Football preview: Special teams


Austin Starr Looms over you.

This is the first in a series of position-by-position previews for the IU football team that will run Monday-Thursday this week and next week. The running order will be in the order we’ve ranked the units, starting with the most solid and leading up to the group we think has the most questions heading into the season.

PROJECTED STARTERS: kicker Austin Starr, 6-3, 204, Sr.; punter Chris Hagerup, 6-5, 207, Fr.; kickoff returner Marcus Thigpen, 5-9, 199, Sr.; punt returner Ray Fisher 5-9, 172, Jr.

STARTERS LOST: punter Michael Hines, returners Tracy Porter and James Bailey

KEY RESERVES: kickoff returner Demetrius McCray, punt returner Nick Polk

2007 REVIEW: Special teams were a major strength for the Hoosiers. Starr led the way with one of the best seasons an Indiana kicker has ever put together. He hit 21-of-23 field goal attempts and all 48 extra point attempts. His season highlights included hitting four field goals against Minnesota and nailing the game-winning 49-yarder against Purdue that sent the Hoosiers to a bowl game. Starr was a second-team All-American and a first-team all-Big Ten pick.

Indiana ranked second in the conference in punt returns (12.0 avg.) and fifth in punt returns (21.0 avg.). One area where the Hoosiers could use improvement is kickoff coverage where they finished seventh in the Big Ten.

2008 OUTLOOK: This should be again be a strong point. Experienced players are back at the key positions with the exception of Hines. Punting is obviously the question mark. After struggling during the spring, Hagerup, a redshirt freshman, has been much better in preseason camp. He has plenty of leg, but needs to avoid the occasional shank he has shown at times in practice.

STATS THAT MATTER: During Big Ten play last season, Indiana finished first or second in the league in kickoff return average, punt return average, field goal percentage and extra point percentage.

DID YOU KNOW? As a sophomore, Thigpen led the country with a 30.1 kickoff return average.

TUESDAY: Defensive line

Q&A with Austin Starr

What’s your major and how did you pick it? My major is biology. I’m going to get a minor in chemistry. I chose it because in order to go to dental school most of the classes you have to take are biology classes. I just picked biology as a major because I was going to take that many classes anyway.

What’s your best class at IU so far? The best class was sports psychology because it allowed me to understand the psychological aspect of athletes. I’d say a close second would be when I took a media relations class and that helped me to understand that you don’t have to answer whatever question comes at you, even though my first inclination is that normally I just say the first thing that comes to mind.

What’s your favorite place to eat in Bloomington and why? Malibu Grill because they have the Hawaiian Ribeye. That was the first thing I had when I went there and I try to get it almost every time.

Explain your gameday ritual. Any superstitions? No superstitions, I just have this little prayer card that I say in the hotel room the night before and then before the game, and then I have coach Hep’s picture in my locker. I take it on the road, too, and I look at it before each game.

What’s one thing you want to do better this year than last year? I want to make every field goal and I want every kickoff to go in the end zone. I’d like a longer field goal, too.

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3 comments:

  • Jimmy #1


    Monday, August 18, 2008 - 8:20 PM EST

    Good stuff.

    Also, any stadium construction photos or updates?

  • Doug Wilson #2


    Monday, August 18, 2008 - 10:05 PM EST

    I don’t really have an update, but we’re supposed to have a construction photo or two that were taken this afternoon on the front page of The Herald-Times tomorrow and on HTO. I’m at home and haven’t seen those photos yet, but since you asked I’ll post them here tomorrow.

  • Jimmy #3


    Monday, August 18, 2008 - 11:00 PM EST

    Thanks.

Scoop Poll:

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IU vs Butler men\'s basketball

Men's Basketball Player Pages

[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_blackmon1.jpg]5150James Blackmon, Jr.
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard James Blackmon Jr. (1)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_zeisloft1.jpg]3980Nick Zeisloft
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Nick Zeisloft (2)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_hoetzel1.jpg]3600Max Hoetzel
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Max Hoetzel (3)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_johnson1.jpg]3150Robert Johnson
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Robert Johnson (4)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_williams1.jpg]2910Troy Williams
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Troy Williams (5)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_burton1.jpg]2870Ryan Burton
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Ryan Burton (10)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_yogi1.jpg]2600Yogi Ferrell
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Yogi Ferrell (11)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_perea1.jpg]2810Hanner Mosquera-Perea
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Hanner Mosquera-Perea (12)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_robinson1.jpg]2340Stanford Robinson
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Stanford Robinson (22)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_ritchie1.jpg]2320Nate Ritchie
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Nate Ritchie (23)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_holt1.jpg]2760Emmitt Holt
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Emmitt Holt (25)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_hartman1.jpg]2930Collin Hartman
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Collin Hartman (30)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_priller1.jpg]3200Tim Priller
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Tim Priller (35)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/mens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_april1.jpg]3250Jeremiah April
Chris Howell | Herald-Times Indiana University Men's Basketball head shots in Bloomington, Ind., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers center Jeremiah April (44)

Women's Basketball Player Pages

[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_walter1.jpg]3750Jess Walter
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Jess Walter (2)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_buss1.jpg]8960Tyra Buss
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Tyra Buss (3)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_brooks1.jpg]4990Larryn Brooks
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Larryn Brooks (5)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_agler1.jpg]4140Taylor Agler
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Taylor Agler (10)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_bell2.jpg]3210Nicole Bell
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Nicole Bell (12)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_stratman1.jpg]3110Liz Stratman
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_hulls1.jpg]3210Kaila Hulls
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard/forward Kaila Hulls (15)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_mcbride1.jpg]2710Karlee McBride
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Karlee McBride (21)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_gassion1.jpg]2570Alexis Gassion
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Alexis Gassion (23)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_muensterman1.jpg]2740Maura Meunsterman
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Maura Muensterman (31)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_mize1.jpg]2700Andrea Mize
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers guard Andrea Mize (32)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_cahill1.jpg]2840Amanda Cahill
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Amanda Cahill (33)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_jakubicek1.jpg]2970Claire Jakubicek
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Claire Jakubicek (34)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_leikem1.jpg]2830Lyndsay Leikem
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers forward Lyndsay Leikem (40)
[img src=http://scoop.hoosiershq.com/wp-content/flagallery/womens-basketball-player-pages/thumbs/thumbs_anderson1.jpg]2620Jenn Anderson
Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana University women's basketball portraits at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, October 23, 2014.Indiana Hoosiers center Jenn Anderson (43)
  • Big Head:

    I wonder, are Brad Stevens big heads cutouts allowed in Assembly Hall [...]

  • MikeC:

    Tsao, well it's like this, speaking as a long time womens season ticke [...]

  • Hoosier Clarion:

    I am liking Austin King more and more. Chad Kelly has gotten his ass [...]

  • Hoosier Clarion:

    Crimson, Hear you loud and clear but I knew that. It was u [...]

  • TsaoTsuG:

    Andrew!...declaring war on me son?...you'll lose,.. you're not smart e [...]

  • Geoffg:

    Clarion - I meant to address your Hartman musings from earlier... My [...]

  • Andrew:

    Tsao, I will as soon as I wipe away your dander of 1906 and the p [...]


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