Patrick progressing well, could be cleared soon

Camion Patrick could be Indiana’s secret weapon.

And he may not be a secret for much longer.

After undergoing surgery in April to repair a torn ACL suffered in spring practice, the IU skill player may soon be ready to make an impact inside Kevin Wilson’s offense.

Although doctors have not yet granted Patrick full clearance to make his Indiana debut, Wilson said the junior college transfer is progressing well.

The goal all along has been to have Patrick available for the start of Big Ten play, which opens on Oct. 1 with a game against Michigan State. While Wilson was unable Tuesday to offer a specific timeline of when Patrick might receive his medical clearance, the IU coach seemed encouraged.

“His knee is healthy and strong,” Wilson said. “I think it’s getting his quad strength and his muscle strength back around so he’s completely stable and can make the sudden changes (he needs) to make. So the knee injury is fine. He’s getting a fair amount of individual (work) and he’s back in the flow. He’s not fully released yet, but hopefully soon.”

Patrick’s availability is of high interest given the hype that he carries.

A former Tennessee commit, Patrick transferred to IU in 2015 after helping East Mississippi Community College to back-to-back junior college national titles. He would have projected as a significant contributor at receiver last fall, but was unable to gain academic clearance last August.

Instead of featuring as a prime player on Saturdays, Patrick earned IU’s Scout Team Player of the Year honor behind the scenes, floating between receiver and running back.

He has participated in pregame warmups prior to Indiana’s first two regular season games, and was spotted running around with IU’s receivers before Saturday’s home opener.

Wilson expects to eventually use the 6-foot-2, 225-pound junior both as a receiver and as a running back, but envisions starting Patrick on the outside to limit stress on his knee.

“He came in as a receiver, and as we went into last year, he started playing some running back on the scout team and did well,” Wilson said. “But we were going to move him around. We went through spring ball with him (in the backfield) really because we thought he might play some running back, as well. He did a lot of running back work just so he could learn protections and understand our pass protection scheme and route running.

“Not only how to run a route and catch a ball, but (understanding), ‘Hey, by the way, I gotta do blitz pickup. I gotta pick up a linebacker, safety, corner crash, whatever.’ That was the reasoning in spring ball to escalate him as a back. We’re gonna try to play him a little bit at both places.”

Wilson fed the hype surrounding Patrick after last year’s victory at Purdue, calling him “the best player on the football team.”

Soon, IU fans could see for themselves.

“I’m just excited to see him back,” Wilson said. “We’ll take advantage of his talents, but just kind of waiting to see, really, where he is and what he can handle. We’ll probably start him on the perimeter and see how much he can handle and how healthy (he is). Hopefully he’ll be healthy and get back to having a good year for us.”

2 comments

  1. It will be great to have Patrick back on the field. I imagine it will be even better for him to be on the competitive field again as he has been away for too long. He has to be wanting to get back out on the field and I hope doctors and coaches contain him until he is fully healthy. Players want to get back on the field as quickly as they often do not think about the ramifications if they get on the field too quickly.

    Patrick will be a major addition to the offense and especially the WRs that have lost Cobbs for much of the season. I know Lagow will appreciate a top receiver added to the ranks. Just when IU needs a dominate receiver for the B1G season Patrick should hit the field. IU has a deep enough RB field so it makes more sense to have Patrick at WR at least early on.

Comments are closed.