Gest, Enis bring versatility to roles on offense #iufb

Freshmen Cole Gest and Kiante Enis bring the kind of versatility and flexibility to Indiana’s offense that Kevin Wilson loves.

Both can run, catch passes and add another measure of explosion to the IU attack.

Although they both began fall camp at running back, Enis will enter the season at a different position. IU moved the former Winchester star to receiver to add size and further skill to its depth in the slot. Given J-Shun Harris’ season-ending ACL injury, Enis offers further help as a member of Indiana’s receiving corps.

And with so much depth in IU’s backfield, the Hoosiers just want to make sure he has a chance to see the field in 2016.

“Kiante is a young man with a world of ability,” offensive coordinator Kevin Johns said. “He’s as fast as anyone we have on our team. He’s a big, 195-, 200-pound kid so he has the physical tools, he has the speed that you want. We wanted to get him on the field somewhere.”

Running back seemed to be a good fit for the 6-foot-2 all-state prospect. Enis closed his high school career ninth on Indiana’s all-time rushing list with 7,014 yards on 714 carries, while scoring 98 rushing touchdowns.

Now, IU wants to see if his skill set can translate to a full-time move to receiver.

“If you’re not careful right now, with our running back depth, he could be sitting on the bench,” Johns said. “So let’s just see if we can’t find a way to get him in the mix some way. Special teams as a returner, as a wide receiver — we gotta find a way to hopefully put the ball in his hands and see if he can make plays.”

Wilson and position coach Deland McCullough love Gest’s approach to running back. The Ohio native was one of the best players in his state last fall, rushing for 2,097 yards and 25 touchdowns.

That skill seems to have translated to Bloomington, where Gest is making a strong first impression through the first two weeks of camp. He’s also a pass-catching threat out of the backfield and, like Enis, could feature on special teams, too.

“Cole’s got that monster mentality that he’s a running back,” McCullough said. “He’s a running back mentality kid. Both of them were doing some good things, but it was just a decision that coach Wilson and coach Johns made, especially with the numbers that we have, and maybe give (Enis) an opportunity to impact us sooner rather than later.”