Cincinnati-Moeller tight end Evan Jansen commits to Indiana

Evan Jansen, a 6-foot-5 tight end from Archbishop Moeller High School in Cincinnati, committed to Indiana on Tuesday according to Zach Osterman at More on this story later.

UPDATE: The full story follows.

Statistics, John Rodenberg said, don’t give anything close to an indication of what Evan Jansen is capable of.
Last season Jansen, the 6-foot-5, 240-pound tight end from Cincinnati’s famed Archbishop Moeller high school who verbally committed to Indiana on Tuesday, caught just three passes for 43 yards as a junior. However Rodenberg, who has been the head coach at Moeller since 2008 and a head coach for 19 seasons overall, said Jansen has a chance to be one of the most valuable offensive weapons on this year’s Moeller team and a force for Indiana in the future.
“They’re getting a player who is definitely on the upswing,” Rodenberg said. “His career is taking off. … I’ve been saying he could be a big-time tight end for somebody, and he’s going to be a big-time tight end for Indiana.”
Jansen was considering offers from Air Force, Akron, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Harvard and Western Kentucky. He also visited camps at Boston College and Duke and believed he was close to earning scholarship offers from both. But Indiana had been his top choice since early in his recruitment and he saw nothing swaying him from it.
“I’d been to some other schools in the summer for camps, but I was really just comparing all of them to IU, because I liked it there a lot,” Jansen said. “And I didn’t like the other schools as much because I was always comparing them to IU. In the end, I realized that meant I should probably commit to Indiana.”
Part of what he liked about Indiana was the fact that both head coach Kevin Wilson and offensive coordinator Seth Littrell have experience working with tight ends. Wilson handled tight ends from 2006-2010 while he was also the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma, and he was the tight ends coach last season in his first year at head coach at Indiana. Offensive coordinator Seth Litrell worked with tight ends at Arizona from 2009-2011. His first year with the Wildcats was New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski’s senior year.
“They both have great backgrounds working with tight ends,” Jansen said. “And the tight end they have now (Ted Bolser), he can block and run routes and split out as a wide receiver, which is what I like to do.”
And that’s something he has done and will continue to do at Moeller, even though the numbers haven’t shown it yet.
Jansen has only been solely devoted to football since his sophomore year when he quit basketball. Though he’d been successful in that sport to that point, it was obvious he would have a difficult task finding playing time on a loaded Moeller hoops squad and tight end seemed to be his best ticket to a college career anyway.
He’s put on 35 pounds since then, and Rodenberg figures he’ll keep growing to between 250 and 260 pounds in college.
“He’s going to be one of those guys who will be 250 pounds, but can still run a (4.8 second 40-yard dash),” Rodenberg said. “He’s that athletic. He’s going to be a monster.”
The reason Jansen didn’t have many balls thrown his way last season is that Moeller already had too much perimeter talent. Wide receiver Monty Madaris, a Michigan State signee, caught 45 passes for 995 yards and 13 touchdowns. Tight end John Tanner, who is headed to Ohio, was the starter at the position and grabbed 11 balls for 129 yards and two touchdowns.
That made it difficult for Jansen to get on the field, but Rodenberg said this season there won’t be much reason for him to come off of it.
“Evan’s a traditional tight end in the fact that he can block,” Rodenberg said. “In traditional spread offenses, you have a lot of guys who don’t block that well. Evan blocks really well. … He can hunker down and block somebody in the zone or step out and catch the out route or the curl route or the dig route. He’s the kind of kid who is going to be 250 with above average speed who can do everything a tight end needs to do.”
Jansen is Indiana’s second verbal commitment for the Class of 2013, joining wide receiver Isaac Griffith of Homestead High School in Fort Wayne.


  1. Hmm! Mixed thoughts about this news. I like Jansen’s size and what his HS coach said about his speed, athleticism and upside potential. I also like the fact that he played basketball (often that means great hands and better foot work). But Jansen has not had a lot of playing time through his junior season and the list of schools that made offers is not impressive. Given the depth and level of competition on that powerhouse HS Football program, the lack of playing time is understandable. But still, you’d think some other Big Ten programs would have been showing serious interest. Jansen seems a little like a Lynch recruit, only bigger.

    Let’s hope Wilson and staff got him before he showed up on the big boys’ radar screens and that he really has the upside potential they and his HS coach believe he has. If so, his size and speed could make him an outstanding Big Ten tight end.

    I guess it’s going to be a few winning seasons in a row before IU can sign solid blue-chip players over other Big Ten and FBS conference schools. Until then, we have to trust Wilson and staff to identify the sleepers that can be developed into solid Big Ten players.

  2. INDIANA….just win a football game….2 or 3…..4 or 5….6 or 7….8 or 9….10 or 11….12 or 13…just win a football game!

  3. Podunker, with much respect,… as fans we generally see these players through someone else’s eyes and that someone is usually a member of the media who may or an unknown talent evaluator with a personal interest in selling/downgrading a prospect, or simply a fan who may not be able to evaluate talent and make projections into the future.

    Coaches on the other hand are professionals with a P, whose profession demands they evaluate and work with the athletes, correctly assess the likelihood they will consistently perform successfully and coach them to that potential. Evidently, several coaches in our (IU football) history did not do so, and were fired as a result. As it should be.

    Acknowledging this is true, I much prefer to leave the assessment of players to the professional judgment of a Coach Kevin Wilson and his professional history than to the hobbyist and fan opinions of a, say…Tsao Tsu.

    As a result, I feel it important for me to leave the evaluation with KW until such time as reality shows he can not fulfill the expectations. I can’t imagine my being more knowledgeable or having better criteria for talent than KW.

    I have been very impressed with his approach, his standards for prospective Hoosier football players and his very deliberate study of our needs.

  4. ^best to skim.

    Translation: Coach Wilson can do no wrong(for now). I just took a vacation to Viagra Falls. Go Hoosiers!

  5. Tsao, I agree with your comments. It’s just that I believe a lot of Hoosier fans hunger for news of an increased number of blue chip players beginning to commit to IU. I don’t believe the news of IU’s first two verbal commitments for the 2013 class satisfied anyone’s appetite. I’m not sure we’re going to get any of that kind of news relative to the 2013 recruiting class, but it would be exciting if we did.

    Having had, as I’ve pointed out in a previous post, some very modest experience scouting/recruiting HS football players on behalf of IU (a long time ago), I know it is unrealistic to expect IU to go head to head with Ohio State, Michigan, ND etc for top talent. Therefore, these coaches must find the guys that have significant upside potential and are flying below the big boys’ radar in HS. I get it, and once was a contributor to that type of recruiting strategy.

    I too trust KW’s approach, but so far it is just an approach, a philosophy, or a plan. It’s far too early to judge how effective he has been in recruiting and/or developing talent. On the other hand, IU needs to generate excitement and optimism for this football program, and recruiting news is the quickest way to do that. We need to read that IU got a verbal from a young man that was being recruited by other Big Ten programs. Not necessarily Ohio State, Michigan, or Wisconsin, but IL, NW, MN, Purdue or Iowa.

    Remember last year when the nation’s highest rated QB verbally committed to IU. Remember the excitement it created for a few months. Of course we all know how that story ended, but it was exciting when the news first broke, generating much needed, if only temporary enthusiasm for KW and IU football. We need more of that, but with the players actually signing on the dotted line next February 3rd. Otherwise, we run the risk of having too many Debbie Downer Hoosier fans justifying their refusal to support IU football (i.e., attend the games, write a check, or simply say something positive).

    Sports fans are impatient, especially in today’s society. They want it all and they want it now. Most have no idea how long it takes a coaching staff to turn a program around, but they have plenty of other choices regarding the way they entertain themselves on Saturday afternoons. KW needs to generate some excitement so that more and more people have a reason to begin believing IU football is pointed in the right direction. People like you and I are die hard IU football fans. Just like Cub fans, we will never stop hoping that the team can become a winner. But I think you’ll agree that our eternal optimism about IU football places us in the minority within the Hoosier Nation.

  6. ^best to skim.


    Peanut butter and jelly is my favorite sandwich.
    I am a perfect Hoosier fan.
    Wilson dropped the ball by not kissing up to Gunner’s older brother.
    I squeal like the guy in Deliverance when we land a solid recruit.
    My real name is Paul Donkinshire.

  7. Harvard, time for a happy pill. Come’on dude.

    OK, here’s what I like. He’s at THE football school. He has really good quantifiable numbers. We won’t be looking at this guy in a couple years and saying ‘he’s just not up to banging on the field with Big Ten players’.

    He’s obviously really, really smart.

    When the things you can hammer down seem OK, at that point, if you are an Indiana fan, you just have to hope your recruiters got there first.

    Guys, if we are looking at top 100 recruits and thinking we are gonna snag them away from USC, Alabama, or Oklahoma you are dreaming. This guy looks exactly like the kind of guy we should be dreaming about getting.

  8. Tsao,
    I agree with you that coaches are better suited to judge talent. That is actually what concerns me as not a single BCS coach extended an offer to either of our two recruits.
    In the professional opinion of every othr BCS coach in the country an offer was not prudent.
    The lowly Illini have 7 recruits that were offered by ND, UM, OSU. MSU etc. Once again we are beating MAC schools and giving players their only chance to play BCS ball. I agree with Podunk….this is not exactly exciting.

  9. “lowly Illini”? Hell they always have recruited well. Zook just cannot sustain coaching success. Both these IU commits represent what IU has to do to get back into big time college FB with small steps. Whether it means anything or not they are 3* Rivals rated. If IU could end up with all 3* commits along with talented JUCO’s it would be the best class in decades.

  10. DCDave makes an even better argument. No other BCS football coaches evaluated Jansen high enough to offer him a scholarship! That suggests a few things: 1) They didn’t have enough exposure to his performance on the field to justify making him an offer, 2) they have better candidates to pursue, 3) they don’t think he’s good enough to be a starter on their team.

    IU making an offer to Jansen also suggests a few things. 1) KW thinks Jansen can be, based on his measureables (height, weight, speed, etc), developed into a Big Ten player. It certainly can’t be based on his performance or experience, since, according to the article, Jansen did not get much playing time in his Junior season, 2) KW does not believe he can secure commitments from more highly recruited tight ends, and 3) KW is focusing on players with significant upside potential that are flying below the radar of the other BCS conference schools.

    Hey, Jansen may turn out to be a Hall-of-Fame tight end, but at this point, the news of his recruitment is not moving the needle on IU football’s excitement barometer.

  11. Podunker, I agree with every word you wrote- including your comment about the Cubs. Only yesterday I was telling my son that despite their record, I like what is going on at Wrigley Field. Players seem to be playing harder, making fewer stupid mistakes and there is some improvement with a bunch of unknowns.

    To the point; I believe that Kevin Wilson is a good coach, will establish a good program and will get us our share of the solid football players to compete and win (defined as better than 50-50 in the Bog Ten). The excitement will come and you and I (and some others here) will see the evening when we toast Hoosier football with a good wine. Know what the best wines are made of?…patience- neither too fast nor so slow it becomes vinegar.

  12. When we signed KW as our coach and I read his history I remember thinking…’perfect fpr what we need at IU’. Every tine I’ve heard him share his thoughts I’ve thought ‘this is who he is and this is how he will do it’. No disappointment here…actually, I think his may be the only way for IU to join the world of football competitiveness.

    And, when I read the names of the players who obviously decided his way was not for them, I truly thought ‘stay on course, we need this’. There were few, if any surprises for me on the names of those who left the team. None.

    So…Podunker, Chet, Hoosier Clarion… we will find out in the next 2-4 years, won’t we? I think it is great!

    p.s. Hoosier Clarion is absolutely right as well. Illinois’ problem was not recruiting, it was a coach whose system betrayed him on the field. So they signed some 4-5 recruits…good for Illinois! (with all due respect Podunker, that has nothing to do with what we need to do at Indiana).


    If grapes be grown on Wrigley vines,
    Then as fans we wait, year after year,
    With old thirst from teams of vintage wines,
    In hopes this fall, from dark cellar they’ll appear,
    Take away aged thoughts, of loyal, youthful minds.

    And when our sorrow ends in sweetness of time,
    Absent the regrets of a soured devotion,
    The patience of Cabernet like no other kind,
    Will fruit from a season, refined in perfection.

    The long eluded days will taste most divine,
    To savor this drink, for most a first time,
    When spring finds October, like never before,
    In goblets our victories, by glassful we’ll pour.

    And toasting our memories kept forever enshrined,
    All sunny days of summer, at “The Friendly Confines,”
    To Ernie and the teams we’ll always adore,
    The Cubs are World Champions, again, once more!

  14. Jansen seems like just the kind of kid that Bill Mallory would have recruited. Mallory didn’t even bother trying to recruit the 5 star kids. He took the 2 and 3 star players and molded them into Big 10 players. He recruited on potential. And he did a fantastic job of creating a winning mindset at IU. I’m hoping Wilson is a clone of Mallory.

  15. Indy FB fan; I believe, for the most part, your comment about Mallory was correct. However, I do think he snagged a few 4 and 5 star prospects during his tenure. But your point is that Mallory and staff developed their raw talent into competitive Big Ten players.
    That strategy takes more time and involves greater risk and pressure, but it may be the only option for an IU coach.

    They only way I see that changing is that if IU were to some day, go out and hire a big name FB coach with a history of recruiting top players, pay him a load of money, and have him accelerate the “talent curve.” But as we all know, that strategy comes with a whole different set of risks.

    I think Wilson is probably on the only real recruiting track he could be on right now. That just means he’s going to have to develop this raw talent quickly.

    My question to those Hoosier football fans is this: Will the Hoosier nation give KW the time to do it or are the majority of IU faithful tired of the cycle that IU football has been on for decades? Fan support and attendance at home games has an enormous impact on a coaches ability to turn the program around.

  16. Attendance? Fan support at home games? You’re asking your question at the wrong place. Based on his actual discussions of his experiences, the only blogger that ever went to Hoosier football games(home and away) was JPat. Remember JPat? He put his butt(and often most his family’s butts) in the stands and supported the team through thick and thin.

    All we have on this site now is a bunch of highfalutin self-proclaimed scholars that sing and dance their praises from the fart-filled IU seat cushion under their blogging chair …They’d sail the seven seas and drive 10 hours to exchange recipes and wives with their blogging soul mates before tasting two hours of fall air for Memorial football.

    The only blogger that put his money where his mouth cheered was run off this site; accused of being a Benedict Arnold and insincere toward the coach in charge that walks on water.

  17. Po, the problem with getting the big name coach is, the only kind of big name coach even a boatload of money could entice to Bloomington would be a Butch Davis or the like. Someone so seriously flawed he couldn’t go to a better football program (and the last time I checked there are several better football programs). That pretty much always ends in disaster.

    No, I think ‘ol Fred probably pulled a rabbit out of his hat even getting Coach Wilson.

    Time will tell…time will tell.

  18. Losing on Gunner was probably equivalent to a result that would have played out similarly if Crean would have lost on Cody.

    A ton of expectations and hearts dropped on the incomplete Hail Mary for IU football. I know it’s just one player out of 22 an offense and defense(and countless special teams players), but a lot of recruiting dominoes may have fallen with such a high-profile guy at the helm our offense.

    Coaches are often a product of great timing…and good fortune.

    Knight had the good fortune of inheriting Steve Downing when he came to town. I would guess things could have turned out differently for quite a few years if the underrated center didn’t put Indiana on his back and lead us to a Final Four very early in Knight’s tenure.

    Gunner would have been a difference-maker(at minimum a wild card) when it came to luring prospects away from some of the borderline guys to make a recruiting cut on the mid to lower tier football schools in our conference.

    I think Wilson knows in his heart of hearts just how hard that one decommitment contributed to killing any early momentum he may have initially held in the “Win Today” sails.

    Big names bring excitement.

  19. I guess somewhat relevant to the “great timing and good fortune” theory….and how the big name builds the excitement/hype.

    No matter how much you place these game-changing/momentum-changing events in the corner of recruiting skill, luck, timing, kid’s values, coach’s values, prestige of school, academics, strength of teammates, self-interest(NBA stage) vs. selflessness(dedication to the program), etc, etc,…one can’t deny it is very, very satisfying to find these types of stories putting Hoosier Basketball back on the map(no disrespect to IU Football intended).

  20. Chet, you are absolutely right and that’s what I meant when I wrote “But as we all know, that strategy comes with a whole different set of risks.”

    Time will tell whether Glass hired the right guy. Based on the information available to us now, I think he made the best hire possible. Now it’s time for Hoosier fans to get behind the coach, support the team and help KW and staff build a successful program.

    I believe that all Hoosier fans have to do is what we’ve already done for Crean and IU basketball over the last four years. Crean is doing well, is a very good if not great recruiter and seems to be able to get his talent to play together. But as good a coach as he is, he’d be the first to say that he did not turn IU BB around by himself. It took the contributions of a lot of people, most notably the fans. I remember feeling very proud to be a Hoosier when, during that recent 6-win season, 13,000 or more fans attended home games and continued to provide great support for the Basketball team. I really believe that all we have to do for football is what we did for IU basketball. I realize that it’s a much steeper hill to climb, but I know football won’t get turned around with passionate support from the Hoosier Nation.

  21. I realize that it’s a much steeper hill to climb, but I know football won’t get turned around with passionate support from the Hoosier Nation.

    Freudian slip. I believe you intended to say “with[out] passionate support.”

    I’m curious how many football and basketball games the bloggers of Scoop went to last year. I realize it’s a pretty lengthy trip for most the regulars on here. Did anyone go to any of the tournament games? I remember Chet telling us of his trip to Atlanta..(though I think I recall his tickets coming by way of a generous friend).

    I went to one basketball game when the students were on break. I think it was against Stetson…Terrible seats but still had a great time. I stayed until most of Assembly Hall had cleared out. I really felt some great pride in Hoosier Basketball when I saw Maurice Creek out on the sideline of McCracken court(probably 30 minutes after the game had concluded) to take some time to talk to some very appreciative fans and their young kids that had hung around.

    What a wonderful example Maurice set to those young kids; quietly showing how to keep holding your head high and remain selfless in the face of such personal setbacks.

  22. You remember correctly. I think I’m gonna try to make at least one football game and one basketball game in Bloomington if my schedule permits.

  23. …and do you remember who else attended that Sweet 16 game?


  24. HfH 16&18. Two of your best posts ever. We finally agree!

    #21–I have been in attendance at every home game and a few road FB games(Ross Ade, Illinois) the last few seasons. As painful as some has been to witness due to the losses, the experience at the football and basketball games that I witnessed in person was decidedly different. BL teams had very few plays in the game plan, and no halftime adjustments of consequence. KW alienated many of the players on his team that he needed to win a few games and build momentum and enthusiasm. I expected improvement in the W-L record from the Lynch years immediately. I mean come on, who ( with KW’s credentials) could do worse??? My own personal impression(formed from the seats of Memorial Stadium) is that he was more concerned with imposing his will on the players than “winning today”.

    Crean’s teams these last few years have almost always played very hard and done all they could. He has been tireless in his coaching and his expectations to improve and get result-wins.

    Everybody that blogs about football should attend a couple of games first.

    Then you can disregard the comments and opinions of others.

    HfH, thanks for asking.

  25. H&H. Last year I was only in town when one game was played. Ohio State, no tickets were available. Year before I attended two games. Gulf Coast (cool, I lived near them for 35 yrs) and Penn State Big Ten opener. Took my 3 yr old grand-daughter to the Penn State game and it was like giving her straight sugar. She went crazy and wants to go to another game.

    Football. House I grew up in fronted SR 37 near Martinsville. We never left the house on home game Saturday. Impossible to get out of the drive due to traffic. I attended the Rose Bowl game in 67-68? while stationed in Riverside Calif. Even attended the Rose Bowm parade.

  26. You’re welcome…Thanks for your honesty and support of IU football.

  27. Thanks to you too, Ron. I wish I could remember the last football game I attended..I seem to be remembering an MSU game in Bloomington(it could be 10 years ago).

    I can only say that I really stepped up listening to Don Fischer’s radio broadcasts of the games last year. Then again, I could listen to ‘Fish’ doing play-by-play for a Slo Poke sucker licking contest.

    I bet that Rose Bowl memory is one you’ll always cherish. Hope you get to take your granddaughter to another game..Good for kids to get away from gadgets and see lots of new faces having a ball. Some of my best experiences going to games was with nieces and nephews coming along. They truly appreciate your investment and love to give them a special day of memories. We tend to get selfish and forget how much youngsters love the experience our same passions.

  28. A few years back I had to attend a conference in St. Louis. We turned it into part of a family vacation. I could care less about baseball but we were staying a block from Busch Stadium and the Reds were in town. I couldn’t imagine not taking the kids to the game. It was a great time.

  29. HC; good get on Dougherty’s commit to IU.

    A 6’5″, 250 lbs as a 17 year old Junior in High School in impressive. While I noticed no other Big Ten teams made him an offer, I did notice that he received offers from Boston College and Cinci along with all the typical MAC schools.

    Now that’s three players in a row that have committed to IU that have not received offers from Big Ten schools. Dougherty’s offers from BC and Cinci are a positive, but I’m just wondering if some of these Big Ten teams are simply delaying offers until they get a look at the player during their senior season, with the intention of poaching the player away from their original verbal commitment. We all know Urban Meyers uses this technique and that he is arrogant enough to feel that he can take any player he wants, regardless of previous verbal commitments.

  30. I meant to include that while Dougherty looks good (on paper and on the video), I wonder if he’s an O or D-line prospect or if the intent is to keep him at defensive end? I mean, given his size at 17, he could easily grow into a 300+ linemen within two years. I guess the answer depends on Dougherty’s speed. Anyone know what that might be?

  31. Po, 5 sec. flat in the 40. These 3 commits are the type of players Wilson and staff will seek to turn the corner on W/L after turning the corner last season on attitude and toughness. The type of ball we will see from IU this year will be pressing, aggressive and at times risk taking. We fans will be receptive.

  32. HC; thanks for the 40 time on Dougherty. Unless that improves, he could be an O-linemen or a D-Linemen in two or three years. But you have to love the size at 17!

    Looking at the 2012 schedule, it’s reasonable to see IU winning four games. I’m not saying they will win that many, but on paper, that looks reasonable. If they’re better than we anticipate, it could be five games, but that will require beating Navy, which I think will be very tough. Four or five wins would signify huge progress, but I wonder if the majority of IU fans would acknowledge that or see that as another disappointment?

  33. Just read the Inside Indiana blurb on Dougherty. He’s projected to be a defensive linemen.

  34. Thanks Harvard for the nice post. I am not working this summer for the first time…in my life I think. I have been at a cabin for several weeks with my wife and kids with NO internet and I get home today and read what you wrote…thanks. I still read the blog sometimes, not like I used to though. Dustin and the HT do an awesome job but I was spending too much time on here that I could have been spending with my kids. It has been fun for me to read what people write now and again and not respond…I don’t want any poster to take this the wrong way but so many posters are naive to sport in general but especially those away from Bloomington to situations here and it took me stopping posting to realize this. Yes Harv, you are right I have season tix again and will have my wife and my little ones, although they are bigger now, with me at every game. Maybe this year I will not be a pillow for my kids by half time, haha. My daughter watched the IU/UK game in Dec with me and the 2nd half she sat straight up and truly concentrated on the game…I had tears in my eyes before Wat even hit the shot. I also made it to the New Years eve game. You are right, I get season tix for mens and womens ball and football (we are less than a couple miles from campus), we also take in swimming/diving, polo, volleyball, baseball, soccer…we truly are a supporting family cast. However, I did not donate to the varsity club this year and I won’t until IU makes another bowl game or at least plays what I think to be competitive football. Oh, we are traveling to PSU for the football game this year as I have told Dustin. Wow, the hotel and game tickets were so high priced, just wow. Thanks again Harv!

    KevinK, your post #25 was spot on…it was exactly the way I felt last year, exactly. I am hoping we will see improvement and I pray for 4 or 5 wins this year. Last year was a complete let down for me, my family, and many IU fans that bought in. Forget any opinion I have on KW personally…with his staff alone and his credentials we should be doing well, right?? I try to be positive and I feel like many are but I must admit I know many people that threw the towel in last year and did not reup their season tix. I credit Glass with not increasing football season tix as he did basketball season tix(awful) and for keeping kids prices as low as they have ever been for football. I love the family environment he has created. I will leave you with this…I have gone to games for over 35 years of my life and I am less excited for this football season as I have ever been after a one win season but I flat out cannot wait until basketball season…wow it should be fun!!!

    I admit I have been wrong twice in the last 3 years or so on this blog…I was wrong on Coach Jack and must admit I hate to see her go but it had to be done. I was also wrong on the impact C Zeller would have on IU basketball all around! Other than that I have a pretty good track record, haha. Some of my observations last year…just might take time for some to see it!!!

    Even those I have disgareed with on here and said things I wish I could take back…I hope you all are well and healthy. Maybe I will pop in again during football season!!! Take care all!!!

  35. J Pat, good to see you posted again after such a long “vacation” from the blog.

    Curious as to why you wrote “and I am less excited for this football season as I have ever been after a one win season” and “I know many people that threw the towel in last year and did not reup their season tix.” To what do you attribute the decreased commitment and/or enthusiasm?

    The way I look at the schedule, IU can win four or five games this year (not saying they will, but it’s possible). Is it the economy? Is it that KW “over-sold” people on the team last year and now they’re crestfallen? Just curious as to the root cause for the feelings of you and your friends as referenced in your post?

  36. JPat-

    You’re very welcome. I’m sure I’m not alone in expressing how great it is to here from you. Always enjoyed your input and honesty.

  37. Po, I think he oversold people on the teams performance his first year. Hep was positive but humble! Most people I speak of are from an age demo of 30-40 years old. I was at IU for the 4 years Randle El was here so we had the last years with Mallory, Cameron, Dinardo and Hep of course got us all excited and poor guy and now Wilson. As much negative as I have talked about KW and character I will admit that I and many of my friends thought with the staff he brought in and the way he talked…we really would “Win Today”. Many of us in that 30-40 age demo are tired, so very tired of losing in football. I came to college at IU in 94 and I have had one bowl vs OSU that we got killed in…that is all I have to hang my hat on…that is it, can you imagine? I know 2 co workers did not renew and the 4 guys that were to my right the last 2 years did not renew and I have a group of 8-9 guys that have come since 96 and they want to do a basketball game instead this year which is understandable I guess but that feeling you get with the tailgate and football Saturday I will miss with these guys. Last year these same guys tailgated instead of going in for the first time ever when they came to B town, just tired of the product and it was late in the season. We are sick and tired of that long walk back to the car after getting beaten and a one win season no matter who the coach or the school…does NOTHING for recruiting. That is why we must win 4 or 5 this year, must! Hope you are well Po and thanks for the kind words!

  38. J Pat, thanks for responding and I commend you for continuing to go to the games with your family in spite of your disappointment with last year’s team.

    I know exactly how you and your friends feel. I watched my first IU game in 1966 as a youngster. IU was terrible. But I was fortunate enough to attend each home game again in 1967, and obviously, that’s when I “swallowed the hook” for IU football. What a magical team and a wonderful year.

    In hind site, I see why so many people developed disdain for KW’s “Win Today” mantra. IU was terrible last year and far worse than I anticipated. I did not take the “win today” slogan as any kind of immediate promise at the time, but I can understand why, after the fact, so many people were disappointed. But I think I’m seeing a more positive, friendly and humble KW this year. He has, on a number of occasions, virtually apologized for IU’s performance last year, admitting that he learned a lot, and virtually begging the fans to stay with him and his team. Going 1-11 will humble even the most confident coach, and I believe Wilson has been humbled. I guess we should have expected that from a first time head coach in his first year.

    Having said that, I think Wilson is doing the right things. I think he’s got a good staff. I think they have improved recruiting, especially with the JC recruits they brought in this year. I like the size of the players he’s signing, and most importantly, I like the conditioning program he has implemented. I also like the discipline and the fact that no one is above the rules. We’ll see how much IU’s mental toughness has improved this year. But I suspect it will be a substantial improvement now that Wilson is, for the most part, getting the type of players he wants and has driven off those players with less-than-total commitment.

    One last question for you J Pat. If IU wins four or five games this year, do you think people like your friends will return to enthusiastically support IU football for the 2013 season? Or will it take more than that?

  39. 45 years ago?! Holy crap! I thought I was fossilized.

    How many games have you attended since 1967? Do you ever make the trip from Chicago? Do you listen/stream Don Fischer’s broadcast on the radio or just watch the Hoosiers on the Big 10 Network?…just curious.

  40. Hey JPat, welcome back.

    For the record, I just don’t think a guy with the history of KW quite realized what he was getting into. Really, what’s the comparison? Major college, major conference, sub mediocrity for, what, a hundred years?

    What do you compare that to?

  41. Wilson’s alternative slogan “Change we can believe in……really, truly, this time we can, maybe”…. took up too much billboard space.

    Choice #2, a more most honest approach was quickly rejected:
    “Yes we can! Yes we can!……………punt again.”

  42. I have to say I disappointed but not much surprised at last years season. When Coach Wilson stated early on, the offense would run what the line could block and the QB could execute, kind of told me all I needed to know when factoring in green QB’s and what the D side of the ball had to offer. I also would have taken a slogan saying “lose now” as a serious red flag in a way more so than “win now’ was a positive forecast for the season. Just my slant after pouring perfume on this pig during 6 decades of less than mediocre performance.

  43. Podundker said, “…In hind site, I see why so many people developed disdain for KW’s “Win Today” mantra. IU was terrible last year and far worse than I anticipated. I did not take the “win today” slogan as any kind of immediate promise at the time, but I can understand why, after the fact, so many people were disappointed. But I think I’m seeing a more positive, friendly and humble KW this year. He has, on a number of occasions, virtually apologized for IU’s performance last year, admitting that he learned a lot, and virtually begging the fans to stay with him and his team. Going 1-11 will humble even the most confident coach, and I believe Wilson has been humbled. I guess we should have expected that from a first time head coach in his first year.

    Having said that, I think Wilson is doing the right things. I think he’s got a good staff. I think they have improved recruiting, especially with the JC recruits they brought in this year. I like the size of the players he’s signing, and most importantly, I like the conditioning program he has implemented. I also like the discipline and the fact that no one is above the rules. We’ll see how much IU’s mental toughness has improved this year. But I suspect it will be a substantial improvement now that Wilson is, for the most part, getting the type of players he wants and has driven off those players with less-than-total commitment…”

    I was someone who looked with a questioning eye after Wilson began using the slogan, “Win today.” I didn’t expect many wins because I didn’t believe Wilson had much talent to work with. When Wilson began to play so many true and redshirt freshmen it only confirmed my suspicion that we didn’t have a team capable of competing week in and week out.

    What is upsetting to me is any reference about Wilson’s first year was a learning experience. That to me is just another way of saying he was receiving on the job training. Sorry but anyone who is hired as a head coach should not need OTJT. Wilson has been around successful coaches in Walker and Stoops, and should have been educated enough to understand what’s needed to be done.

    I read an article about Alvarez when he made the decision to venture into the arena of becoming a head football coach. He was at Iowa and he asked Hayden Fry what he needed to learn to become a head football coach. Fry helped lay out a course for Alvarez that had him work in each area of responsibility. Alvarez stated that the training was so complete that he even had a section dedicated on how to hire secretaries and other administrative staff members. Even though Alvarez went 1-10 that first year it wasn’t due to being ill prepared. He simply didn’t have the talent to compete, nor did he make any pithy slogans that over exaggerated or hyped the team he was going to put on the field that first season.

    I get the feeling that Wilson didn’t put the effort into learning all Walker and Stoops had to as head football coaches, resting on his laurels of knowing how to perform his duties as a top assistant and coordinator. Lots of top assistant coaches and coordinators from wining programs end up becoming head coaches, but just being associated with those programs doesn’t assure that these men have learned what is entailed as being a head coach. I’m not giving up on Wilson, but I don’t have the same feeling that I had heading into last season that he is the man to turn this thing around. What Wilson showed is that he like our program is a work in progress and not the finished product that I had hoped.

  44. Po, I think I can speak for my friends and say that if we have a fun offense to watch and a somewhat improved defense that these people will all return and then some. I can also speak for myself and admit that 5 wins or some luck with 6 will truly excite me. Winning brings recruits in and that in turn brings wins. Winning puts butts in stands, period! With what we are paying Wilson and staff we cannot afford to lose right now. IU finally ponied up the $$$ for football like SC ponied up for Frank Martin in basketball, no excuses now! I think we have seen that updating our stadium, launching the biggest and best HD LCD scoreboard at the time next to Oregon and building the biggest weight room in the nation is not enough. As some have said above, the decades of losing have done us in. I have said it a million times…after spending the time I have at NW and talking to a guy in admissions about their athletes and how tough it is to get in coupled with their awful facilities…if NW can go to bowls then IU can as well…surely!

    Chet, I have asked myself that many times. Wilson has 10 years of age on me and came from Oklahoma and has worked under many big names and was at NW at one time…K Johns was too. These guys know good and well what they were getting into. As much as a jerk as Dinardo was to everyone in the athletics dept and on campus…the guy put in a great O and D and a conditioning program that was above all others. He went for some big time recruits…heck, we had Jeremy Johnson and if I remember right Green Ellis under him as well…both NFL guys. I would imagine KW knew IU was a tough sell…if Cameron could only win 5 games at best with Antwaan and Dinardo fall flat on his face and then with Hep leaving a decent squad that Lynch could not handle. I don’t know…maybe the $$$ talked to him, sure it did! Fact is though we are all human I guess and you never know till you get there/here and grass is always greener on the other side! So I get what you are saying but I cannot give him a free pass. Hope you are well!!

    I feel like this in my heart: You know I had this dream last August that KW would build off the 5 win season and that we would have a magical season with Belcher and EWB or Kiel. I told so many people and on this blog that if KW came in and won from day one that recruits would take notice and fans and donors would go crazy! The exact opposite happened and some called it changing the culture…whatever it was KW and the staff did last year, it did not work. While not as excited I am very interested to see what they can do this year, I really am! I will always feel like last year could have been different and I will take that to my grave!

  45. JPat-

    Do you think keeping Gunner in a Hoosier uniform would made a difference selling some of those tickets your friends are now tearing up? Is there not a somewhat of a similar impact in putting a rare premier QB in a Hoosier football uniform as putting Cody in Hoosier candy-stripes? Did that not take a considerable amount wind out of current players and potential recruits sails?

    That type of momentum kill surely doesn’t help Wilson in the LUCK(Colts pun intended) side of the equation. Colts will likely suck, but how excited would the fans be about putting their butts in stands with NO Peyton and NO LUCK?

  46. A few things:

    I don’t live in Chicago. After moving away from Bloomington as a boy, my family moved to the Chicago area. Although I have not lived there for years, I still consider Chicago “home.”

    I have attended at least one IU football and basketball game each year since 1966, no matter how far from Bloomington I’ve lived. I love Bloomington and the IU campus. It’s a great place to visit, especially in the fall (in January, not so much). In 13 years, I never missed an IU football game in Bloomington and I attended an average of three road games a year in most of those years.

    I don’t care how much experience a person has, there is always a learning curve associated with taking a new job with a new organization. And if that new job is a major promotion, the learning curve is more intense. But going through a learning curve does not equate to on-the-job training. Some very successful coaches have experienced the same thing that KW went through last year. In fact, Mallory had a pretty tough year his first year in Bloomington! And Mallory arrived at IU with years of head coaching experience at two different DI schools. I believe Alvarez also had a slow start in Wisconsin too. What happened to KW and IU football last year was not unique. A football team often gets worse under a new coach before it gets better.

    I think the mistake KW made last year was that he picked the wrong slogan. To a certain extent, “Win Today” blurred his attempts to manage expectations about the team’s potential in his first year. Not being very experienced with the media and PR, I think KW failed to walk that tightrope between conveying a positive attitude about the long term potential for IU football and speaking in realistic terms about the team he inherited. But that’s a tough thing to do. I mean, what was he going to say? Can you imagine a brand new coach coming in and saying, “Hey, we are eventually going to be a good football team that will produce winning seasons, but this year’s team is too small, too slow, in poor condition, lack mental toughness, are undisciplined, can’t tackle, have no experience at QB and have not been coached very well over the last two years.” No way is any new head coach going to make such a statement, even if he’d had the time to draw those conclusions. If Wilson had said those things, true as they have been, no one would showed up to any of the home games.

    But that’s the team KW inherited. For the morale of the players on his team and the fans’ support, Wilson had to appear confident and present an optimistic vision of the future. But in spite of that, he still should not have used “win today” as a slogan. Given the weak team he inherited, that garbled the message and lead people, myself included, to believe he had a team capable of doing well in the first year under the new coaching staff. Shame on me for failing to look beyond the hype and realize just what a weak team Wilson had inherited.

    I think KW now appreciates that aside from “tradition” and some previously incompetent administrators, there is nothing inherently wrong with IU. There is nothing about IU or Bloomington that should prevent university from having a successful football program. Great town (he has stated this), great campus (he said that too), above average academics, vastly improve football facilities (he has stated that), and a steadfast commitment from the Athletic Director, The University’s President, and the Board of Trustees. I’m sure he’d love a bigger budget so he could hold on to his best assistants, but in relative terms, he can work with what he has. So I believe KW is sincerely optimistic about the future of IU football and realizes that its now up to him, his staff and the Hoosier Nation to convert potential into results.

  47. Three road games a year is pretty damn impressive. Is this similar to a desire to watch cheap B-rate slasher/horror movies? …The Wisconsin Chainsaw Massacre? Night of the Living Buckeye?

    Gotta hand it to you, Podunker. Wearing a crimson sweatshirt to to Hoosier road games is an embarrassment in terror few would have stomach that sort of cozy butchering. Probably less bloodshed a hatchet man in the old Chicago stockyards an Upton Sinclair novel.

  48. Po, I can pretty much agree with everything you said in your last post about the mistakes he made as a new head coach at IU. Wow, you are dedicated to IU sports…just like me! You have done this longer than me so if you are hanging in there, I will too. One other thing that hurt Wilson and hyped me and many others up was when he said after a few practices that he did not see a huge talent difference from Oklahoma to IU…do you remember that? Anyway, water under the bridge. I hope for a better year and it has been nice chatting with you. GO IU!!!

  49. J Pat, yes I remember that comment very well. I also remember saying to myself, “yea right, my butt there’s not!” I knew that was BS when I read it.

    Hey guys, IU was not that terrible in those days. We’d typically try to make the away games at Kentucky, IL, NW, MSU, OSU and Wisc. If they played a MAC team that was within driving distance, we’d try to see that too.

    The most road games I ever attended in a season was my senior year at IU. A bunch of us went to four of them that season (what GPA?). It was a lot of fun and gas was cheap back in those days. We made some new friends, got in a few fights (nothing too serious), entertained some attractive co-eds (yes, there was often a correlation between the fights and the co-eds), and every time, we’d drive back to Bloomington convinced that IU had the best campus and the most beautiful women in the Big Ten. But we did have to acknowledge that those other college towns had some great bars and knew how to party (Madison was always wild, whether the Badgers won or lost).

    My sophomore year, a bunch of my buddies and I drove all the way down to LSU. Corso’s team played great and almost upset LSU that night, but once again, falling just short in the final minutes. I remember the LSU guys were pretty impressed with IU after the game (LSU fans are, in my opinion, the most obnoxious, nastiest, rudest, most uncivil fans in the world. Many are just total a–holes).

    What bums me out was that IU used to win a lot of those games and were better than Wisc, NW and IL in many of those years. I remember going to Madison one year and IU was just beating the hell out of Wisconsin through the first half. Then Corso pulled his starters half way through the 3rd quarter, Wisconsin rallied and IU had to hang on to win the game. Same at Kentucky one year, but IU lost that game (Corso did not have a killer instinct). In some years, we’d go to the away games so we could watch IU win a game. At NW, there’d be more IU fans in the stadium than NW fans (IU alumni living in Chicago). Of course, we went to OSU and watched IU get crushed, but we kind of expected that (if you don’t understand how OSU can out-recruit IU, just attend one OSU game in Columbus).

    Great memories in spite of the mediocre football teams.

  50. I was under the impression you’ve been to an average of three road games a year since 1967…Did you just mean three road games a year while you were in college or for the past 45 years? And do these three road games include basketball(plus postseason) and football?

    Maybe I’m just slow.

    Nonetheless, sounds like you’ve had some great times cheering on the Hoosiers.. Thanks for sharing and supporting the Hoosiers, Podunker. I have some great memories too, but I won’t bore..I’ve taken up enough space with my nonsense today. I will agree that you rarely see women as smart and beautiful as found in Indiana.

    Hoosier Update: Mark Spitz on CNN’s Piers Morgan tonight(as I’m typing).

  51. I wrote, “In 13 years, I never missed an IU football game in Bloomington and I attended an average of three road games a year in most of those years.”

    Averaged three away games a year during most of those 13 years. Some times only two, but usually three away games.

    The road trips were fun.

  52. I have attended at least one IU football and basketball game each year since 1966, no matter how far from Bloomington I’ve lived. I love Bloomington and the IU campus. It’s a great place to visit, especially in the fall (in January, not so much). In 13 years, I never missed an IU football game in Bloomington and I attended an average of three road games a year in most of those years.

    The 13 years between 1966 and 1979 or the last 13 years(1999-2012)? Were you on the Bloomington campus as a student for 13 years? Holy Toledo! You must have more degrees than a compass.

    I think I’ve attended about three IU football games in my lifetime…I do have some wonderful stories rooming in a Foster dorm during my first three weeks at college with a complete nutjob, starting, sophomore tight end for a Hoosier bowl-bound team. He threatened to kill me in a hand-written note delivered to my desk while I was just getting my feet wet a first time away from home. That was one of my many heartwarming encounters with the lunatic.

  53. I attended a ridiculous road game in Ann Arbor that resulted in an NCAA rule change. With the game tied Anthony Carter caught a long touchdown strike on the last play of the game. The play before though…with the clock winding down and no time outs left a Michigan player was being wrestled to the ground. He pitched the ball out of bounds to stop the clock.

    But wait, you say, that’s illegal. Well that wasn’t very clear in the rule book. The refs let it go and the Wolverines won on the next play.

    In the off season the rule was clarified to explicitly say a ball carrier cannot throw the ball out of bounds to stop the clock. For years it was called “the Michigan rule”.

  54. Harv, losing Gunner was huge, just huge. There were whispers of big in state recruits taking a look at IU. Yes, it hurt…I mean analysts were all calling Gunner the best recruit in the history of IU football…that is saying something!!!

  55. Chet-

    Somewhere I have vague memory that game…And who could forget the other stolen game at Michigan(the simultaneous catch/interception 30 minute review)? Though the indeterminable outcome of that play was obviously skewed a partisan field, slow motion replay did conclusively confirm Lynch’s gum had actually landed in East Lansing.

  56. Welcome back, JPat. Making up for lost time? Your posts are almost as long as Tsao’s! Haven’t been to a game in Bloomington since Hep and IU beat Iowa there (2006?); my only better memories of action at Memorial stadium are 1) two fourth quarter touchdowns to beat LSU (1977?) and 2)stealing Woody Hayes’ hat (2008 for sure) and gifting it to my grandfather who was at the game (not necessarily in that order). But I always catch IU football when it comes to Evanston. But now I’ve been shamed, I’m thinking Navy in Bloomington next year. Minimun credit to Glass for not raising prices. IU needs to paper the house: student tix should be $5.00 on game day.

  57. As much as I love IUB, by the spring of my senior year I was itching to graduate and get out of town. I graduated in four years, attending IU from the fall of 76 to May 1980. Then I got a job (through the Business School’s fantastic Placement Program) and started moving around the Midwest every few years, staying close enough to Bloomington that attending IU FB and BB games was reasonably easy.

    Hey, my freshman year at IU, I got stuck on the “Over 21” floor at Briscoe. One very hot day in early September, while stretching out on my bed doing homework, there was a very loud knock at the door. Boom, boom, boom! My roommate answered the door. About six Indiana State Policemen were in the hall with a small crowd of guys from the dorm gathering behind them. They asked my roommate, “are you John Doe? (name changed to protect the guilty). He tried to slam the door shut and the next thing I knew he was face down on the floor,screaming and crying like a crazy man while being crushed by several very large policemen. He was cuffed hands a feet (hog tied) and when they had subdued him, there was the, “John Doe, you are under arrest for assault with a deadly weapon and armed robbery. You have the right to ……..”

    After some of the cops carried him out, two of them remained behind in the room. One dropped a search warrant on my chest and started going through the closets and drawers in the dorm room. When they got to my closet, I said, “hey, that’s my stuff.” They ignored me and tore through it anyway. The other one started asking me questions. I had known the roommate about three days. He was 23 and I had just turned 18, so we did not have a lot in common. He was nice enough and seemed totally harmless to me, so I was shocked when I heard what he was being charged with. How’s that for a first impression of your college campus?

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