit.(e.g. “Built to last”.. “Spriggs still growing”…”Feeney at front of the line”). We take these HT guys for granted…They are really good at what they do. If HT journalists were parmesan, they would be Parmigiano-Reggiano…complex and well-rounded.

    And maybe that’s all Clarion is attempting to communicate….The size of a line(wheel of cheese) certainly matters,, but complexity of a line is also a function of masterful artisans(coaches), maturity, and technique. Because, at end of the day, sports teams, much like sports writing, doesn’t just “move” or “roll” without the superb minds of adept teachers that know the subtleties to make a real difference . Wilson is a coach and a teacher. He’s far more than a glorified scale to place a wheel of cheese.

    Go Hoosier Football!

  16. These things in of themselves aren’t game changers (like guys getting bigger, etc), but cumulatively, you they point to the necessary changes to the culture around the football program that should get it over the hump. In fact, these are some of the things that are missing from the basketball program.

    Kevin Wilson demands personal accountability. Players are putting in the work to get faster, bigger and stronger. But, mostly importantly, on the defensive side the ball, we’re finally getting smarter. That means lots of film sessions, buying into and trusting the coaching staff, while working on the practice field together so that they flow together as one organism. I saw it starting to come together at the end of the season last year. Our offensive woes were so great, it was hard to notice. I’m excited to see how the offseason treated what they had established last year.

    I think we’re going to have a good season this year. We may have lost Coleman and Allen, but we might finally have a much better TEAM.

  17. DD,
    I concur. The Nick Sabans and Urban Meyers of the world can turn a powerhouse into a champion overnight because they were starting out with a powerhouse (I’d still welcome one of them to Bloomington).

    As far as 10 – 15lbs on a lineman making a difference, it won’t in the first quarter. But, that’s like going up a weight class in wrestling. Every play. All game long.

    It matters.

  18. Did you just bring up the basketball program? You need to stop that faster than a Syracuse zone.

    I found eleven players over 300 pounds on the Southern Illinois roster…..This freshman is bigger than a Public Storage unit I have a rental contract.

  19. How do they get into airplane seats when many airliners are now refusing service for the morbidly obese? Or, do they just fly in a Wsiconsin line via UPS cargo planes?

  20. Makes me think of the sob stories of people complaining that they were charged for two airline seats simply because they occupied two airline seats.

    They probably whine that McDonalds charges them more just because they eat more.

  21. I guess it’s just sorta cute that we encourage a select group of teenager farm-raised hogs to become too strive for excessive lard-awareness as they strive for a perfectly Frankenpig physique to model a Wisconsin lineman image now the standard for hormone-infused morbidly obese beauty?.. Where will the diminishing returns a 1000 pancake breakfast end? Concussions an issue in football? Building DNA freaks into buses posing as lineman for the purpose a slightly stronger advantage in bashing brains against each other sounds like a way to make it all work. And allowing a heart to become triple its normal size so our baby elephant lineman outiffed with Joe Namath knees can pave the way for the winning a couple more football games fits perfectly into a Michelle Obama “Let’s Move!” campaign guiding the hypocrisy of concern. Gosh, if pounding down more vodka actually made basketball players grow an extra inch during the summer, we would instantly lower the legal age to 18 and sell it at the drive-thru window of every McDonald’s.. Somehow a digression of a teenager into the cultural alcoholism of America is weakness.while coach gets plastered at Malibu Grill. And the fattening up a lineman as if our personal human science project is a badge of honor on the concussion scale of getting hit by a freight train.

    A rare look inside the breeding of a Wisconsin lineman.

  22. Football in America: Inflate the beasts until they burst….even at the cost of the deflated balls excused for the tiny soft hands of Establishment patriotism.

  23. It doesn’t start in college. It’s up to the parents until they’re eighteen. Lots of people obviously have no business being parents.

    We wouldn’t even let our boys cut weight for wrestling. They just ate, stayed healthy, and won.

    Here you go, Harv, speaking of vodka and making good decisions…

    http://time.com/132762/gun-range-liquor-license/

  24. HC, I love your loyalty to IU. I did not intend to sling any mud in #12, just giving a little of your jazz back to you. And I appreciate the stubbornness it takes to hold to your argument even after the facts are documented. In the days after IU got beat by BSU I presented the height and weight of BSU’s O-line starters, as they were reported in the BSU roster. Then I presented the height and weight of IU’s O-Line starters as presented in IU’s roster. The data confirmed what most people witnessed with our eyes. “Facts are stubborn things.” As for Wisconsin’s O-line “blubber,” I do acknowledge that I was envious of their size and strength. And I’m delighted that IU is finally narrowing that size and strength gap. IU’s line does look leaner and more athletic. Blubber or no blubber, Wisconsin’s O-line is consistently one of the best O-lines in the country. When IU can consistently match Wisconsin’s standard for O-line size and performance, bowl games will become a routine for Hoosier fans. Let’s hope this O-line ca begin that routine this season.

  25. Po, I produced stats from the rosters, verifying in IU’s favor. If it was not so I would not be arguing the stand. It was IU who had more over 286, 290 and 295. They were 1 shy of BSU in the 300 and + dept. but 1 of those jelly bellies did not play in the game.

  26. CoachV, you must not pay attention to politics if you think my idea is the stupidest you have heard. Children are a combination of both parents and neither my son or daughter are within 3″ of my height also most soph in college don’t get taller. Therefore my statement about Zander not getting much bigger. He has a slight frame and much more than 185 pounds will tend to take away from his scrambling as it very well could slow him down.

  27. People are starting to notice IU’s OL. The comment I heard over and over on the BTN was IU’s OL ranked up with the best in the B1G. It is just one example of how this coaching staff has improved the talent of this team. AD Glass commented about this being the 5th year of Coach’s contract said “he saw IU football as a big destroyer making a turn” in other words it takes time. I do think IU needs to show real improvement this year from the 2013 team to show the program is improving.

    HH i commend your comment #17

  28. Chet you are right and Glass would have been better using a battleship to describe the difficult job of turning IU football around. It is clear AD Glass wasn’t a Navy man.

  29. “A big destroyer making a turn…” If that’s what Glass said, it was a ridiculous analogy. What he should have said was, “given IU Football’s relatively dismal fan support, pathetic home game attendance, and The Hoosier nation’s chronically low expectations about football, which results from decades of administrative mismanagement and neglect, for a program that generates the lowest football revenue in our conference, it was not politically prudent for IU administrators to spend the money necessary to turn the program around in a shorter amount of time. Our strategy is to hope that things are finally improving to the point where IU football can climb out of the Big Ten basement. If and when some very wealthy alumni donates tens of millions of dollars and directs that his/her money be spent to transform IU football into a consistent winner, I believe we will be able to do it much faster.”

  30. Podunker, I agree with you about all the other factors contributing to IU being a tough FB program to turn around. I think AD Glass has done a great job improving the football facilities and now with the addition of Mark Cuban’s donation to the athletic program IU FB can compete with virtually every facility. Now we need to find a way to fill the stadium so recruits and players are impressed when they enter the stadium on game day. I know B1G has restrictions on prices and promotions but it is a shame IU can’t invite all students into this first game free and fans get in for 1/2 price to sit in areas not usually filled with fans. High School teams could be invited in for a free game if they come as a team. Not only would you get a lot of schools in but many of their parents and the coaches wives would come too. It is hard to get fans to come when they see a stadium 1/2 filled or maybe 70% filled unless OSU comes in. Anything to fill the stadium for a few early games would go a long way to start getting a fan base built up. Understand I don’t know if any of these ideas are allowed by the B1G. Any way those are some of my ideas about improving attendance besides a winning Team fighting for a chance at the championship game.

  31. vesuvius13’s eruption about filling the stands (or at least trying to do that) is 100% molten lava genius- or at least the same idea I’ve spouted off on prior comments. Is it really so that the grand pooh bas (don’t know whether that should be capitalized, or hyphenated, or both) of the B1G wouldn’t allow promotions of the sort described by our volcanic friend? Probably so; this is the same brain trust that paid foreigners to come up with the “Legends and Leaders” divisional conf. names a few years ago.

    As to the size of the O line, indeed the published numbers are often highly fudged. In high school, I was listed in the program as about 2″ and 30 lbs. bigger than reality (boy did my dad have a laugh at that!), and I doubt that the fact-checking in college sports is any more rigorous. The real numbers for measuring the IU O line for last year are T-E-V-I-N-C-O-L-E-M-A-N. Especially ’cause the IU O was pretty one-dimensional for a good part of the season.

    Oh, and just because I haven’t said it for a while – – – SCHEDULE NOTRE DAME NOW!!!!!!!

  32. davis, the team roster of my senior year actually listed me as both shorter and lighter than I actually was at the beginning of the season. I think some volunteer got lazy and just copied the data from the previous year for all the returning players. We were measured and weighed at the beginning of summer practices, but somehow that information did not make it into the new roster.

    I think the only thing that can fix the malaise of IU’s fan base is for IU to produce a winning season. Either that, or we pay OSU and PSU to play at IU every year, allowing their well traveled fans to fill the normally empty seats. There’s just too many people who refuse to get excited until the team proves it can win. Last year, after IU beat Missou in Columbia, I thought attendance at the next home game would exceed 48,000 fans. But attendance for that game was dismal. And of course, IU lost that game. And maybe attendance was a contributing factor in that loss.

  33. PO- thanks for confirming my point about the unreliability of published player info. Of course you’re right that winning improves attendance, but I don’t buy that non-attendance causes losing, at least for a particular game. Of course more fans spending more $$$ lets a program spend more $$$ on stuff that can help winning, but I don’t think that any of the players look up in the stands and say to themselves, “What? Only 35,000? Might as well not block hard today.” I, too, was surprised by the low gate after the Mizzou game. I agree: IU really needs to win on a regular basis to get the interest to the level that it should be.

  34. davis, fan support and attendance definitely affect recruiting. I know that to be a fact having once (many decades ago) worked on the periphery of recruiting for IU Football. Let’s say IU is in a recruiting battle with Michigan, Louisville, and Missouri for a player’s commitment (pick any three or four D-1 programs you want). The High School player visits each of the four schools during football season and attends one of their home games. I assure you that attendance and fan enthusiasm at each of the three other schools, in contrast to IU, will be a factor in the kid’s decision as to where he plays. If you’ve attended a football game at any of those three campuses, the contrast to a football game in Bloomington is obvious. And lately, it’s just embarrassing. It wasn’t always this way. I’ve been in Memorial Stadium when it was full of frenzied and excited fans for a football game. It was a great experience. Just contrast the atmosphere inside Assembly Hall during a basketball game to the atmosphere inside Memorial Stadium for a football game. Attendance and fan support definitely influence recruiting and ultimately the quality of the team on the field/court. Having said that, Wilson and his staff should be commended for their success in recruiting given the handicap, in the form of fan apathy and poor attendance, they’ve had to overcome. The Hoosier Nation will get the football program it deserves.

  35. And davis, although it is impossible to prove, I do think low attendance and a lack of fan enthusiasm affect the team’s performance during games. It’s an intuitive argument, but if the team expected the IU fan base to respond to last year’s huge victory over Missouri by showing up to the next home game with passionate support, they must have been terribly disappointed and crestfallen when they ran on to the field and noticed that a third of the seats in Memorial Stadium were empty and that the noise level was about the same as it is in IU’s Library’s cafeteria. And of course, IU fans got the result they expected and deserved.

  36. What right does Podunker have to talk so down to the fan base? Is he the quintessential All-American fan?

    Sports provide a diversion and escape from the daily grind of the 9 to 5 world…When you make it as heavy to sh___ on any fan that pays for a seat(as if they should feel some part of a collective shame for whatever amount of empty seats remain), you’re putting a burden into their hearts that defeat their cheers before they even enter the parking lot. This is not a true fan that talks down and tells us what we “deserve.” It’s an arrogant bottom-feeder that prays on belittling an institution…it’s a pathetic disregard for those that have done their utmost to find ways to go to games and remain loyal. It’s taking a position on a cloud of superiority to blame everyone but the fat mouth in the mirror. It is not a fan of anything. It is a defeatist that destroys far more than a blog…It kills at the heart of humble support for the Indiana Hoosiers. He shouldn’t be run off a blog. He should be run out of Bloomington and branded with a Purdue stamp on his forehead.

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