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It required an extra day of waiting, but Jason Spriggs has a new home.
The Green Bay Packers selected the former Indiana left tackle with the No. 48 overall pick and the 17th selection of the second round Thursday.
Spriggs, who was believed to be a late-first round option for a handful of teams late Thursday night, is the highest Hoosier draft pick since the St. Louis Rams selected tackle Rodger Saffold with the first pick of the second round in 2010.
Green Bay traded up to get in position to land Spriggs, swapping the No. 57 overall pick, along with a fourth- and seventh-round selection to the Indianapolis Colts for the No. 48 overall pick.
Spriggs earned first team All-American honors from the Football Writers Association of American after a stellar senior year in Bloomington. He anchored arguably the best offensive line in the Big Ten, teaming with fellow first team All-American Dan Feeney at right guard to help the Hoosiers become the first team since Ohio State in 1995 to lead the conference in total, passing and scoring offense.
Spriggs allowed only two sacks in 475 called pass attempts, finishing with 79 knockdowns in a team-high 1,074 snaps. The 6-foot-6, 301-pound prospect started 28 consecutive games to begin his career and made 47 starts in 48 games at left tackle.
The Elkhart native played football, basketball, lacrosse and participated in track and field in high school. He weighed 270 pounds when he arrived on campus at Indiana as a three-star recruit, but compensated for what he lacked in bulk with his top-end athleticism.
Spriggs’ quick feet and command of the position allowed him to become a four-year starter under coach Kevin Wilson, who with the help of nationally-recognized offensive line coach Greg Frey, helped build IU’s line into a consistent and formidable unit. The athleticism Spriggs brings to the next level is such that scouts believe he’ll be able to stick at left tackle long-term.
After Spriggs’ selection Friday evening, another Hoosier could follow him off the board soon.
Running back Jordan Howard profiles as a middle round selection, while quarterback Nate Sudfeld could in one of Saturday’s latter rounds. If not, he’ll likely sign quickly with a team as an undrafted free agent.
Other NFL hopefuls to come out of IU’s program are defensive tackle Darius Latham, receiver Andre Booker and linebacker Zack Shaw.
This story will be updated.
Part 1 – Building from scratch: Andy Graham sits down with legendary IU Soccer Coach Jerry Yeagley to discuss the early part of his career.
Indiana’s first-round drought continues.
Left tackle Jason Spriggs remains on the board after the conclusion of Thursday’s first round of the NFL Draft. Considered one of the top five or six offensive tackles in the class, Spriggs was viewed as a possible late first-round selection.
Instead, he’ll have to wait for the draft’s second round, which begins tonight at 7 on ESPN and NFL Network. Indiana has not produced a first-round selection since the New York Giants took receiver Thomas Lewis at No. 24 in 1994.
Mock drafts released during the build-up to Thursday’s first round had Spriggs as a possible option for Seattle with the No. 26 pick and Carolina with the No. 30 pick. Denver, at No. 31, was another option, though the Broncos signed new left and right tackles during free agency.
As it turned out, Denver traded the 31st pick and a third-round selection to Seattle for the 26th pick, using it on Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch. The Panthers used their selection on Louisiana Tech defensive tackle Vernon Butler.
The Seahawks closed the first round by taking tackle Germain Ifedi from Texas A&M. Ifedi was the fifth offensive tackle taken in the first round. (more…)
IU ends the regular season on a 6-0 run as the Hoosiers head into the CWPA Championship against some very familiar opponents.
INDIANAPOLIS — To measure offensive success in this game of understood failure, Indiana coaches tally each quality at-bat by one of their hitters on a chart in the dugout.
For IU coach Chris Lemonis, success can be measured through a handful of avenues, perhaps by drawing a walk or advancing a runner, or through sacrifice flies and good swings against good pitches. By the end of Tuesday’s 5-0 loss against Notre Dame, that chart of quality at-bats was frustratingly empty.
“We didn’t chart a lot of them tonight,” Lemonis said.
Not after stranding nine runners, including five of those in scoring position before an announced crowd of 6,607 at Victory Field. Consider it a night of squandered chances for the Hoosiers (23-16), who were looking to spin some of their recent momentum into this annual showdown of in-state college baseball royalty.
After securing a crucial series win at Michigan State last weekend, Tuesday represented a chance to do follow-up work against the Irish (24-15). Notre Dame entered play at No. 44 in the latest RPI, providing the Hoosiers — who began the week at No. 117 — with another shot at a top-50 win.
Without the kind of timely hitting that has emerged during IU’s recent mid-season surge, that was not to be.
“These are big ones — Notre Dame, ACC and in this venue,” Lemonis said. “You had all these people who came out in the rain tonight. It was definitely an opportunity missed for us.” (more…)
Laura Schroeder owned her first school record for about two weeks.
The graduate transfer broke Indiana’s women’s hammer throw record in her outdoor season debut with a 63.45 meter toss.
The previous record holder was her IU roommate, Nakel McClinton.
Not to be outdone, McClinton took the record back with a 64.23 meter throw at the team’s next meet.
Indiana defensive lineman Jacob Robinson was arrested Saturday on charges of illegal consumption and false informing.
Robinson, 19, was stopped near Briscoe dormitory at approximately 8:45 p.m. Saturday, according to a report filed by Indiana State Excise Police. Officers observed Robinson staggering on the sidewalk and, upon making contact, found he smelled of alcohol and had difficulty speaking, the report says.
According to the report, Robinson — who was born on Oct. 25, 1996 — first told officers he was 21 years old. When asked for his birth date, Robinson paused and said he was born in 1995, the report says. Asked a second time how old he was, Robinson responded he was 22 years old, according to the report.
At that point, the report says, an officer placed Robinson in handcuffs while determining his identity. Robinson later submitted to a portable breath test and registered a .22 breath alcohol content, the report says.
According to online court records, Robinson entered the Little 500 pretrial diversion program on Sunday.
Considered an up-and-coming impact player on the defensive line, Robinson spent IU’s spring practice battling for a starting job on the edge. Robinson appeared in all 13 games as a freshman in 2015, making five tackles, including one for loss.
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When his older brother speaks, Trendon Watford listens.
To navigate the prep basketball landscape as a burgeoning Division I prospect, Watford knows he needs guidance. In his brother Christian — a former Indiana University standout — Watford has an accomplished mentor.
“He’s been through the college level, the NBA level (and) he’s been through the professional level,” Watford said. “He just tells me it’s going to be hard and you have to keep working every day, day in, day out.”
So that’s what Watford is doing, challenging himself this spring and summer as one of the few freshmen playing big boy basketball on the Nike EYBL circuit. Flanked by players two years older and more physically mature than him, Watford is receiving an early lesson in what it takes to follow his brother’s path to basketball’s next level.
His quest for development and notoriety brought him to Indiana last weekend, where his Alabama Challenge 17U squad tipped off against prospects from across the country at Jonathan Byrd’s Fieldhouse in Westfield. In seven EYBL games this spring, Watford is averaging 14.1 points and six rebounds, while shooting 34 percent from 3-point range.
Seated in the front row for his games was Christian, who watched his younger brother start to make a name for himself against more experienced competition as his freshman year of high school comes to a close.
“It’s tough,” Christian said. “He played up last year, but (there’s) the difference between 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds. Doesn’t seem much. It’s a year, but it’s really like, just a lot of guys mature from 16 to 17 more than 15 to 16. He struggled with it a little early, but now he’s getting the hang of it. That’s all it is — strength, speed, size. That’s all it is at the end of the day.”
Already, the younger Watford has the size, skill and projectable frame that has Division I programs interested. (more…)
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Former Indiana guard Jess Walter is no longer headed to Northern Kentucky following the departure of head coach Dawn Plitzuweit.
The University of South Dakota announced today it had hired Plitzuweit, who was formerly an assistant at Michigan. One of the top reasons Walter chose Northern Kentucky was because Plitzuweit had recruited her out of high school in Midland, Mich.
“I wanted to announced that I am reopening my recruitment once again, due to Coach Dawn accepting a position elsewhere,” Walter posted on Twitter. “Thank you to Coach Dawn and the staff at NKU for the opportunity. I am still very excited about what the future holds, and I know God has a plan for me through this season of change.”
The day after IU was eliminated from the NCAA tournament, Walter announced her intent to transfer. She averaged 2.8 points in 16.4 minutes per game in 2015-16, struggling early in the season after suffering a concussion in practice.
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