Richard Lagow will start at QB vs. Florida International #iufb

By the end of the first week of fall camp, it was clear that Richard Lagow was Indiana’s top option at quarterback.

He received the bulk of the reps during ensuing practices, the team gravitated toward his stewardship and Lagow demonstrated continued development to warrant his place atop the depth chart.

Now, Lagow is positioned to make his Hoosiers debut as Indiana’s starting quarterback.

IU coach Kevin Wilson confirmed Friday that Lagow will start Thursday’s season opener at Florida International, answering one of the key questions of Indiana’s off-season. At 6-feet-6, 240 pounds, Lagow’s physique appears virtually identical to his predecessor, Nate Sudfeld. The Texas native has the arm strength to command the offense, and as the calendar flips from preseason to Week 1, Lagow will have the opportunity to do exactly that.

“He’s been the one,” Wilson said. “He’s gotten every one rep except when we rotate Zander Diamont or Danny Cameron in there. He’s kind of been the one. It wasn’t that a formal announcement needed to be made. The team has been practicing and knows it. The timing’s been there, so we actually evolved to that after about the seventh practice.”

Lagow, formerly of both UConn and Oklahoma State, has never thrown a pass at the Football Bowl Subdivision level. He did, however, complete 66 percent of his passes last fall at Cisco (Texas) Community College, where he amassed 2,285 yards and passed for 21 touchdowns with 10 interceptions.

Although statistics for IU’s team practices are not publicly available, Wilson said Lagow has been statistically excellent this month at Indiana.

In a four-man battle for quarterback, a race that also included redshirt freshman Austin King, perhaps the most encouraging development for Wilson and his staff is that the frontrunner emerged organically.

“I think that his teammates recognize, one, how hard he’s worked since he’s been here,” offensive coordinator Kevin Johns said. “And really, the physical tools are there. So he has the arm strength, the physical stature, things that you want in your quarterback. … More importantly to me, he’s done nothing but get better every single time that we’ve went out to practice.”

So too, apparently, have the others competing at the position.

Diamont has shown better arm strength and a more complete quarterbacking profile. Cameron has moved the team downfield consistently. King has impressed with his natural passing ability.

Only Lagow appears to possess the full arsenal that allows IU to utilize its weapons at this time. His development from the first practice of the spring up to now has Indiana in position to continue operating at full potency.

“Time reveals everything,” receiver Ricky Jones said. “He’s just gotten better as time has grown, so Rich is doing great so far. I love to see what he’s doing out there now. Now we just have to see what he does against actual pressure and not our defense that he’s seen all spring and summer.”

Beyond Lagow, IU’s newfound quarterback depth is a welcome development for this program, especially after it pushed through the past two seasons without game-ready options behind Sudfeld.

Wilson did say that Diamont’s athleticism and mobility gives IU another tool to use at quarterback, should IU decide to introduce another player at the position.

“Zander gives you a dynamic if there’s a need to play that during a game, even early in the game, with Zander being a third-year player now,” Wilson said. “You don’t want the offense to get out of rhythm, but you need to take advantage of some tools. Instead of going to Wildcat, where they know you’re not going to throw, Zander is throwing the ball better, gives you a skill set and, quite honestly, it’s kind of an ‘or’ there, because Danny Cameron has closed the gap and is really managing the offense as good as anyone besides Richard.”

King, too, continues to stake a claim to becoming IU’s quarterback of the future. Wilson said he’ll also travel to South Florida in case the Hoosiers need him.

But he won’t take the field first — or maybe even at all.

The job is now Lagow’s to lose.

“The guy that’s going first has really had a very, very good preseason,” Wilson said. “He’s playing the best and everybody knows that.”

11 comments

  1. This was no real surprise as the coaches made the decision at the end of last season they didn’t think they had the QB on the roster they needed for 2016. Lagow has two years experience in the spread offense and now moves up to B1G level of defenses. He is every bit as talented physically as Nate,now it is a case of how well he runs the offense. It will be a fun season to watch this offense with all the weapons on the team. Add in a defense that can stop opponents [I hope] and get the ball back for the offense to give our offense even more opportunities to score leading to a special season for IUFB this year.

  2. Yes, it was an open secret that Lagow was the starter. Glad to see Wilson make the announcement eight days before the first game so that everyone can settle in, focus and begin to develop a rhythm on offense. And I’m excited to see if IU’s excellent young receivers reduce the number of dropped passes this year. Sudfeld’s stats would have been even more impressive if his receivers not dropped so many passes last year.

    One question though; who is Lagow’s back-up? Has Wilson released an updated depth chart? I hope IU is so far ahead after the third quarter that another QB (or two) gets some playing time next week.

  3. Po,
    Game week depth chart just came out (I’ll post it after I answer you). QB2 is listed as Diamont “or” Cameron. Wilson also mentioned that King will travel to FIU, so there’s an added wrinkle.

  4. Mike it is interesting that King will make the trip. I truly believe based on arm ability King is the next QB. He has a very strong arm and is very accurate. It seems as if coach Wilson is pushing him to study film more yet have him ready to go in the game if needed especially if Diamont or Cameron go in and prove as ineffective as they were against PSU last year. Hopefully Lagow will excel and stay healthy so we don’t have to find out how Diamont or Cameron do in a game.

  5. Yeah, PO, a team (football or otherwise) needs to know who’s leading. That the job is open for competition is a healthy concept, but that idea becomes counterproductive if it percolates too long.

  6. davis, very well said and I agree completely. I just hope none of the players who were not named the starter feel the competition was a sham. My guess is that it has been evident to the other guys since spring practice that Lagow was a step or two ahead of everybody else. It’s one thing for a coach to say, “it’s so-and-so’s job to lose, and another to say that starting job is up for grabs.”

  7. It’s only “well said” because it’s in agreement with your consistent undermining of Wilson…He’s the coach. If he announces on the eve of the game, he likely has reasons. And to say it’s counterproductive is BS you simply don’t know…It may create more productivity. He knows his team and the psychological elements to employ at the proper time or point in the season…To do this undermining before one minute of one game has been played is the only thing counterproductive….Who in the hell has to “settle in?” This is a football player…Only Joe Namath wore pantyhose.

    Here’s what’s counterproductive….You’re at a Sweet 16 game…It’s on the line…You are only down by a point, but you must get the ball back..The other team has the ball. You have a timeout with a chance to win the game by sending the other team to the free throw line…In the period of said timeout, you have not expressed with clarity the need to foul before most of the remaining time in the game evaporates…You spaz out on the sideline…The team is clueless as it is obvious to all viewers that the coach couldn’t cover the first and simplest point to make to his team…Game over….Counterproductive defined.

    None of these QBs are returning starters..We have seen none of them play. It’s a game against Florida International. It might as well be preseason. Please stop…Please stop acting like every nuance of Wilson’s handling his own team is some sort of crucial mishandling resulting in damaging the soft temperament of fragile young man. Good Lord…..

  8. Fla. International may be preseason for someone, but I sure hope IUFB is not treating FIU that way. IU barely beat W. Ky. and So. Ill. last year.

  9. That’s a valid point….But there will be an in-game learning curve for any of these QBs.. There will be learning curves at every position. Seems like a lot of undermining for nothing to worry about a timeline for a QB announcement to the opener. Lord, let them kick the damn season off….then let all the undermining and second guessing of every nuance begin. This is not a coach who cares about looking the part …or modeling his behavior based on unproven advantages of what should be normal procedure. I love everything about Wilson’s unconventional methods…We’ve had conventional. Where in the hell did it get us the last 40 years? I’m sure Bill Lynch was announcing the QB two weeks ahead of a kickoff. I’m sure it was set in stone as sturdy our feet in cement. Yippee. What a breath of fresh air to have a coach who will not be manipulated by the press, by big donors, by convention, by expectations, by any QB who may think he’s the man about town going into an opener….This coach appears to like poker….and sometimes motivates and irritates by way of a bluff(likely mostly to the press much in the fashion Knight enjoyed)…His players may be privy to much more than the appearances suggest. Just because our football program has been in the pits, doesn’t grant us the right to expect this coach live by our ideas of convention…..or to be a puppet to our ideas. Let this unconventional gunslinger of a unique personality go(or second guess him to death as if we know what’s best for a program that his sniffed one major bowl in 40 years), and you will have sunk IU football with the cannon fire of a nuance aimed at a ship and a crew just beginning to feel they belong in any battle in any sea? Really, I just don’t get it…Why care about conventional wisdom? Maybe it’s time to test boys and start hurting some soft feelings….Maybe they’ll believe this isn’t the same old mold …Maybe it’s the same merry-go-round ride at the same old Complacency Fair.
    I love the fact that very little is predictable with this coach…It could be a mirage of sorts to hide what ends up being the same predictable bad results…I don’t know…But it seems rather hopeful to maybe just think his approach may just be working…At least it keeps our interest. We have three banners from a particular basketball coach who would not buy into convention….I know it’s a different era and a different game but it’s easy to see that Wilson is also a man who is confident enough in his expertise to not bore himself with what we, or anyone else, expects….
    And maybe that lesson in itself flows to every young man putting on the Hoosier uniform. “Be your own man..Be your own team. Embrace the idea of next man up. Do not live a life by what people expect to happen.” Because we all know what most expect out of IU Football.

  10. oops.

    …or maybe it’s not the same merry-go-round ride at the same old Complacency Fair.

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