Lagow making most of final fall camp

The extra sprints don’t seem so bad to Richard Lagow anymore.

Especially when he can sense the end along the horizon.

In the midst of his final fall camp as a college athlete, the Indiana quarterback recalls the beginning of his winding NCAA career and his introduction to the grueling behind-the-scenes work required of high-major football players.

He thinks about his freshman year as a redshirt at Oklahoma State and the work that went with it — taxing runs included.

“You probably wish you had a few more of those extra sprints you could run,” Lagow said.

There are only 12 regular season games guaranteed to Lagow and the Hoosiers this fall, and only a limited amount of practices remaining for Lagow to make the most of his final campaign.

Now, in the middle of August, Lagow is trying to cherish each one.

Entering his second and final season in Bloomington, the senior is as comfortable as he’s ever been — as IU’s starting quarterback, as a team leader and as a face of the program he hopes to elevate to a Big Ten winner.

“I’m at a different place right now than I ever have been,” Lagow said. “I think if you ask any last-year guy, they’d probably say that. It just puts everything into perspective how long you’ve been doing this, all the work you put in that’s really coming down to this final season.”

The difference in his confidence level between this summer and last is “night and day,” Lagow says, a testament to the relationships he’s built during his first year with the program and his understanding that for Indiana to take the next step, he has to own this season.

A year ago, as he worked to cement his status as the team’s starting quarterback during fall camp, Lagow leaned on seniors such as offensive lineman Dan Feeney and receiver Ricky Jones to lead the team as he grew into his newest home.

Now, he knows it’s his turn to lead. Midway through camp, Lagow not only accepts the responsibility, he embraces it.

“Just being around the guys more (has helped),” Lagow said. “When I got (to IU) last year, I barely knew a lot of them. First day of camp, I was still learning people’s names. It’s hard to be a good leader when you don’t know everyone’s name. I spent a lot of time with my teammates during this off-season to really get to know everybody.”

During the ensuing months, coaches and players inside Indiana’s program have gone out of their way to praise Lagow for his development both on and off the field, as a quarterback and as a leader.

Lagow’s growth is apparent to his fellow teammates, as well as outside observers.

During the brief windows that IU has opened portions of its practices to reporters, Lagow has looked increasingly sharp in drills. For a quarterback who threw 17 interceptions last fall, transitioning that command to game days will be Lagow’s ultimate metric of progress.

In the meantime, Lagow notices the difference a year has made.

For example, he feels more comfortable tucking the ball and running — a wrinkle that Lagow may now look to add to his game in new offensive coordinator Mike DeBord’s tempo spread offense.

“Rich is no different than any player in our program,” IU quarterbacks coach Nick Sheridan said. “We ask them to improve every single day. That’s the beauty about football, coaches included. That’s been our message to the team and the group: just work on getting a little bit better every single day. So far, Rich has done that and learned from his mistakes.”

All while trying to make the most of his final year.

2 comments

  1. I hope Lagow has really improved on the field. It is nice to improve in leadership and getting to know teammates but improving on the field is just as important. It is good to see in the article he is looking sharp in drills but the key is when the defense is coming at you. He knows if he doesn’t do the job one of the younger QBs will move into the starter position and they will be prepared to do the job. Ramsey and Tronti avoid INTs, at least in HS, and have had to go against a couple of the better Corners in the conference to get used to the speed they have breaking on the ball. They work hard to know the offense and are prepared on how to check off to the next read or to the check down receiver. It is nice to have back up QBs you can turn to if needed.

  2. Yes, intangibles are important however they only take you so far. You have to have tangible of ability.

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