Herbstreit high on Lagow’s upside in 2017

It was the middle of March, but Richard Lagow had his mind on August.

During a spring break trip to Whitfield Athletix, a college quarterback training seminar in San Diego, Lagow took advantage of his platform. He mingled with one of the week’s guest advisors, ESPN analyst and former Ohio State quarterback Kirk Herbstreit, talking football and talking life. And while taking in a World Baseball Classic game at Petco Park, Lagow told Herbstreit about his hopes for the 2017 season, IU’s first under new coach Tom Allen.

Lagow’s enthusiasm for the season sticks with Herbstreit today.

“The lasting impression that I had was he couldn’t wait for Aug. 31,” Herbstreit said Wednesday.

The Hoosiers are now merely a week away from opening the season in primetime against the No. 2 Buckeyes. Herbstreit will be on the call for next Thursday’s 8 p.m. kickoff, and once he gets to Bloomington, he’s looking forward to seeing the progress Lagow has made across the past five months.

“He seems like he’s coming out of his shell a little bit more,” Herbstreit said. “He seems more confident in not only his ability to make throws, but I think also more confident in knowing the personnel, their strengths and their weaknesses.”

Confidence has been the keyword linked to Lagow since the Hoosiers reconvened in the spring. By all accounts, he has embraced the leadership qualities necessary at his position, while also demonstrating his development as a passer.

IU players and coaches speak of a crisper, sharper passer, who is enjoying his first taste of new coordinator Mike DeBord’s offense.

Lagow hasn’t been perfect, but he seems to be playing better — and that kind of improvement and consistency are what the Hoosiers need from him this fall.

Lagow wasn’t bad as junior college transfer last season, but he knows he could’ve been better. He completed 57.8 percent of his passes for 3,362 yards and 19 touchdowns, while also finishing second in the Big Ten with 17 interceptions.

Lagow’s trip to Whitfield Athletix was a chance to learn and improve as a passer, and Herbstreit believes Lagow made the most of the spring break opportunity and is ready to continue building off last season’s introduction to Big Ten football.

“He was just trying to figure out the system and figure out defense at that level of football,” Herbstreit said. “I think his head was spinning a little bit. Meanwhile, he was putting up decent numbers with the exception of the 17 interceptions. I think now, after going through that and leading them into a bowl game, I think you come back and it’s almost like he’s almost a different guy.”

What struck Herbstreit most of all was Lagow’s appreciation for his fellow Hoosiers and Allen, who has spent his first year and a half in Bloomington preaching about the importance of love and respect.

“He loves his teammates and loves being a part of that program,” Herbstreit said. “I think it’s a great story.”

Lagow said he isn’t surprised that his love for IU was Herbstreit’s takeaway from their time together.

Apparently, Lagow often speaks that way.

“I get going about it and it’s hard to stop,” Lagow said. “… He and I were sitting there talking about a lot of different things, with college football, life, whatever. Eventually, we got around to Coach Allen and it seemed like that went on for awhile.

“(Herbstreit) was awesome to be around. It’s pretty cool how it ended up working out with him coming to Bloomington for the first game of the year. That’s exciting. It’ll be good to see him.”

Likewise, says Herbstreit.

“I think he’s incredibly confident that this team has a chance to surprise a lot of people,” Herbstreit said.


  1. We heard before the bowl game that Legow had improved, but he hadn’t. Then we heard in the Spring that Legow was better, but he wasn’t. I hope this time he really is better. But I also hope that Ramsey get’s a shot if Legow continues to play the way he did last year. Legow looks like he should be great- big arm, great size, says all the right things. But Ramsey has all the skills that Legow lacks- confidence, ability to allude a rush, and the ability to make plays with both his arm and legs. Legow may have earned the right to start, but Ramsey has earned the right for an opportunity if Legow falters.

  2. All Lagow has to do to significantly improve his performance this season is reduce his INTs. there can’t be anymore 5-INT games like last year’s loss to Wake Forest in Bloomington. I’d like to see his completion percentage rise above 62%, but it’s not like he has to rebuild his skills from scratch. Of course, for him to improve his performance, his o-line, receivers and running backs have to do there jobs too.

  3. Who writes this stuff? “[F]inishing second in the Big Ten with 17 interceptions.” From what I recall, I would’ve thought that Lagow would have been next to last.

    1. RL had the 2nd most INT’s for 2016 in the B1G . PUke’s Blough had the most at 22, IIRC.

  4. Ok let me try: “Richard Legow would be the B1G’s returning completion percentage leader at 61.6%, except that 17 of his 270 completions were to the wrong team.”

  5. 123, not only was that uncalled for, but it was a foolish statement. Lagow’s problems last year were not due to a lack of athleticism, it was the mental aspects of playing QB in a complex offense that caused problems. You obviously have no idea about the amount of athleticism required to play QB in the Big Ten. Lagow may not be a great runner, but he is a gifted athlete. You try throwing a football 40 yards into the center of a tire. Then try throwing it 40 yards into the center of a tire that is moving at about 18 miles an hour. After failing in 100% of your attempts, you’ll have a much better appreciation of Lagow’s athleticism.

  6. It could be mechanics….? Maybe his release is such that he Lagow of the ball a bit too soon and it sails.

    I’m in the ‘Moving Tire Swing Hall of Fame’ from 40 yards.
    My completion rate would have dipped slightly if I was being rushed by multiple 350 lb. knotted up balls of musclebound freight trains jacked up on PED’s attempting to knock me from my backyard to Oblivionsville.

  7. Po- you sound like a sad, old and foolish man. I can still throw 55 yard throws at 50+ accurately…so you are wrong on that point. Secondly, you obviously know nothing about the requirements of an B1G quarterback. Spend some time learning prior to writing…. you wouldn’t come off appearing so old and out of touch.

  8. 123, sure you can. In reality, if you could do that, or could ever have done that, you would not be making such ridiculous criticisms of Lagow, because you’d know the amount of athleticism it takes to do what he does. “Those that did it don’t boast about it; those that boast about it never did it.”

    You’re like the guy sitting in the last row of the bleachers, 500 feet from home plate, screaming at the umpire that the catcher missed the tag. You’re alone in your opinions and your comments about Lagow are ridiculous on their face. You sound like a troll, not a Hoosier fan.

  9. They now have giant video boards at ballparks allowing the fan in the last row of the bleachers to see a video replay of the catcher missing the tag.
    Who wants to be an umpire anymore…? For that matter, who wants to even walk out their front door anymore. There is no room in society for competing with the camera. Your point of view doesn’t matter. Your opinion doesn’t matter. Your judgment doesn’t matter. You are now living in world of magnification to extremes. That dude in the last row of the bleachers can no longer act like freewheeling jerk because some other narcissistic perfectionist one row behind will have an iPhone poised to put his face on some social media site and instantly tame him with the potential of public humiliation.
    Welcome to world of perfection. All are shackled to the total undressing of your every flaw, outburst, picking of your nose, and earth-stopping eccentricity you may thought you once could possess without righteous scrutiny. How do you counter such microscopic examinations? Answer: Build a fake you on Facebook.

  10. I hope Lagow hs improved but based on the Spring Game we don’t know. The good news is the way prctice went the int didn’t happen so he must of improved. We will have a great chance to see if he has improved with the OSU game. The good news if he doesn’t show improvement is we have two back ups that can show they know how to be a quality QB. The only issue with our back up QBs is they haven’t played in a B1G game yet.

    At least Lagow now has an OC that knows how to create a friendly QB offense. I really like hearing coach DeBord talk about how to help the OL against the OSU DL. He doesn’t just throw them to the wolves making them prove they can go head to head against the DL. It was frustrating last year watching Wilson call four running plays following Riggins INT that he ran down instead the 10 yd line. We knew our OL was strong enough to go nose to nose against their front yet that is how we used a great scoring opportunity. I expect much better play calling by DeBord giving our players a better chance to get the ball into the endzone.

  11. v13, great post. And yes, I think Wilson was at times stubborn to the point of being counter-productive last year, or just oblivious at times. My guess is that it was the former and not the latter.

    DeBord has made his pick. We have to trust that not only does he believe Lagow is the best QB on the roster, but that he has improved significantly.

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