Spring practice is over, here are some intriguing standouts

In the moments after Indiana’s season-ending defeat last November at Purdue, Tom Allen was still processing the abrupt ending to his team’s supposed breakthrough campaign.

As he sat inside the visitors’ locker room at Ross-Ade Stadium, the IU coach had one eye on the present — the disappointment, frustration and emptiness of falling short. At the same time, Allen knew what was coming next.

“It will be a very important offseason for us,” Allen said then. “It’s gonna be a very, very important offseason for this program.”

With significant questions at quarterback and linebacker, as well as the prospect of replacing eight senior starters on defense, Allen recognized what he had to tackle in those coming months.

Spring practice provided the second-year coach with an initial glimpse of how his 2018 squad is coming together. Although some personnel questions will linger well into August’s fall camp, the past month and a half have provided an early look at where things stand.

With that, here are some of the standout players that caught the attention of the coaching staff with their play this spring:

No. 40, REAKWON JONES
Redshirt junior, linebacker, 6-foot-2, 232 pounds
No one inside IU’s defense demonstrated more growth than Jones, who Allen said exceeded his expectations this spring. Given the Hoosiers’ immediate need to replace former All-American Tegray Scales, Jones’ emergence is a huge development at the Stinger spot. “He knew this was his time,” Allen said. “He’s been so decisive in his decision making and is such a great leader for us.”

No. 6, JAMES HEAD
Freshman, defensive end, 6-foot-5, 234 pounds
One of a handful of early enrollees, Head made the most of his introduction to college football. Simply standing on the sidelines, Head shines. His selection of a single-digit jersey number is eye-catching, as is his large, athletic frame. On the field, Head authored some impressive moments chasing down offensive skill players this month. “I’ve seen a lot of growth out of him,” Allen said. “Him being here early has been huge for him. He should still be in high school. He’s definitely flashing.”

No. 78, BRITT BEERY
Redshirt freshman, right tackle, 6-foot-6, 271 pounds
A standout defensive lineman at Carmel, Beery came to Indiana with an open mind. The Hoosiers recruited Beery with the possibility of playing on either side of the ball, and last fall, IU decided to move Beery to offensive tackle. The reason being that it can be difficult to find big, athletic bodies for that position. So far, Beery has earned praise for his length and movements there. “A guy like Britt Beery is developing,” Allen said. “He’s a young offensive lineman, and he came here as a D-lineman, moved him to offense, and he’s continued to grow.”

No. 22, WHOP PHILYOR
Sophomore, receiver, 5-foot-11, 178 pounds
The only player on IU’s roster nicknamed after Burger King’s signature hamburger, Philyor earned BTN.com All-Freshman Honorable Mention recognition last year. Given his continued production this spring, the speedy slot receiver figures to have a big role in the offense this fall. “Even though Whop played last year, Whop is a different kid,” Allen said. “He’s quicker. He’s got a burst to him that he didn’t have last year. We’ve kept track of his development, and he’s putting himself in position to be — he needs to be an absolute game-changer for us when he touches the ball.”

No. 3, PEYTON RAMSEY
Redshirt sophomore, quarterback, 6-foot-2, 211 pounds
Since joining IU’s program in 2016, Ramsey always appeared to be a confident young player. After appearing in nine games, including four starts, last fall, Ramsey applied an even higher degree of confidence to his approach this spring. “He’s a winner,” Allen said. “The kid is a winner, and he’s tough, and he cares. Here’s what I tell our football team: I want guys that I can trust. I want guys that are tough. I want guys that are dependable. And that to me defines Peyton Ramsey. That’s a young man that’s going to help this football team win a bunch of games. Whatever that role may be, he may be the starter, and I know that’s what he wants, but the bottom line is he has all those intangibles that you want in a young man.”

No. 9, MICHAEL PENIX
Freshman, quarterback, 6-foot-3, 198 pounds
It’s clear Penix has the strongest arm of IU’s current quarterbacks. Even after Arizona graduate transfer Brandon Dawkins arrives this summer, that distinction should continue to belong to the youngster from Florida. Penix impressed not only with his arm strength, but his approach to the position. There’s a lot of talent there, and he may force his way onto the field sooner than later. “He’s quite a bit further along than you’d expect him to be,” Allen said.

No. 37, AHROD LLOYD
Redshirt freshman, running back, 5-foot-11, 195 pounds
Walk-ons such as Ricky Brookins, Alex Rodriguez and Andrew Wilson have added valuable depth to the backfield in recent seasons. Lloyd may be next in line. “I’ve really been impressed with Ahrod Lloyd,” Allen said. “He came here as a walk-on from Park Tudor. Awesome kid. Runs hard. He’s been very impressive through the whole spring. He was really good for us in the fall for scout teams. (With) his quickness, power and speed, he’s been a real pleasant surprise.”

86 comments

  1. Good stuff.

    I wonder how many quarterbacks on next fall’s roster will stay in Bloomington until graduation?

    1. They all will, but Brandon Dawkins (graduate) all his eligibility is used up or unless Indiana gets a different offensive cord (but I do not see this happen for two to three years).

      1. By Spring 2k19 2 of the 4 soon to be competing QB’s will be gone. Just too many opportunities available for young D/T QB’s to be satisfied not getting game time.

  2. Johnny Carson would frequently say “good stuff” to new comedians.

    But it wasn’t just the laugh. A generation of comedians who saw “Tonight” as their best shot at the big time knew by heart a catalog of gestures and sounds that signaled how their performance had rated with Johnny Carson. They ranged from subtle — a wink as the comic walked offstage, a “good stuff” before the commercial break , the much-sought-after O.K. sign (which Mr. Belzer called “a gesture from God”) — to unmistakable, all the way up to the grail of Carson compliments, the invitation to sit on the couch (courtesy: New York Times).

    1. “Good stuff” is actually a football term…You guys must not watch much football…or Johnny Carson.
      When the linebacker anticipates the running back’s point of entry at the line(a.k.a. ‘the 2 hole’….’3 hole’ , etc.) and buries the back resulting in no gain or minus yardage, it’s known as a “good stuff.”
      Johnny Carson was a huge Nebraska football fan. He was from Nebraska. Actually went to the University of Nebraska. He tried to be a football letterman but would later realize he was much better at golf swings and tennis….and giving Letterman shots on television. Never mind.

    1. If you continue to ‘smh’ we’re going to have to put you through Scoop concussion protocol….How many fingers am I holding up?

  3. QB’S at IU leaving because of playing time is a reason for 500 ball and below. Respect and honor to be in program is lacking. These are 3 star with 1 4 star @80. IU qb’s are not high 4 stars and above. Better stable programs have good as or better than IU qbs setting on bench receiving his respective education. They are willing to wait until and if called upon. Yes, some do transfer but they are better qb’s than what IU has. If IU fb is going to be successful qbs have to stay and at other positions as well. A good stable of qbs or receivers can quickly turn into a shortage as seen before after an injury and then another. Then, all of a sudden your looking at a linebacker on standby to play qb. an qb’s that lack in pass or run game and fans trying to trick there brains into thinking things are going to go well called hope.

    1. Meh. Quarterbacks leave major programs for better opportunities all the time.

      They always have. Ever hear of Troy Aikman?

  4. Ever since his signing I have been intrigued the most by Michael Penix. Two quotes in the paragraph about him caught my attention. The first, I assume is from Mike Miller, “There’s a lot of talent there, and he may force his way onto the field sooner than later. The second from TA, “He’s quite a bit further along than you’d expect him to be.”

    If both these quotes prove to be true, things could get very interesting. I had hoped the C&C game could have been played as normal. There were at least a couple of regular posters planning to attend. Really wanted to hear their impressions regarding Penix. High hopes that he could be the real thing. If so, think we all need to keep our eyes on his development.

    Obviously don’t see him as an opening day starter, but his arm may make it impossible to keep him off the field for long. It all depends upon how fast he develops which is why the TA quote caught my attention. If Mike Miller is right, Penix wouldn’t be the first true freshman QB to get into the starting lineup. If that’s the case and he continues to develop, in a couple years he could be something special. Wouldn’t that be a pleasant change in IUFB fortunes?

    1. It will be good to see how he does in Fall camp if he can progress as much over the Summer as he did this Spring. He has put on weight and gained strength and if that continues into the Fall he will have the size to fit in with the B1G.

      The QB room will be intriguing with the addition to Dawkins as we know how Ramsey looked against VA before having nagging injuries and if Dawkins and Penix beat him out we will have very good QBs for the B1G season. If they don’t beat Ramsey out then we know we have QBs that can manage the game and give us a shot to win games. It would be tough but fun if IUFB could have a magical season that no expects in 2018.

      1. v13- May I call you the ‘Ambassador of Scoop’…?
        I know…I just left a full target for my own nickname which involves removing the ‘Amb-ador’ section.
        Disciplined. On subject. Never undermining. Supportive of Hoosier Football to near ad nauseam Where in the hell do you get off being the classiest fan this blog has ever known?

        Now that we have that out of the way…? Which QB is starting for the first snap?

        1. H4H call me anything you like and I appreciate the ambassor title but as a Marine I don’t really fit the title. I just try to be polite and use information to disagree if it is needed. Away from the Scoop I can be a lot tougher especially if people are belittling or threatening others. I would call you the Bard of the Scoop.

          I think Dawkins will be the starter with Ramsey coming in when the offense isn’t moving. I do think the coache want to red-shirt Penix but you never know it may make that impossible because of how he is developing. He could use a year as a red-shirt as he was only 40% in passing in the Spring Game.

          1. Thanks for your opinion….Now give me 50! …more opinions.

            Still say you’re Scoop’s Ambassador. I’m Scoop’s Matador… full of bull.

      2. V13,
        Thank you for the Penix assessment. I think IUFB is in a much better position in ’18 to withstand QB injuries than it has in many years. The QB roster may not have the singular standout yet as in some previous year, but that could change as the season develops. When you run an offense which calls for a mobile QB, depth is essential. No better example of this playing out than with OSU over the last few years under Urban Meyer. Higher levels of talent to date but similar issues.

        I actually think a serious 3 way competition for QB is a unaccustomed luxury for IUFB. At this point each QB brings things to the table the other 2 do not. Ramsey makes up for lack of physical ability with system familiarity and IUFB game experience. Dawkins brings exceptional running skills (unless compared to a potential Heisman candidate) and P5 experience. Penix brings a very good arm, good running ability, quick study, and probably the overall best balanced skill set.

        Short term I see Dawkins or Ramsey with the advantage, long term if he develops, Penix. I think it all depends on how quickly he adapts to P5 B1G football. The rationale for the that is in the quotes from Mike Miller and TA. Unless someone better comes along Penix is the future. Neither Dawkins or Ramsey possess next level QB talent, but Penix may. What you may have here, using a baseball analogy; is a starter, a middle reliever, and a closer.

        I think all three will be valuable contributors to IUFB both short and long term. Dawkins gives you immediate flash to compliment Ramsey’s program familiarity. This tandem buys you enough time to prepare the future with Penix. That is, unless the future is now.

  5. You know, in a perfect world…

    This could be the perfect setup. Bring in a proven QB with a great set of wheels (because that can make up for a lot of flaws), introduce Penix for a series or two assuming we can secure a couple non conference safe wins, as the season progesses see which of the two good choices we should go with.

    I can dream.

    1. Dream away Chet as I still have dreams of IU reproducing the 1967 season one of these days.

      1. V13,

        I guess all of us old enough to remember that magical season still dream. I don’t think anyone saw that train coming to the degree it did. Maybe that’s why we dream. Always thinking maybe another ’67 IUFB miracle is lurking out there somewhere.

  6. ’67…? Wow. Antiques Road Show may just want to have a look at our collectible bowl. We should really keep it in the family.

  7. Long time to wait though IU fb had a few fairly good teams from then to now. They were just far and few between. Northwestern fb program has been solidly on the move for several years now.

    1. t,
      You are absolutely correct on the Northwestern FB program being solid for several years. Actually dates back to the end of the Mallory era. Northwestern’s reemerging as a respectable FB program cost Coach Mallory and a few other B1G coaches their jobs. I guess B1G schools figured if NW could go to the Rose Bowl with the little resources they had at the time, how come we can’t?

      My question to the collective wisdom of the posters is what has been the NW success strategy? When they first returned the program to respectability back in the day, they had little in the way of conventional advantages as we would see it. I have always wondered what their secret was, hopefully some of the posters can shed light on their success.

      1. Northwestern caught lightning in a bottle when they hired Gary Barnett (from nearby Ft. Lewis College in Durango). While the guy was a total dumpster fire as a person, he sure could win football games. He turned the corner for the Wildcats, for a while, before they fell back into the winless abyss. Any inappropriate behavior fell undernthe radar at NW.

        Despite going winless before his firing, he was hired to coach CU, securing a national title for the Buffs in the process.

        His off the field activities would have made Rick Pitino blush, however. He was suspended by the university amidst allegations of supplying alcohol and willing sexual partners to recruits. Multiple accusations of sexual assault were filed against players during his tenure including a female placekicker alleging being raped by teammates. He filled his CU roster with talented players many other programs would not touch due to criminal records, etc. They may well have coined the term ‘lack of institutional control’ to describe CU during that period. It was a drunken frat house party masquerading as a football team. Shortly, after his firing CU was slapped with probation for violations going back to the beginning of his tenure in Boulder.

        One of his former players, Rae Carruth, would later murder his pregnant wife while playing for the Carolina Panthers. To this day, Carolina will jettison a player in a heartbeat if they demonstrate inappropriate behavior. Get a DUI in Charlotte and you get traded.

        Despite only being 59 with a history of bringing moribund programs into the national spotlight no other school would ever hire Barnett to coach again. He would later be a key figure in the ‘Promise Keepers’ movement where he could put his godliness on display.

        So, that’s how both Northwestern and CU turned the corner…at least temporarily. Personally, I’d pass on the next Gary Barnett.

        1. Well, we do know that an education from Northwestern rarely results in a “winless abyss” diploma…..or a “bait and tackle shop” degree.

          It’s all rather relative….We have played in one bowl of importance in half a century. Our latest rights to a basketball championship is 30 years ago.

          Top-4 Television Programs of 1968 (all great “date night” shows):
          1 Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In
          2 Gomer Pyle
          3 Bonanza
          4. Mayberry R.F.D.

          Top-4 Television Programs of 1987
          1 The Cosby Show
          2 A Different World
          3 Cheers
          4 The Golden Girls

          We have now thoroughly explained the demographics of Hoosier Scoop participants. This also explains why I originally thought a ‘Roku Stick’ was a doggie treat.
          If we get to another Rose Bowl…or Final Four, could our hearts take such joy? Or will any chance to see such a day merely pass us by…as a final Scoop entry serves as a personal abyss of dusty tales at the University of Reminisce? The days aren’t getting any longer….and somebody left the cake you know where….Will we ever have that recipe again. Olasheehey! Everything hinges….including coffin lids. Smart from the baseline…It’s GOOOOOOOOOD!

          Sincerely yours,
          Grandpa Scoopster

  8. Yes, I remember Gary Barnett. However, Randy Walker sustained some success with integrity @ Norhtwestern….and now Pat Fitzgerald has so far thus closed the deal. He just seems like not good but Great guy and football coach to play for. Now, the new football facility. (the Stanford of the big ten)

  9. I think McCartney as HC won the NC for the Buffs. Based on conference titles and # of bowl invites Barnett’s claim to fame was only a little better than John Pont’s. Each had some remembered seasons at a couple of schools. But I remember them for the many more disappointing W/L seasons before and after those headline years. Randy Walker along with some young aggressive assistants made NW what stand straight + Fitzgerald not skipping a beat.

    1. You are correct, of course.

      McCartney and Barnett were pretty much interchangeable for the out of control programs they ran in Boulder. They are only just now recovering from the damage the two of them did to the Buffs.

      Rick Reilly of SI lives in Denver. He wrote some real telling stories on McCartney.

      1. Never knew anything like that about McCartney. But Barnett learned it somewhere. Wasn’t he a disciple of BM?

        1. I was living in the area when McCartney was coach. He talked like Coach Allen but ran the program like Pitino. There were arrest reports constantly. It was an ugly scene.

          Like Barnett, after leaving CU at a fairly young age (54) no other school would ever hire him again. He was radioactive.

  10. Great information on the NW success. At this point no disrespect to TA as too early to judge his tenure, but am looking at the Walker and Fitzgerald’s reasonable amount of success. How did NW get this kind of coaching talent?

    1. That’s the real trick, isn’t it? Hire a great coach who doesn’t entice recruits with hookers. Apparently, that’s harder than it seems.

      1. I think we have a great coach now that is pulling in better recruits with the environment he has created at IU. Looking at recruits that have IU as one of their top teams it looks like the 2019 class could be better than last year. I hope they can pull in better recruits they are going after to make IU a better football team.

  11. Going from HC at little old Ft. Lewis College to the Big Ten was quite a leap. Ft. Lewis is DIII in most sports except for mountain biking where they are DI and have racked up 23 (!!!) national team championships.

    Interestingly, Marian College in Indy is also a mountain biking power.

  12. I ONCE WENT OVER TO MY DAD”S HOUSE

    I once went over to my dad’s house and asked him if he had internet….
    “No, but I have a fishing net in the garage,” he replied.

    I once went over to my dad’s house and asked him if I could borrow his wheelbarrow.
    “No, but you can wheel the borrowbarrow anywhere you’d like,” he replied.

    I once went over to my dad’s house and asked where mom was…
    “Too intoxicated to know better before we had you,” he replied.

  13. How is IU improving under coach Allen:
    1. bringing in a S&C staff that in a few months have really changed IUFB players physiques
    2. get players beating out or flipping players from bigger football schools IE Burgess from USC, Penix from TN, Walker, Scott, Crider, and others.
    3. creating an enviroment that players love to come to
    4. quality young men that help sell the program to others
    5. changing the defense into a top 30 defense
    6. scholarships for kickers and punters
    Will all this lead to a winning IUFB, only time will tell. In 2019 they will have their players throughout the roster. I hope 2018 makes the winning happen earlier but the team will be very young in several positions so I may have to wait one more year. I hope the players can emulate the 1967 team that had key young players that helped turn around a 3-7 team into a Rose Bowl team. Of course the 1967 team didn’t play in the B1G East so it will be tougher to duplicate the 1967’s team success.

  14. So much gossip, innuendo…and hearsay. Arrest warrants don’t mean convictions. Accusations don’t amount to guilt. How does any of it pertain to the future or success of IU Football?
    Just the ongoing trend to throw mud at other places because we have been irrelevant for far too long in both major sports(as if the only way to be relevant is to commit crimes or lure young men with hookers). So sad our fans have turned into such gossip artists and apologists. In their heart of hearts, they must truly believe IU can achieve no more than what’s been done over the last decade.

  15. It all circles back around to the quarterback. I’m confident IU will have the defensive talent (players and coaching) necessary to produce a winning season. As was the case last season, the offense remains the question. And key to the offense scoring enough points is the quality of our QB. If Dawkins is the QB, and if he stays healthy through the season, I think IU’s offense will give defenses fits. They will also be much more effective inside the red zone, as Dawkins demonstrated at AZ. If Dawkins gets hurt or for some reason fails to live up to expectations, IU’s offense will not score enough points to produce six wins in 2018.

    As for how many of IU’s current QBs will leave IU after the 2018 season? I agree with HC that we two current QBs will likely be in different situations after the 2018 season. Dawkins will be out of eligibility and Tronti will either transfer or be converted to a different position. Why would Tronti, who is from Florida, spend all this time and effort to remain a 4th string QB, which means little or no playing time unless three other guys get injured? Unless he just loves IU, or wants to be a coach some day, or is pursuing the type of degree that is special at IU (i.e., business school, Journalism, etc.), he could not be blamed for transferring. And if he does not have what it takes to get significant playing time as a Big Ten Quarterback, then he and IU Football would both be better off if he transfers. IU would use the scholarship and roster spot to go after other talented quarterbacks. One way or the other, IU should sign at least one quality QB in each class going forward.

    1. I think people make too much of high profile transfers. Water finds its level. Guys are looking for a place to play. If a guy transfers maybe it just means you had a good recruiting year.

  16. As I see it, the NU story is a string of good coaches. Duh. Barnett put the ‘Cats on the map and Randy Walker was able to sustain that (kind of, he was “only” 37-46 at NU but did share a conf. title (with help of OC/QB coach Kevin Wilson) and went to three bowl games, which is fantastic by old NUFB and current IUFB standards). Walker was a good coach. His overall HC record was 96–81–5. He was not only reared in the “cradle of coaches,” Miami of O., he coached there (with the help of an asst. coach we know as Hep). He was only 52 when he died, which led to the Fitzgerald hire.

    My take on Fitzgerald is that at NU, he is exactly and precisely “right where he wants to be” (star player for the ‘Cats and turned down big $$$ from U. Mich.) which probably gives him tons of credibility to recruits and imparts a lot of confidence to players. I go to several NU games a year and you can just feel how his teams (and the fans) never, ever seem to feel that they are out of any game, scoreboard be damned. Fitzgerald’s “at home-ness” also is probably why he’s had such a freaky-low turnover rate for is assistants, too.

    But as to the “how” NU has produced this run of coaches? Maybe dumb luck? Maybe IUFB is on the start of a good run? KW undeniably left the program much better off than where he found it; we’ll see whether TA can keep the run in play. Looks good so far; fingers crossed here.

  17. Tronti showed himself to be a team player in high school not a me player so I doubt he will transfer; of course he could surprise me. IU is going after higher rated QBs and that is part of college football.

    I hope coach Allen can create a football program year in and out like NW’s football program. Doing it in the B1G East is a much tougher place to do that but I think he will be able to do it. His work with the defense and having almost all 3 star athletes others couldn’t develop shows even without top athletes IU can get the job done once he has a roster full of players he wants. I can’t predict the future but can hope he gets the job done in the next three years as his players fill the roster.

    1. V13,
      I think you comments really sum up IUFB prospects for the future under TA. All depends on if he can get the players which fit his prototype and if the S&C program delivers. These are the key questions, which if they work out, put the program in a position personnel wise to win. The rest is up to good game coaching and how the ball bounces.

  18. IU has always went after higher rated qb’s but seldom got them nor could get many to stay if they didn’t play immediately. It is easy to target higher rated qb’s when you initially start from somewhat low star rated while lacking substantially at that position. However, it is improvement based on where you start from. It remains to be seen what that actually means. We will see.

  19. Recruiting, like anything else, is a function of resources and time. Traditionally, IU FB has not enjoyed the resources necessary to search for and find those diamonds-in-the-rough quarterbacks, which seem to appear every year. Think about Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen slipping through the recruiting cracks, even though Mayfield won a State Championship his senior year in High School and Allen having a cannon for an arm! These two guys, who will likely be top 5 draft picks Thursday, did not get offers from any Power-5 Conference schools. Mayfield walked on at TX Tech! Do you think they’d have signed with IU if Wilson had “discovered” them and made him an offer? Chances are good that he would have, since IU would have been his only offer from a team in a Power-5 Conference. So if IU Football wants to improve recruiting, they have to have the resources necessary to cast a much larger recruiting net. They have to have scouts and travel budgets that are able to identify the Baker Mayfields and Josh Allens of the future.

  20. Po, I agree about the need to find diamonds in the rough for IU to become relavent in the B1G East. IU has pulled in some of those players and we need to at the QB spot. If coaches can find those players across the country then IU improves their chances. There is enough youtube videos to find those players so I hope IU’s recruiting team is scouring the videos to find players to go after that other Power 5 teams don’t pursue.

  21. I want to clarify a potential mistake I may have made in my last post. Depending on which news article you read, Baker Mayfield may have gotten an offer from Washington State when he was a senior in High School. If that is true, then he did receive an offer from one Power-5 Conference school. But six years ago, I think a school like IU would have had a good chance of signing him if the only competition was WSU, so my basic point still stands. And the list of “diamonds in the rough” quarterbacks goes back many years. Aaron Rogers was not recruited out of HS and went to a JC until Cal discovered him. It’s really quite amazing when you stop to think about how many outstanding quarterbacks failed to appear on major college teams’ radars or who were simply ignored! It makes you question the wisdom and judgement of these college coaches, or wonder if they’re all guilty of “group-think” and blinded by the desire to sign physical prototypes. I mean, how do guys like Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, Carson Wentz, Aaron Rogers, and Tony Romo not get recruited by Power-5 teams out of High School? And it’s not just QBs that slip through the Power-five cracks. Ed Reed, DeMarcus Ware, Julius Thomas and Tony Romo were “unrated” players coming out of HS, and soon they’ll all be in the NFL Hall of Fame. It makes you wonder if designing a different process, modifying the evaluation criteria, and throwing conventional wisdom out the window could give IU an advantage in finding more diamonds diamonds in the rough. But regardless, it’s still going to take more resources to identify and then evaluate those under-appreciated, un-rated football players that come out of HS every year. But better that than trying to go head-to-head against schools like OSU, Alabama, PSU, etc. in recruiting four and five-star HS quarterbacks.

  22. Besides the sky falling a-gin on IUFB. Tony Romo’s shadow will never darken the doorway in Canton.

    1. Romo in the HOF…that’s hilarious. He has half as many playoff wins as former teammate, Mark Sanchez. It’s amazing how overzealous fans can convince themselves that a very average regular season quarterback with zero post season success is Hall of Fame material.

          1. It’s also rather ironic that the Eagles could still win the Super Bowl without Wentz.

  23. I would like to know how many of the “diamonds in the rough” barely recruited out of high school had outstanding college careers before finally blossoming in the NFL. How many were low NFL draft picks?
    Is it possible that the college game suits a certain type of qb more than the pro game. If the pro game gets the cream of the crop in monstrous linemen who can provide much more consistent pass protection than many college teams, could this favor a certain variety of qb?

    Personally, I’m not sure if want a “diamond in the rough” college qb. First, we don’t have consistent enough depth and overall yearly strong recruiting classes to have the patience deeper programs can afford at key positions.
    I want dynamic qb at IU. He may not be the quintessential “diamond in the rough” for a future NFL game…..I doubt we’ll ever have the horses up front to play to protect him long enough for a slow curve at college before he skyrockets in the NFL(e.g. Brady and many of the other names mentioned above).

    Does Brady make it through four years alive at a place like IU? Likely not. He ends up Zander in a full body cast and so beat up he doesn’t even get to be a final round NFL pick. He would have been diamond dust instead of “dark horse” ready to be a skyrocket in flight….on a Sunday NFL afternoon delight.

    You simply can’t apply theories of development for “diamonds in the rough” equally across all major and mid-major programs(especially for one as lacking in a full array of talent along with major deficiencies in depth and size on the line as the IU football program). We’ve barely been a mid-major attempting to survive in a power conference.

    1. H4H,

      I believe you correctly point out the continuing predicament IUFB find itself in. Which is why I asked the question regarding how the Northwesterns and Kansas States of the world managed to get themselves out of similar situations. I don’t necessarily blame the state of IUFB on the current administration as this has been a systemic problem throughout the well over 100 year existence of IUFB. The question is how do you fix it?

      I have heard the explanation that IU considers itself primarily a basketball school. That is all well and good with the exception of the approximately 4 schools who Hoosier nation would consider itself with in the traditional blue blood status. When you look at UCLA, Kentucky, Duke, and North Carolina, all 4 schools have done a far better job of putting a reasonably respectable presence on the football field. No, they do not often challenge for even conference championships but they do historically compete much better than IU.

      If IU does not want to do the necessary heavy lifting to put a creditable presence on the football field, then may you are right about being not much more than a mid-major football school. Maybe IU would be better served to leave the B1G and join the Big East. Then they could be just another basketball school. The only problem is with the exception of Villanova in recent years how well has it worked long term for the “basketball” schools. Think about all the northeastern power basketball schools of the 40’s and 50’s, how well did this work out for them long term? Most of today’s generation probably don’t even know who they were.

      At this point I think TA is doing about the only thing possible to create something out of nothing. He appears to be thinking out of the box in his approach. Won’t know if it will work for a few more years. I give credit to KW for starting the process, but it will be up to TA to move it forward. I have seen a lot of schools jump to national prominence by taking extremely risky shortcuts. We read about the aftermath on a regular basis and it is not pretty.

      I maybe wrong but it appears TA is taking about the only route possible which hopefully won’t put your school in the headlines the wrong way. I have hopes that TA will be able to succeed where so many have failed. I know there has always been the temptation to say IU needs to go out and hire a big name coach. Only problem is, exactly which one do you think will come even if the money is no question? If you spend big money on what you think is an up and comer, are you sure he will succeed? If either a big name or up and coming coach doesn’t succeed, have you not made a terrible situation considerably worse?

      1. Forgot about Kansas in the traditional BB blue blood status. There are probably a couple more schools to a lesser extent, but even KU has historically done better than IU in FB. Their FB program has been pretty messed up the last several years, but historically better than IU.

      2. How exactly would Indiana be well served by giving up the huge amount of money they get by being a member of the Big Ten and exchange it for the cab fare you get by being a member of the Big Least?

        1. Exactly, but the way the FB program has been historically operated, you would think that’s what they want. Except for the money . . .

          1. There is no correlation between the way the football program was run a decade+ ago and longer and how it is run today. There is no comparison, only contrast. As Chet stated the B1G $ created that. AD Glass got Wilson paid off and executed the correct decision concerning Crean and retiring his contract. All while facilities improvements are going on all over campus. 2 weeks ago drove by the golf course now being torn up for an improved design. Back to the IUFB topic there was $ for Allen to hire 2 S&C pros to replace the fired Caton. That solidly supports there are resources a plenty for anything Allen needs. It is a whole different table setting from just a decade+ ago. I am far more optimistic about IU athletics than even back when RMK was winning NC’s.

          2. HC,

            I agree with your assessment. Which is why I too tend to view the current direction with a certain amount of optimism I didn’t have a few years ago. Obviously the jury is still out on both the BB & FB programs, but you stated the reasons to view things with hope. We could all be disappointed again, but I have no problems with the direction both AM & TA are going. I think they are on the right track and I hope they are both proven correct.

            Hopefully IU is finally beginning to learn from the past mistakes. Especially in the FB program, but stumbles in the BB program prior to AM not forgotten either.

      3. With the way the Big Ten was dissed and dismissed by the NCAA on Selection Sunday, I would love to see us exit the Big Ten. We have three more banners than any other basketball program in the conference. Without our basketball program putting the conference on the map during the real genesis period of college basketball and March Madness(One Shining Moment), there is no money in the conference.
        I’m tired of the BS….along with an Eastern Establishment guy(UNC alma mater), Delany, running the Big Ten anyway. Thus, we’re already in the EAST. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.
        I would love nothing more than to have intelligent and disciplined basketball programs as our constant competition.
        The Big Ten network is also a farce. Just another means to get the consumer tied to overpriced cable packages. Any network that hire Seth Davis is a farce.

        Maybe there’s a prison league for our football program to join as an independent? With as many football players we’re having busted for drug offenses, seems like a perfect fit. Another commonality? Prisons have criminals….Our football program has been so notoriously bad that is is criminal to participate or watch.
        You think ‘The Longest Yard’ is long? Try waiting for one tiny measuring stick of sunshine and success in the dark cellar of solitary confinement known as a fan of Hoosier football….Sadly, a state prison team from Michigan City would probably have more talent. If we could only offer some sort of parole system to recruit them…?

        Hate to break it to you guys….but it does neither our basketball program or football jv team any favors by allowing the Big Ten to be our sugar daddy. We should have been kicked out of the league for dereliction of football duties years ago.

        1. And when we leave the league, we should sue the league for the damage they have done to our reputation via association to the despicable headlines its conference.

          And to think ESPN has the nerve to make Knight the poster child for despicable behavior when two of the leagues most stellar programs in football and basketball, PSU & MSU, have institutionally hidden the molestation and sexual abuses of children behind their honorable and “winning” reputations in the Big Ten…?
          And what of the story Jeremy posted on Scoop regarding MSU basketball players allegedly raping a girl during a Final Four weekend? Under the rug it goes…..

          When you share in excusing the muck, you become the muck.

        2. Well, you tell Fred you will pony up the millions in lost B1G revenue and I’ll bet he will give that a serious look.

          1. Indiana brings revenue. We could make the Big East bigger and better than the Big Ten simply by the change of address. Just the idea of Indiana, Butler, Xavier…and Villanova in the same basketball conference is a gold mine in waiting.
            It’s already been pretty much covered that our frequent empty stands of Memorial don’t make for football revenue anyway.
            Let’s see where the Big Ten television revenues go without Indiana Basketball …..I know where it goes. It would sink faster than the Titanic.

          2. I don’t know if he would or not, I would suspect Glass doesn’t suffer fools well.

          3. H4H, Big Ten network a farce? Trailblazer is more like it. That there are far more TV sets in the Midwest than the Great Plains is why Nebraska bailed on the Big 8 and thus exposed it for the dust bowl it was. No BTN revenue w/out IUBB? What? No boob tubes are watching FB in Ohio, Pa., Mich, Wisc. every fall? How many eyeballs tune in IUBB outside of the Indiana borders? Not too many, pal. You bemoan the decades-long moribund state of IUBB regularly here, and now tell us the the rest of the nation is craving IUBB in its living rooms. Get consistent, if not real. Thankfully, we know you for the provacateur that you are and still love you.

          4. With the recent unveiling of the despicable acts that occurred at MSU(and those that previously occurred at PSU football), we should be already shopping for another conference.
            I would want zero association with the programs that put cash before the safety and protection of children.

            Actually, “farce” doesn’t begin to describe the horrible deeds committed at two universities always portrayed to be the models for excellence.

            I have confidence in IU to desire a conference of higher decency and integrity than what’s been on display in athletic departments by two of its supposed leaders in football and basketball, PSU & MSU, respectively.
            Personally, I can’t see how it doesn’t turn any fan’s stomach to share in the cash generating revenues of programs which have turned their backs on some of the most vulnerable simply to protect their profits.

          5. How many eyeballs tune in IUBB outside of the Indiana borders?

            If you’ve ever listened to DoubleDown talking of the number of east coast alumni representing Indiana U. at NYC events, it’s far more than the Indiana eyeballs watching corn grow.

            But I know where you’re coming from….Thank god OSU football fans make a pilgrimage to fill Memorial once a year or we’d be flat broke. We should really give them our Big Ten revenue because they are the only reason our football stadium appears full once a year. How could we ever survive without them? Four Doctor Double Downs in their court level seats at Madison Square Garden for a meaningless conference basketball tournament?

  24. Brady couldn’t survive two weekends behind the IU front…(Now or 20 years ago).
    On the Patriots, he’s rarely touched….and can play until he’s 45 with barely a smudge on his uniform. Drop back…survey….zip. Drop back…survey…zip. …enough time in pocket to have a cigarette…Drop back …survey….zip. Repeat until 400 yard game.

    On IU? Drop back…Oops…There’s a train in my face….run like hell…try to find 3-star receiver blanketed by a 5-star OSU defensive back….attempt not to die from oncoming train….throw ball out-of-bounds….back to huddle to slow down heart rate….convince self to do this for another down.

  25. Good comments posted above. Sorry for referencing Tony Romo and the HOF in the same post. You’re correct, he’s not going to be getting a gold jacket, ever.

    I have no complaints about the job Glass has done improving facilities, including IU’s football facilities. My complaint, which is especially relevant if, as HC suggests, IU has all the resources (meaning money) it needs, is that Glass should have been investing more money in football coaching compensation. You get what you pay for, and Glass has continued IU’s legacy of being cheep when it comes to paying football coaches. TA may turn out to be a great coach. He may lead IU to break through. If he does, I will expect Glass to apply some of IU’s vast resources toward compensating TA and his assistants at a level above the Big Ten midpoint. If Glass does not, or if he withholds increased compensation for the coaching staff until another Power-5 school tries to lure TA away, then Glass will have failed to make the proper investment in IU Football’s future. Facilities are very important, but the right leadership is more important. Furthermore, if TA turns out to be another head coach who is unable to lead IU to break through, then I will expect Glass to spend the money necessary to hire a coach who has proven his ability to do it at another school. What good is having wonderful facilities if you don’t have the leadership necessary to fully utilize the facilities?

    1. Po,
      I think everyone is reasonably realistic about the challenges and possibilities regarding IUFB. I know it is thinking light years ahead, but I have always been concerned should IU finally find the coach with the magic touch to bring it into FB relevancy. Any coach who pulls off such a miracle will instantly become the hottest coaching property in the country. The question, is IU willing to do what is necessary to retain such a coach. Especially if there is a possibility long term program sustainability at a respectable level.

      I have seen programs with coaches who have performed wonderfully for them sink back into the abyss when losing them to a more prestigious and/or higher paying school. If IU should get a coach who turns the program into a coaching destination school, this could be a major problem. Kansas State solved it’s problem with Bill Snyder by paying what they had to and after a reasonable amount of success, named the stadium after him. I like to use Kansas State for reference because they historically have been as bad as IU.

      A successful program is always going to lose assistant coaches and we saw this in the Mallory years. Problem for Mallory was the second act of assistant coaches. Big if, but if IUFB were to see success would they be willing to pay enough to keep quality assistants until they were offered coordinator or head coaching jobs elsewhere? If the head coach is able to not only be successful but sustain the success, what would IU be willing to do?

      1. You make good points about what happens when coach Allen makes IU one of the better teams in the B1G. I would point out that coach Allen loves IU like coach Fitzgerald feels about NW and I expect coach Allen is here to stay if he has success. I hope IU increases the pay of all the football coaches if success comes to the program. When coaches leave, I trust coach Allen to bring in very good coaches to replace them. I also hope the S&C coaches stay at IU and with coach Ballou I bet he does stay and hope Dr Rhea does too.

  26. v-13, I like your optimism about when, not if, Allen turns IUFB into a winning program, but all coaches “love” their current spot. But we’ll see how much love when/if Enormous Budget State dangles twenty million dollars over the next six years in front of Allen. Kind of like when your gal rides off in her new boyfriend’s Mustang convertible while you’re left holding the keys to your beater Toyota.

  27. v-13 has nothing but optimism…..The dude has more makeup for a pig than a Mary Kay convention.

    Hmm? A Mary Kay convention at Memorial?
    A ton of lipstick and eyeliner but not enough foundation! And look at those stitches….It’s obvious we’ve had a major facelift to hide the frown marks.

  28. davis makes a great point. And to compliment it, I’ll suggest that while TA may really love Indiana, he, like all other FBS head football coaches, is a hyper-competitive man (they have to be). He wants to win! He wants to be recognized as a winner and of being amongst the best coaches in college football. So don’t doubt for a minute that TA’s desire to win trumps his love for Indiana. And don’t doubt for a minute that if some prominent football school offers to double his compensation while providing him with what he perceives is a better opportunity to build and sustain a winning program, he’ll depart Bloomington faster than you could finish eating a hoagie at Nick’s!

  29. PO- yeah, the “hyper-competitive personality type” is overlooked. How much one earns is about more than more dollars, it’s about keeping score against one’s peers. Whether CEO or a head coach, the top earners simply don’t have the time to spend/enjoy millions of dollars a year ’cause they’re too busy earning the next million dollars. Word is that Aaron Rogers is unhappy at Green Bay because he is “only” the twelfth highest paid QB in the NFL. I’m sure he owns every toy he could want/imagine, so more $$$ for the sake of more $$$ is probably not the source of his discontent.

  30. Imagine how Tom Brady must have been feeling when San Francisco paid his former back-up about twice what Brady’s getting paid? Brady can’t spend all the money he and his wife have, but that’s not the point. You’re exactly right, davis. It’s not the money, it’s what the money signifies, and I’m not sure I want a head football coach that isn’t hyper-competitive and wants to be paid as much if not more than his peers. Let’s hope that becomes a problem for Glass in the near future.

  31. Question: How is Fred Glass’s compensation relative to other athletic directors at major programs/power conferences? I don’t really know….but does he decide his own value? How’s is his relative value as it pertains to his peers and “what the money signifies?”
    Are we ponying up enough for a truly great athletic director…or are we simply being frugal and pleased to be getting a lot for a bargain basement price?
    Fred has been with us for 10 years now….Odd how we treat his position as if he were a Supreme Court justice with a lifetime appointment. It’s almost as if all the chatter about how cheap we are in paying football coaches serves as a distraction/apology for the complete lack of examination as to why Fred is so safe to forever make those big decisions.

  32. I agree with everybody regarding the difficulty IU would encounter retaining whichever coach takes the program to the promised land. Obviously, mega bucks would be in order and IU would have to come up with them if they felt the coach had continuing upside. The real problem is how does IU compete with the football blue bloods if they come calling. If the money and opportunity are equal with the non blue bloods then why would a coach leave? If it is Alabama, Notre Dame, Texas, ect . . . calling, how do you compete?

    For IU, I have alluded many times to the very similar historical football success at Kansas State. Their solution to keeping the miracle worker was to name the stadium after him. If Nick Saban manages to get his name added to Bryant Denny stadium in Tuscaloosa pretty soon they are going to run out of room on the marquee. I think it should be in the lexicon for Hoosier Nation that if a coach should work the IUFB miracle, the stadium name needs to be on the table.

  33. We’re not there yet so I waste burning time thinking about it. When it happens(and it will)(hopefully in my lifetime)Glass is prepared and positioned to make the best decision for IU. I’ve yet to see him make any crippling mistakes yet. No one knows that better than Tom Allen.

  34. Twitter account of Tronti shows he is leaving after this semester. I am sorry to see him leave but wish him the best wherever he ends up. I thought he would stay but getting no reps in Spring Practice sent a message I guess. I still wonder how he would look in a game as some are game players more than practice players and he won 6 practice player of the weeks.

    1. Just a situational thing. I’ll bet he’ll do fine somewhere. The recruiting just did not play out in his favor.

      Best of luck to a guy who really contributed to the team.

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