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Deland McCullough sits at home some nights and lets his mind wander.
The Indiana running backs coach jots down notes and ideas, devising ways to find carries for his charges in a loaded Hoosier backfield.
“I’m like, ‘Man, he can do this, Devine (Redding) can do this, (Mike) Majette can do this, Cole (Gest) can do this.'” McCullough said. “… You got a lot of good things going on and it’s exciting.”
Sustained depth at running back is a welcome luxury as Indiana introduces a new starting quarterback. As many as eight players could factor into the Hoosiers’ ground attack this fall, and while such a situation is ripe for a logjam, McCullough is confident he can make this work.
With Jordan Howard now in the NFL, IU appears set to hand the reigns to Redding, who finished strong and rushed for 1,012 yards as a junior last year. Redding, too, will have help at the position.
Majette also has the skill set to fill a variety of roles, while Gest is a dynamic runner and a pass-catching threat out of the backfield. Devonte Williams, who played corner as a freshman in 2015, is built similar to Gest and will rotate onto the field.
Then there’s IU’s newfound power game, which will feature 280-pound freshman Tyler Natee and 225-pound linebacker Clyde Newton, who will play both ways in situational roles.
IU also likes walk-on Alex Rodriguez, who scored a touchdown in last December’s Pinstripe Bowl, and the team is looking forward to the debut of Camion Patrick, who could enter the fold by the start of Big Ten season in October. An ACL injury has sidelined Patrick since the spring, but Indiana coach Kevin Wilson has called the junior college transfer the best player on the roster.
So how does IU manage such a crew? It could all depend on the situation. (more…)
Offensive Coordinator Kevin Johns talks to the media after practice on August 19, 2016.
Former Herald-Times Sports Editor Bob Hammel talks about the 1980 and ’88 Olympic Games and his experience covering the ’84 Games in Los Angeles.
They call themselves “#HoosierArmy17” on social media.
That’s the name coined for Indiana’s 2017 recruiting class, one that could carry a distinct Hoosier feel.
After signing only two Indiana natives this year, coach Kevin Wilson’s next high school haul already includes six Hoosier prep stars.
And a few more could be on the way.
“I’m very excited,” said Avon linebacker Bryant Fitzgerald, who projects as a safety at IU. “Some of the good in-state talent is staying home, and it’s showing some of the other in-state talent that is in 2018 or 2019 that they can play with the Hoosiers with us. I’m very excited about what coach Wilson and his staff is doing in the state of Indiana.”
Fitzgerald was the first in-state player to commit to IU’s upcoming class, making a verbal pledge to Wilson’s staff in January.
Since that point, Indiana has also accepted commitments from a handful of fellow three-star recruits, including Carmel defensive end Britt Beery, Ben Davis defensive tackle LeShaun Minor, Tri-West tight end Peyton Hendershot, Lawrence North offensive tackle Caleb Jones and, most recently, Columbus East center Harry Crider.
Together, it’s a group that seems dedicated to bringing some of the state’s top talent to Bloomington with them next summer.
“Three or four of them reached out to me after I got the offer,” said Crider, who committed Monday afternoon. “After I committed, I heard from three or four again, then I got linked up with all the rest of the commits. I’m in conversation with all of them.” (more…)
Former Herald-Times Sports Editor Bob Hammel talks about his experience covering the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Quebec.
Of the 12 freshmen who saw the field for Indiana last season, six were defensive backs.
Another crop of youngsters may push for time this season.
IU defensive coordinator Tom Allen says corner A’Shon Riggins, safety Khalil Bryant and hybrid safety Marcelino Ball continue to impress as the Hoosiers push through their second full week of fall camp.
Bryant, a 5-foot-10, 200 pound former three-star recruit, is coming off a strong performance in IU’s scrimmage last weekend.
“He’s physical and loves to hit,” Allen said. “He’s a good tackler. Right now, he’s probably gotten information overload a little bit, but he’s one of those guys that’s been a real pleasant surprise. Marcelino, as you see, is a guy that’s making plays and plays extremely hard. He’s very physical. Those are two guys in the secondary that we’re excited about.”
Add Riggins to that mix, too.
The Ohio native arrived in Bloomington as a three-star prospect coming out of the same Hamilton High School program that produced linebacker Marcus Oliver.
“You talk about young guys, he’s had several takeaways as well,” Allen said. “He’s a freshman corner who’s been a really, really pleasant surprise. You just never know how freshmen are gonna react. He’s getting his hands on a lot (of passes). He had a big pick in our last scrimmage and that’s what you want.” (more…)
The Big Ten announced its preseason honors list and coaches’ poll for men’s soccer on Wednesday.
The Indiana trio of Tanner Thompson, Grant Lillard and Andrew Gutman were named to the honors list, while the No. 15 Hoosiers were picked to finish second in the conference behind fourth-ranked Maryland.
Thompson was first team All-Big Ten a year ago, earning Big Ten Midfielder of the Year, while Lillard was also a first team all-conference selection. Gutman earned second team All-Big Ten in 2015, while also being a unanimous selection to the league’s All-Freshman team.
IU is set to open the regular season at the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament in South Bend against New Mexico on Aug. 26, but the Hoosiers still have two exhibition games remaining. The first comes when Oakland (Mich.) visits Armstrong Stadium Thursday night at 7:30. Indiana wraps up exhibition play against UCLA at 8 p.m. on Saturday in Fort Wayne at the Shindigz National Soccer Festival.
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