Weekend update from IU’s fall camp #iufb

Indiana players appeared in shoulder pads during Saturday’s practice and will shift to full pads on Sunday.

Fall camp is rolling right along.

Four practices into the month, IU coach Kevin Wilson said he has been pleased with his team’s approach to the preseason. He’ll get a deeper look at things during the coming days, including IU’s first two-a-day on Monday and a “mini scrimmage” on Tuesday.

“It’s been good,” Wilson said in a video posted by IU Athletics on Saturday afternoon. “It’s been very, very humid the first three days. Our team is big and strong. I think we’ve battled our elements. We’ve worked hard. I’m very encouraged by today’s practice — our best practice in Day 4. Love what the coaches are doing, the kids are buying in and we have some great senior leaders. I like what’s happening.”

Wilson’s staff is now shifting the focus from individual drills to group work. With that, Wilson said he’s using more third-string players at the moment to avoid overworking first- and second-teamers.

“We’re using our threes a lot to not over-hit some of our starters,” Wilson said. “We’re getting great special teams work. We’re taking the first week to build to that first scrimmage Tuesday. We’ll take a day off (on Wednesday), then the next week we’ll really gas up the hitting and the volume of work that we do.”

Wilson didn’t provide any updates on the battle at quarterback between junior college transfer Richard Lagow and junior Zander Diamont, who are set to receive the bulk of the reps early in camp.

During the program’s local media day on Wednesday, which was held prior to the first practice of camp, offensive coordinator Kevin Johns said he’s looking to see a list of improvements from Diamont this month.

“For Alexander, it’s been a matter of just continuing to put the overall package together,” Johns said. “He’s shown that he can run and make plays. He’s shown that he can stand in the pocket and make shots, but he hasn’t shown the ability to manage an entire game at one time, or even an entire season.

“For us, it’s just a matter of continuing to put everything together: an entire game, an entire game plan, understanding third-down philosophy, the red zone, the tight zone — all the different areas that we want to see him be successful in and operate the offense. I just think that overall game management is still what we’re looking for.”

Prior to camp, Wilson said he didn’t want his quarterbacks over-thinking the competition at the position. He especially didn’t want guys like Lagow and Diamont entering practice trying so hard to prove their leadership qualities that they didn’t focus fully on letting their skill sets shine.

Wilson said he shared a story with his quarterbacks that came from his time as offensive coordinator at Oklahoma. Prior to the 2009 national championship game against Florida, Wilson remembers how Sam Bradford responded to a question about facing fellow Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow.

Bradford’s response, Wilson said, showed exactly the kind of focus he wants Lagow, Diamont and the others to channel this month.

“Our quarterback was asked, ‘Sam, how do you compare yourself to Tim Tebow?’ Now I knew what I would say because they’re both great players but they have different skill sets,” Wilson said. “And his answer was, ‘I don’t compare myself to anyone. I was raised to to be the best I can be.’

“And that’s what we’re trying to get our quarterbacks to do. Just do the best you can. Worry about you. We’re going to need a lot of you. … Maybe we need to play more than one. You can sit here and criticize whether you should or shouldn’t. Sometimes you need to bring a guy over and calm him down, sit him down a little bit. Let him view it over there. I don’t know.

“It’s going to play out. But the great thing is those guys do not need to truly be the team leader right now because you’ve got four fifth-year seniors (on the offensive line), two fifth-year running backs. Quality receiver in Simmie (Cobbs), quality running back in Devine. Danny Friend, a fourth-year tight end. You’ve got veterans at every position that the team can be led and the quarterbacks can just worry about themselves and quarterback right now.”

2 comments

  1. Po, the season has started and over the next few weeks we will shake out who is the starter at QB, I have to think it will be Lagow, and how the RB/WR will break out. It is good to hear the team is still enthusiastic during practice as it leads to more energy in the games. The size in the team is bigger than last year and we have a number of freshmen that will find a place to play this year. I want to see how Gest does and what positions he plays along with Majetter and several others. I also what to see how the younger WR do this year going into the season.

    It will also be a chance to see how the DL plays against one of the best OL in the B1G. It also will show how the DBs do against the pass this year. We will find out how the defense is going to look this year or at least a peek at how they will be.

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