Asked what career highlights he’d had at Indiana, Kofi Hughes replied:
“I’m still waiting on mine.”
Hughes, who joined Indiana football teammate and classmate Greg Heban as player guests for Coach Kevin Wilson’s weekly radio show Monday, said he was looking for this current to provide them.
Thursday’s season-opening win over Indiana State perhaps already supplied a couple of candidates for Hughes’ personal highlight reel.
Wilson told the radio audience he thought the play Hughes made on special teams to down a punt in front of the Indiana State goal posts was about as good a play as he’d seen Hughes make. But Hughes also shined on the drive in the immediate wake of friend Shane Wynn sustaining an illegal hit on a punt return.
Hughes was schedule to rotate out on the ensuing drive, but told IU assistant Kevin Johns he “needed” to play that next series after what happened to Wynn, who Hughes called “my next-door neighbor and my best friend.” Hughes caught passes on all three plays in the drive, the last for a TD.
Though Hughes, who quarterbacked Cathedral to a state title as a junior still calls that position “my first love,” he acknowledged he’s done running Navy-style option during practice for the scout team against the IU defense and is now concentrating on his role in going against Navy’s defense from his customary receiver spot.
Wilson again declined to differentiate much between IU’s quarterbacks as potential starters for this week or beyond, but did mention that Nate Sudfeld presently has the nation’s highest passer rating and that Tre Roberson actually rated higher but didn’t qualify for the statistical listing because Roberson made just six throws in the ISU game.
When a caller advocated for Roberson being named the starter, Wilson didn’t overtly demur, but mentioned “those other two cats are pretty good.”
Roberson took a hit to the ribs Thursday. Wilson knew at halftime that Roberson could continue playing, but saw no need to risk it. He added that he expected starting right tackle Peyton Eckert and a potential starter in cornerback Ryan Thompson to be back this week after missing the ISU game.
More notes from the show below the fold.
Wilson also noted during Monday’s radio show:
- IU’s defense actually gave up only 14 points, with 14 Sycamore points coming with the defense off the field and seven more toward the end when IU had reserves “scrambling a bit” on the field.
- IU’s kicking-game teams provide their best play “ever,” citing Ted Bolser and Kofi Hughes as starters who shined on special teams.
- IU is more physical, but is still learning how to be physical enough.
- The offensive balance was good but needs to be maintained when facing a higher-caliber defense.
- Navy has gone bowling in nine of the past 10 years and is ranks 22nd in winning percentage nationally over that span, with a 19-2 record against their service academy rivals.
- He is “all for” the stiffer penalties regarding helmet-to-helmet hits, in regard to emphasizing player safety.
- He somewhat exonerated Jake Reed for the latter’s ejection for punching Thursday, noting it was a reaction after things had gotten “frisky.” He said Reed was a quality kid and player with a good future with the team, but that he crossed a line that can’t be crossed on that occasion and he said that “has been addressed.” He also noted that ISU’s Carlos Aviles was perhaps not the only player to point a finger at regarding the Wynn hit. “We had two guys assigned to block him,” Wilson said. He hinted he didn’t think Aviles’ hit on Wynn was necessarily intentional.
- Rashard Fant is “probably our best cover corner” but the freshman is missing way too much valuable time with a hamstring injury and that JUCO defensive tackle Chris Cormier, also out with injury, is much more likely to play sometime soon.
- Losing soph guard Dan Feeney was tough because Feeney is a “throwback” in terms of relishing physical play, but that replacement David Kaminski graded out very well Thursday and that Jake Bailey and Ralston Evans also played well up front. And Jason Spriggs continues to show NFL-caliber potential.
- He wants a bigger, louder crowd for Navy, which runs a no-huddle offense.