Observations from first day of spring practice

Indiana had its first day of spring practice Tuesday, and by NCAA rule, they weren’t allowed to wear any sort of pads other than helmets, so it was tough to really gather a whole lot about the team going forward.

But perhaps the most newsy thing is the Hoosiers an 11-on-11, non-tackling scrimmage at the end of practice, which forced them to reveal what at least at this point are their first-team offenses and defenses. On offense, the returning starters were mostly where you would expect them to be (quarterback Ben Chappell, running back Darius Willis, wide receivers Damarlo Belcher and Tandon Doss, tight end Max Dedmond, center Will Matte and right tackle James Brewer.) At the up-for-grabs positions, Dre Muhammad and Duwyce Wilson played in the third wide receiver spot where Terrance Turner would be if not for neck surgery that has him out for the spring. Andrew McDonald was playing left tackle and Cody Faulkner and Marc Damisch were at the guard positions.

Defense was a little more shaken up. Donnell Jones, a cornerback last season, was playing safety with Chris Adkins. Richard Council and Matt Ernest were manning the corner spots. Senior Tyler Replogle was the middle linebacker, flanked by Damon Sims and Chad Sherer on the outsides. Darius Johnson and Fred Jones were the defensive ends, and returning starters Adam Replogle and Larry Black, Jr., were back at defensive tackle.

Those lineups could see vast changes, of course, and it was only the first day of spring practice, but it gives fans at least some idea of how IU coaches see their teams on March 23.

Play of the day probably went to Ernest, who intercepted about a 40-yard pass from Edward Wright-Baker in the end zone during an 11-on-11 scrimmage that had a mix of first and second teamers. (It was sort of like the 1.5 team on both sides.). Willis and redshirt freshman Nick Turner each had a few nice runs, and Ben Chappell seemed mostly sharp with his throws and Muhammad hauled down a few of them.

The Hoosiers have another open practice on Thursday at 4 p.m.


  1. #1. I want to, but I just won’t ask it.

    #2. Did Dusty Kiel get any throws in the scrimmage? How did he look?

    Thanks for the football news. Will Thursday be in pads?

  2. Did either one of the new JUCO defenders (Thomas or Kiles) do anything to catch your attention?

    Did any of our line guys (on either side of the ball) catch your eye for looking bigger/stronger since last fall?

  3. i thought moses abraham was taking his visit today. what the hell are you guys doing? did i miss something? it must be me because i can’t find anything about it anywhere.

  4. I’m curious how DE Fred Jones is doing coming off his foot injury. Jones was one of IU’s most highly regarded recruits a few years ago, and now IU needs him to step up and have a monster season after the graduations of Middleton and Kirlew.

  5. The words “Richard Council” and “starting cornerback” should be forever mutually exclusive.

  6. Yes, GFDave, the mention of Council as a first-string cornerback is definitely what caught my eye in this report. If that is the coaches’ plan, I would like to sit down with them, go over some game film from last year and hear about why they think this is a workable idea. I’m hoping that Donnell Jones will be back at CB, along with one of the JUCOs, for the start of the season.

  7. It is the first session of Spring practice, the depth chart is filled with names for print, not final game playing decisions. By this time next week some things will change and the topics for discussion will too.

  8. so Rich had a messed up shoulder the 2nd half of the season, the flu for the UVA game (along with a few other guys) and ya’ll are quick to jump on him? crazy…

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