Spring football notes

Indiana’s first scrimmage of the spring is Saturday at Memorial Stadium. It is open to the public and admission is free. It was originally scheduled to start at 1 p.m., but is now slated to begin at 1:30.

Because of the injuries to IU’s offensive line, the scrimmage will be different than most scrimmages. There will be periods of live scrimmaging, broken up by stretches of other drills that will give the offensive line time to regroup after during double-duty on both the first-string and second-string offenses.

By the end of practice Thursday, IU was down to seven healthy offensive linemen. They started with eight, but Andrew McDonald left practice after getting his bell rung. The coaching staff is hoping McDonald will be back today and starting left tackle Rodger Saffold is expected to back any day. Saffold hasn’t practiced yet this spring because of a strained leg muscle, but he now feels well enough to play, Lynch said, although IU’s staff is being careful about not having him come back too soon.

Columbus East junior wide receiver Duwyce Wilson was a visitor at practice Tuesday. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound Wilson has scholarship offers from IU and Wisconsin, and is also being recruited by Illinois, Purdue, Kentucky and Iowa, among others.

Redshirt freshman tight end Max Dedmond (Evansville Central, 6-5, 240) is one of the youngsters who’s playing well and seeing a lot of playing time with the first string. On defense, Eric Thomas, a 6-4, 265-pound redshirt freshman from Cleveland, Ohio is playing on the first string due to the absence of Greg Brown and Deonte Mack because of injuries.

Redshirt freshman linebacker Darius Johnson is playing with the No. 2 defense behind older starters Will Patterson, Matt Mayberry and Geno Johnson, but is getting noticed this spring. “I think our safeties are playing very well and I really like our linebackers,” coach Bill Lynch said. “We’ve got some good depth at linebacker. The young guy that I see keep making plays is Darius Johnson. He’s a force.”

Lynch on newcomers A.J. Thompson (OL) and Kyle Kozak (DE): “I really have been impressed with A.J. Thompson because he’s playing right side and left side with a brand-new offense (to him) and we’re going no huddle, (new) signals. I think he’s really hung in there very well. And Kyle Kozak is a football player. He’s one of those defensive guys who shows up and you notice him a lot. I think both of them have really made the adjustment well.


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