Lagow emerging as frontrunner in quarterback battle #iufb

A leader has emerged in Indiana’s ongoing quarterback competition.

Junior college transfer Richard Lagow is receiving the bulk of the snaps entering the second week of IU’s fall camp, coach Kevin Wilson said Monday. Although he stopped short of naming Lagow the dedicated starter for the Sept. 1 season opener at Florida International, Wilson indicated Lagow has authored the best camp to date.

“If we played today, Lagow goes first today,” Wilson said. “We’ll see if it keeps moving that way. I like the way the other three are fighting and that’s good stuff. That’s what I like.”

Shifting more reps to Lagow at this point in camp may prove to be a wise decision should he win the job and start against FIU. Lagow has the skill and the physical profile needed to fully open Indiana’s offensive tool box. IU would only seem to benefit by allowing him to settle in and grow comfortable with his surrounding personnel and with the advanced reads and progressions Wilson incorporates in his offense.

Wilson, however, was quick to caution that a final decision has not yet been made. He likes the way junior Zander Diamont has come on strong during the last three days of practice and gave nods of approval to backup candidates Danny Cameron, a redshirt sophomore, and Austin King, a redshirt freshman.

“After the first week of practice, probably Danny was most consistent as the backup,” Wilson said. “Austin King is showing a lot of talent and a little bit more focus. Zander was a little greedy, casual. Zander’s come back and had the best three days of anybody, so we’re getting some good ebb and flow.”

While taking the good with the bad from all four quarterbacks in the mix, Wilson says he’s in no rush to officially name his starter. Even if Lagow was the first quarterback to take the field at FIU, there’s no guarantee the leash will be long enough to allow him to finish.

“If we’re playing today, he’s first,” Wilson said. “You can say he’s the starter, but when he gets in that game, if he doesn’t play well, maybe he’s not the starter for long. We’ll see.”

With depth at the position as seemingly good as it has been since Nate Sudfeld, Tre Roberson and Cam Coffman were all on the roster in Wilson’s second season, the Indiana coach is looking to see if the race to win the starting assignment sorts itself out organically.

Although IU quarterbacks were mostly efficient during the team’s scrimmage on Saturday, Wilson expressed disappointment with some of the moments Lagow, Diamont, Cameron and King didn’t seize.

There were too many points left on the field, Wilson said, and too many big plays that failed to materialize. After watching his offense occasionally bog down near the red zone at times last season, Wilson isn’t in a position to tolerate mediocre results from this bunch.

“Everybody says if you have multiple guys, you don’t have one. Whatever,” Wilson said. “You need more than one. You can skew stats. Offensively the other day, even though the stats looked good, the quarterbacks left some big plays on the field. They left some points that if we were playing a game, it makes a game dog fights or losses. We gotta learn to make more of those plays.”

Until someone wins the job outright and delivers the kind of consistent throws this offense needs to thrive, questions will remain.

But even Wilson, a taskmaster of quarterbacks, has to like what he sees, overall.

There is Lagow offering the most consistent showings to date.

There is Diamont showing better arm strength and approach.

There is Cameron giving the offense stable guidance

And there is King tapping into the potential that could allow him to develop into IU’s quarterback of the future.

“They just have to keep doing well,” Wilson said. “It’s the best this group has responded and no one’s being selfish and they’re kind of working. I respect the way they’re working, working together and helping each other. It’s been good. It needs to be better, but it’s been good.”

10 comments

  1. The job will break out with the players knowing who they want as starter and who they are willing to follow. It sounds as if it is sorting out with good depth at the position. Lagow has the talent and the surrounding players to have a great season. He needs to play well and continue to improve in each game as the season progresses. Hopefully IU won’t have the need for backup QBs the way they have the past few years.

  2. v13 I could not agree more how the decision shakes out. It will be easy for Johns and Wilson to see the QB the offense bests responds to.

    Read you will be attending the MSU game. That was also the game I targeted for our family go-to but not to surprisingly not everyone could clear their calendar and we will attend Wake Forest instead. We’ll make a big weekend of it as I’ve rented a place on the lake for 3 nights. The 8y/o Granddaughter and 5y/o Grandson will really get a kick out of that. Of course the game will be the focal point. Enjoy your game.

  3. HC, have fun at the Wake Forest game and have a great weekend. I have to find a place to stay since my mother died. I can’t drive back home after such a late game but I will find something even if I stop some place South after getting out of town.

    I dream of IU being 4-0 as I drive out of town unless I make plans to stay in town. It would be so nice for IUFB to have a magical season which requires being 3-0 going into the MSU game and coming out 4-0. It is time for IUFB to stop crushing our hopes each season and I think this could be that season.

  4. Enjoy your trips to Btown, folks.

    By the way, Wilson opened practice this morning for a second consecutive day (it may be a record! And I’m super appreciative after barely anything was open during the spring). There are obviously some restrictions on what I can say, but a couple general observations that fit with the larger scope of camp so far:

    — I really like Nick Westbrook, and IU’s coaching staff does, too. He added around 15 pounds by spring practice and IU’s weight staff recognized him for having made the biggest gains during the summer.

    — Wilson and company love the recent rain we’ve received in Bloomington. It’s good prep for the opener at FIU. IU got some wet and messy work in today on the new turf inside Memorial Stadium.

    — Devonte Williams, back at RB, is where he belongs, in my opinion. He and Cole Gest were built from similar molds. Gest is built a little thicker, but both are nice fits for this offense.

    — Because of the defense in which he plays, it’s tough for Rashard Fant to get the kind of appreciation he deserves, but he’s very, very solid. I still have questions about IU’s supporting cast at corner, but I believe Fant is one of the better players at his position in the Big Ten.

    — A’Shon Riggins and Khalil Bryant are also coming on in the defensive backfield.

    — Here’s a quote from Wilson I didn’t fit into my D-line story for tomorrow’s paper, but it’s definitely worth passing along:

    “We’re getting more out of (Mike) Barwick. McCray (before the injury). Brandon Wilson is stepping up. (Nile) Sykes is playing the hardest he’s played and was very disruptive Saturday. We’re going to need a lot of those guys. Because that’s an area where we need bodies, and some of them are not huge in stature.

    “Coach Hagen and Coach Allen have been doing a great job of creating a culture of disruption up front.”

  5. Good for Wilson(for a very surprising but enlightening change in practice protocol)and good for you Miller in being able to identify what some of us could identify if we were at practice. The meat and potatoes of FB fandom is hearing about player development and who is showing the improvement from that development in practice. I’ve had high expectations for DL recruits Barwick and Patrick Dougherty since they hit Bloomington as they were both hi-motor All-State HS players in OHIO. Barwick is built in the same mold as Nate “Hoss” Hoff 6′, thick, 300# but with nimble feet. PD is 6’5″ and was a darn good BB player. Glad to see 1 of them is launching when we most need it. I’m 1 who thinks our DLine will be better than expected but may not be as deep as Hagan would like. But I believe Hagan can do wonders. Just look back at the job he did at PUke.

  6. Mike thanks for the additional notes from practice about the DL. I remember listening to Coach Wilson immediately after the Purdue Game while he was waiting for players to come out. He said IU had more talent than people knew in the defensive front for 2016 and he started naming those guys [he also brought up Patrick as the best player on the team].

    He has been excited about this group for a while and I am trying not to read too much into Coach’s demeanor; I really think he believes in this team. I get the impression he thinks they can beat anyone on the schedule, it is just a matter of getting players to believe they will win instead of hoping they can win. He has said already this preseason, the players are believing in themselves this year. Bringing in Coach Allen, Hagen, and Canton may have bigger returns than just the excitement they bring to this team. They may have been the missing pieces in getting these players to believe they will win just as UM, OSU, and MSU players believe their team will win. It makes me think about what last year could have been if these three coaches came on board one year earlier.

    Now we need to avoid any additional injuries and get Patrick back in the game by the start of the B1G season.

  7. Wow…This is the most notes/contributions from a Scoop/HT journalist since Dopirak….Nice to see.

    No worries, v13….You still ‘da man’ I expect to give the most objective and honest assessment of where IU Football is…and is heading.

    Have to be very careful(even leery at times… or Todd Leary at times) buying too much into a press with overwhelming percentages of their existence/vitality hinging on the selling of IU Sports. And that’s what has always made Bloomington so unique….The isolation of the press in a town pivoting on every move of the campus it relies can fuel a hype machine on mere hot air alone. There are no other papers/outlets to balance the reporting.
    And then there’s the ‘accessibility’ thing…If journalists don’t buy into the hype, they may pay a big Price/backlash for acting as an honest tail wagging the deceptive dog(we all remember what happened to Dopirak at a Northwestern basketball presser with Crean).

    Long story short….Always remember the difference between a true longtime fan(v13, Clarion) and a promoter whose career depends on selling a product, “playing the game,” and gaining access.

    And a long story even shorter…It’s still IU Football. TV ads claiming “tradition” and a time to “Raise the flag!” conjure up images of British forces marching in formation during the Revolution…They sure looked pretty while getting outflanked and annihilated… The British had “depth” too….There’s a different sort of depth required in honest eyes with a hunger beyond selling tickets to show.

    But you still da man, v13.

  8. I believe IU’s defense will improve its performance a lot over last year. However, given how bad they were last year in spite of some experienced players, I will continue to subdue my expectations for the 2016 season. But to be fair, if IU’s defense last year had just been just a little bit better, it’s easy to see how the team could have won eight regular season games (by beating Rutgers and Michigan). I don’t see IU coming close to beating Michigan in Ann Arbor this season, and given that the schedule is tougher this year, I’ll be delighted if IU wins six regular season games in 2016. I hope I’m wrong, but I still think IU’s break-out season will be 2017. This year, IU defeats FIU, Ball State, Wake Forest, Northwestern, Rutgers and Purdue. They have a chance against Penn State and Nebraska, but I’m not sure home games provide any significant advantage to IU (can’t get last year’s losses to Michigan and Rutgers out of my head) with the weak attendance inside Memorial Stadium.

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