Sudfeld, Howard continue to progress and other notes #iufb

Indiana returned to the field for its first full practice of the week on Tuesday and quarterback Nate Sudfeld and running back Jordan Howard were part of the action.

Wilson said on the Big Ten teleconference that Sudfeld and Howard rotated and worked with IU’s first team offense Tuesday as the Hoosiers prepare for Saturday’s homecoming game against Rutgers.

“They’re looking OK,” Wilson said. “We’ll see as we go.”

It’s unlikely that either player’s availability for Saturday will be known until the 3:30 p.m. kickoff at Memorial Stadium, but Sudfeld’s and Howard’s inclusion at practice is another positive sign that each player is progressing from respective ankle injuries that have kept them out of action for the bulk of the last six quarters.

Although Indiana’s weekly depth chart seldom provides a true indication of who will play in the upcoming game, both Sudfeld and Howard are listed as starters on the two-deep IU released Tuesday afternoon.

“I think both those guys are good enough that they understand that they need to practice (and) how they need to practice,” Wilson said. “Also, they’re tough enough to know if they can’t go, they can’t. They’re looking OK, but as you go through the week and push it, you need to make sure you don’t have any setbacks. Between now and Saturday, we’ll see. They’re getting good work. We had a very good practice today.”

Booth expected to redshirt
A hand injury kept Dominique Booth out of action for most of fall practice, and it could keep him out for the rest of the season, too.

Wilson said the former four-star receiver is currently in a cast after undergoing surgery on his hand. Because the injury has forced him to miss valuable practice time over the last two months, Booth is not expected to play this season.

So as Indiana continues to search for playmakers to step up on offense, don’t expect Booth to be part of that mix.

After J-Shun Harris’ suffered his season-ending ACL injury early in the summer, Booth became IU’s leading returning receiver. As a freshman in 2014, Booth caught eight passes for 70 yards.

Hawkins trying to break free
Marqui Hawkins remains a bit of a mystery since moving to IU last December.

He also seems to be a player without a position.

The former UAB transfer began his Hoosier career as a receiver, but has since moved to the backfield to help with depth as a hybrid running back. Hawkins has yet to make an impact on gameday, but has been recognized twice (FIU, Ohio State) as one of IU’s scout team players of the week.

Indiana is not the first program to move Hawkins from receiver. As a true freshman at Florida in 2013, the 6-foot-2, 217-pound prospect was moved to safety, but did not see any game action. He later transferred to play receiver at UAB, where he was forced to sit last season due to NCAA transfer rules.

“With Nick Westrbook and Leon Thornton, those young receivers, Marqui is still behind those guys right now,” Wilson said. “He’s doing a really good job for us, but he’s behind those guys right now. … We’re just trying to find a home for Marqui and keep bringing him along, but he’s practicing hard and he’s doing well.”

8 comments

  1. I hope both players are healthy and playing on Saturday. This team is much worse without the two of them as we are limited on having playmakers. Next year if the young receivers step it up and become the playmakers they can be then the offense will be diversified enough to overcome two injuries but the reality is any time you lose one of the top Running backs in the country it hurts to miss him. That would be different if the cause of his yards were due to the OL opening holes but unfortunately our OL doesn’t do a good job opening holes for the running game. I don’t know if this is due to ability or blocking schemes but for too long our OL hasn’t been physical in the running game.

    It should be a good game Saturday especially if both players are back.

  2. I think the OL is more than adequate for the run game. JH has very good vision at the point of handoff as does Alex Rodriguez but Redding does not. Running behind zone blocking is a lot about a RB’s vision and feet quick enough to adjust getting to the open spot. Way to many times DR is running up the back of 1 of those OL. I consider him no more than the 3rd string back and without JH transferring to IU our outlook for the season would be much less optimistic if he were #1.

  3. Yeah, there were some huge holes that Redding missed against PSU. I think he is focusing too much on where the holes are “designed” to be rather than where than where they actually are.

  4. I also hope both players are healthy and ready to go on Saturday……i get the feeling that the offensive will need to score a lot of points this Saturday for IU to have a victory…..Why? i get the feeling that the top receiver in the conference Leonte Carroo is going to have a record day against the IU secondary…Devine Redding will be a good back in the future everyone forgets he is just a sophomore, he is a very hard runner and yes, it does look like he goes to the designed hole rather than relying on his vision…but the more attempts he gets, the more i think he will improve….I think the coaching staff realize that and that is why they pursued Jordan Howard so much.

  5. HC don’t get me wrong as I think they are good linemen but they aren’t as physical as they should be. As a high school coach I ran a zone offense, differently than colleges as I taught dbl teams helping the OL man that was blocking a tough DL man and they would release [one would drive the DL and the other would come off the block and block the LB] up to the LB depending on where the DL and LB were going. I also ran a zone counter play that I wish IU would do because it was hard for defenses to know what the play was going to be.

    You are right that there were some big holes against PSU but after two years Redding should be able to see the holes as they open up. I agree Alex can see the holes and cut up into them. I hope Redding can learn as he will be a good RB if he will learn where the holes are to cut up into.

    As far as Carroo is concerned I would put a physical corner on him and play deep zone behind him with Scales picking up any extra receivers; but that is me not the coaches. If we have both players back we can control the ball better and stress their pass coverage which isn’t very good. We really need out DL to get after the QB again this week to help create turnovers. The DBs need to not let anyone get behind them this week and the offense needs to score every chance they get. It is good news both players are practicing this week and I hope they both can play Saturday.

  6. To me, this is easily the weakest defense we have played since SIU, and if Sudfeld can play (which my gut tells me he will) then I think the offense will do fine.

    On the other side of the ball, even with Carroo, PSU was a tougher challenge than Rutgers will be.

  7. v13 I concur with how you would defense RU/Carroo. Scales needs to be leaned on hard by expanding his role to defense the passing game. He appears to have the type of character to respond well to the more demanded of him the more he delivers. Oliver is of the same mold. If Fant was 20 lb. heavier I would have him stonewall Carroo at the LOS because he is fast enough to recover. Yes the DL is key.

  8. This will be a big game with Homecoming and a B1G team coming in. I hope the crowd is big [Michigan is the one game I can make] and the players step up to play like they did against OSU. This could be a challenging game against an opponent equal or just below what IU’s talent is. I know based on ratings Rutgers has the better talent of recruited players. It would be great to have both players back and have a couple of young receivers breakout in this game. Game time will be here soon.

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