Allen recaps end-of-season roster changes

Indiana’s football roster has undergone changes since the end of the season.

Linebacker T.D. Roof and running back Craig Nelson have both left the program, while offensive lineman DaVondre Love has decided to stay at IU after initially seeking a transfer.

Roof, a former Georgia Tech transfer who gained immediate eligibility at IU this past summer, played a significant role for the Hoosiers during his lone season with the program. He appeared in 10 games with one start on the weak side, collecting 39 tackles, including 30 solo stops.

Injuries, however, have taken a toll on Roof, according to Allen.

“He’s just chosen to really walk away from football,” Allen said. (He’s) going to have to have surgery in this offseason and (was) just kind of weary of all that. He and I had a really good talk and talked with his family and wish him nothing but the best and appreciate what he did here. But he’s not going to play anywhere else. (He’s) just going to no longer be with us.”

Nelson played only sparingly during his first two seasons at IU, appearing in the first three games of the 2018 campaign. Nelson’s odds to crack the backfield rotation in 2019 didn’t look much better, with IU returning 1,000-yard rusher Stevie Scott and rising sophomore Ronnie Walker, in addition to incoming freshmen Sampson James and Ivory Winters.

“He’ll be playing elsewhere,” Allen said. “Wish him nothing but the best. He’s come here, done a great job for us and did everything we asked him to do. So he’ll have an opportunity to go and play.”

Love, meanwhile, announced Dec. 1 that he would seek a transfer to utilize his fifth year of eligibility at a different school. But after reconsidering the decision, Love will remain a Hoosier.

“He and I had some good heart-to-hearts lately, and it’s something that’s between he and I,” Allen said. “But I’m excited that he’s going to be spending his fifth year here with us. I challenged him in our meeting, there’s some things I want to see him do to be able to finish strong here in his final season. So he will be rejoining us.”

Allen also revealed that he’s holding a spot open for defensive lineman LeShaun Minor, who left the team prior to the season to tend to what Allen is deeming a “health situation.”

“Just don’t know yet where he stands,” Allen said. “Continuing to work with that. But that remains to be seen if he’ll be able to return with us. The hope is he will, for sure. But don’t know yet.”

The Indiana coach hasn’t made any staff changes in the month since the Hoosiers’ season-ending loss to Purdue, dedicating all of his time to recruiting.

But with the early signing period set to close at the end of the week, Allen will now determine if he wishes to make any staffing shakeups.

At least one change — involving Allen — appears possible.

After two seasons of juggling both his head coaching duties and the defensive coordinator role, Allen said after the Purdue game that he’s considered delegating the latter job to someone else. Doing so would free him of some of the day-to-day film and scheme duties that eat up a chunk of his time.

“When you’re so wrapped up in scheme all the time … one of my strengths is relationship building (and) I can’t do that as well as I want to,” Allen said. “I feel like you’ve got to balance that. I always say I’m always going to be involved on defense. That’s my heart and passion, and all that for sure. But I also want to be able to be the father figure that I want to be to these young men during the day and during the week and during game week, when things are really crazy and the schedule’s tight and (there’s) a lot going on.

“So I just want to make sure that I can have a good feel for the whole team, whether it’s specialists or offense or defense, and really be able to dive into it and be more connected that way. That’s kind of how I see that.”

21 comments

    1. Solid class by Littrell but their #1 recruit would be IU’s 16th best as far as rankings go this cycle.

  1. Archie was very gracious during the fall…He did not allow the hype around Romeo take anything away from the football program. Unlike his predecessor, his ego didn’t require a steady stream of getting in front of the media when other IU sports were trying to earn their rightful place in the sun/limelight.

    It’s time to put football to bed. The programs with successful season should be allowed their brief moments to talk about “competing” and their new wave of fresh recruits to continue on the pathways to excellence.

    When programs fail to meet expectations(e.g. “breakthrough”), it’s time to be gracious as well. It’s been far too long a time for IU Football to put up, or shut up. This is when I want the media to give the silent treatment to football. This is when the coach must sell the program only to his recruits and his coaches. I have been sold enough. Please, no more hype about how it’s going to be better with the new transfer qb, etc, etc, etc. Heard it all before. The program was going to skyrocket to relevance nearly a decade ago behind the next warrior named Gunner Kiel.

    Time to be gracious, IU Football. Your season is over. Nearly ninety teams are bowling and you’re not. You don’t deserve headlines. You shouldn’t be in headlines. You should bust some heads for a season, get this program to play .500 ball in its conference, and then, only then should you be allowed to sell the BS on the BS train.

    Now move over for Archie and hibernate as you always do.

  2. Seth Littrell has already proven he’s a successful head coach. He’s already proven he can recruit good talent. He’ll be the head coach of a Power-five conference team in the not-too-distant future. As for his 2019 recruiting class, signing the 64th ranked class for a program in that conference is a success. I assure you that there are players on Littrell’s team that T.A. would love to have at IU.

    1. I watched their game against Utah State and the offense struggled as they were missing their QB. I didn’t see the offense I expected to see watching the game as there were many short passes. I think it just shows even Littrell has to deal with the shortcomings of his QB. I agree Littrell is on his way to taking a D1 job but it may take another year or two before it happens.

  3. As for the roster changes, the best information coming out of this story is that T.A. stays in close touch with all his players and that he was not surprised by any of the changes. He does a nice job of balancing the best interests of his players and his program, which emphasis on helping those young men do what’s in their best interests. We should recognize and applaud the empathy that T.A. has for his players.

    Sorry to see Roof leave, but I can certainly appreciate his decision. If you’re not going to play in the NFL, you don’t need the scholarship to get your education, you have achieved your goal of playing college football, and you’ve been injured, why put your body and brain at further risk? The injuries can just suck the fun out of the game. My oldest daughter came to the same conclusion after too year’s of D1 college soccer battling back injuries and a nasty concussion. And as much as her Mom and I loved to watch her play, we were relieved when she pulled the plug. She never looked back and has absolutely no regrets.

  4. Po, very good post about coach Allen’s care for players; I also like what you said about athletes that make the decision they can’t continue. Not everyone has the advantage of avoiding major injuries and deciding to leave athletics behind to have a better life isn’t easy to do but it is a good choice.

    1. None of my kids used up all 4 years of their eligibility. It takes a helluva toll on your body. The time commitment is pretty brutal, too, especially if you are in a demanding curriculum.

      It is very difficult to perform at the D1 level and remain healthy. Fortunately, they have no lingering health issues and they graduated.

      I completely sympathize with anyone who has made the decision to move on with their life.

  5. In spite of the Utah transfer who may, or may not be eligible for ’19, I see Debord is in the midst of another whifff! For 2020 they have 1 guy listed as being recruited at QB. He’s a mid range 3* from Arizona. I guess the philosophy under this coaching tenure will be QB play really isn’t all that important. Until IU recruiters can walk in the front door and
    actually get well regarded senior QB kids committed instead of relying on JC players and malcontent transfers, this program may improve,….but not enough to make a substantial difference. Pretty pathetic.

    1. I’m not sure if ‘malcontent transfer’ is directed at Tuttle but he was the one who manned up following an unexpected coaching change. The school changed the coaching staff and, by appearances, reneged on the assurances made during his recruiting.

      He is just being prudent.

      Good for him for being aware.

      1. Well said Chet, and congratulations on the grandchild. Have fun, they are a blast. If 123 is correct on the effect of Tuttle joining the program, then this has been a very profitable off season personnel acquisition wise. Others have said Tuttle is mobile enough to function within the current offensive scheme, so if this be true, DeBord may finally have B1G caliber QBs to work with for the first time (don’t say Lagow, his immobility in a dual threat scheme made him a liability). I would have thought we had one B1G caliber QB already this year with MP, but if H4H is correct, maybe he was not beefed up enough yet. Hopefully he will be ready to go by fall and Tuttle will pan out as well. If so, then we can make a truly accurate judgment of the current offensive scheme.

        The 1st half of the PSU game only gave us a glimpse of what was possible. We need a much larger sample with competent play at the QB position to be sure. As Kevin Wilson correctly said, you can only call the plays you can block, or as I would say, execute. That was a clear allusion to the caliber of personnel available to work with. Same holds true for the current OC, he can only call the plays the only QB he had available could execute.

    2. Not sure where you are getting your info but I see that they’re in on 7 different QBs in the 2020 cycle.

      1. FS,
        Yes, and if either Tuttle, Penix, or someone we’re not aware of can get on the field long enough to demonstrate what this offense is capable of, then the chances of getting one of those 7 QBs will go up dramatically. I will continue to harp on the 1st half of the PSU game, because it showed us a dramatically different IU offense than what was seen in the rest of the season. Until we get a capable QB on the field it is impossible to judge the DeBord system honestly. DeBord inherited a terrible QB room and OL, those don’t get fixed overnight. Because of the terrible problems inherited in the OL, Lagow was basically ineffective as an immobile QB.

        Problem for DeBord is being in the B1G east without the needed personnel to compete effectively (QB and OL in his 1st year). Will take at least 2-3 good recruiting cycles to fix. If Tuttle is as advertised, or Penix is able to get on the field from the start of the season, then the 2019 season will be the year to start judging DeBord’s effectiveness. If PR is still at the starting position again, I don’t care who the OC is, you won’t win. You have to have a B1G caliber QB in order to win, and PR unfortunately, is not. You can not scheme around his inabilities long term. It didn’t take the good defenses in the B1G long to figure out how to neutralize him due to his arm limitations.

        Most defenses figured out let PR dink and dunk on us all day long, we can control that and still win the game. Which is exactly what happened 7 times.

  6. Chet, enjoy the grandchild as they are fun to be around and if they get crabby turn them over to the parents :). Brad I hate to disagree but you are wrong about Tuttle or Penix not making a big difference in IU’s offense as they have much better arms and play better than Ramsey. DeBord isn’t the dunk and dink play caller it is Ramsey that can get the ball to open players up field and dumps the ball to short patterns. If our OL does good job the QB, TEs, WR, and RBs will really help the offense be much better. DeBord needs to make better adjustments at half time and not have IU’s offense not do much scoring in the second half. DeBord is limited by Ramsey and his decisions despite his % completion. The offense numbers or Ramsey’s didn’t change from one year to this year and IU needs better QBs on the field.

    Watching replay of games on BTN it is clear the talent in the B1G isn’t that big different but the depth is for OSU and UM. Even IU played top teams even until the depth caught up in the 4th quarter. IU freshman proved they can play in the B1G and hit hard even as freshman. Give the coaches, S&C coaches, and players to grow up and get more experience and IU will be much better in 2020 if not sooner.

  7. You guys are missing my point. How’d that senior from Arizona work out at the beginning on ’18? Desperate with emotional problems + he couldn’t pass. Penix was a legitimate get. Do you guys know for certain he will be physically able play? The point is, this program year in and year out is seldom in the serious running for multiple offers and when they are they end up going elsewhere. My guess is that TA was the “closer” on Penix, not Debord. IF Tuttle can play at a high level, great.

  8. Sorry Brad, but I think you’re off base regarding this subject, especially since IU just signed one of the highest rated, if not the highest rated quarterbacks in its history. Going into 2020, IU will probably have three quarterbacks (assuming we don’t lose any to transfer) on the roster. And at least two of those guys are going to have significant experience in the system. The best quarterbacks coming out of high school are not too keen on sitting the bench for two or three years while waiting their turn, so a school has the choice of either recruiting a QB who knows he needs some time to develop, or the school recruits a High School star who believes he can beat out the other, older, more experienced quarterbacks on the roster. Not sure how many HS QB “stars” IU can sign to the same rosters getting someone with great potential who is not as highly rated does not sound like a bad option to me.

    There will be a lot of recruiting that goes on between now and the early signing day in 2019. T.A. has proven he can recruit, and ironically he’s recruiting better quarterbacks than his predecessor, enjoyed the reputation as a “Quarterback Guru.” So I’m not too worried about what IU’s Quarterback Room is going to look like at the start of the 2020 season.

    Lastly, IU’s graduate transfer QB left campus claiming he needed to address some “mental health issues.” But while never being confused with Payton Manning’s passing ability, he was a good passer who had a very strong arm. The offense he played in while at Arizona, as well as having one of the worst defenses ever, contributed to him possessing less than ideal passing stats. It was not a mistake for IU to recruit him as a grad transfer, it just didn’t work out.

  9. The first big change this off season in IUFB is Wommack being named the new DC. Coach Allen is showing he is willing to change to make IUFB better. I hope he is now in a position [he may have made the decision to go with Ramsey last year] to make a QB decision to get Tuttle or Penix as the starter for 2019. For IU to improve we need a better QB running the offense. I expect another change or two coming out in the next couple of weeks but coach Allen may decide stepping down as DC is enough to let him influence the offense more.

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