Some more spring practice observations

Spring practice is coming down the home stretch. There’s just a week left before the spring game. Some news, notes and thoughts from Thursday’s session

— Wide receiver Damarlo Belcher (hamstring) and running back Darius Wills (ribs) were out of practice again Thursday. It’s starting to become an issue for these two, especially Belcher who has been out for a week and a half. It is opening up some opportunities, though. Senior Trea Burgess and freshman Nick Turner have been getting a lot of reps as first team running backs. Meanwhile wideouts Duwyce Wilson, Dre Muhammad and even Tyler Adetona have seen a lot more first team reps with both Belcher and Terrance Turner (neck surgery) out of the lineup.

— Safety Chris Adkins made the defensive play of the day during end of practice scrimmaging. Deep in the red zone, Ben Chappell looked for Dre Muhammad over the middle but Adkins broke up the pass. The ball ended up in Muhammad’s hands, and for a moment, the team didn’t realize it had hit the ground, which caused wide receivers coach Billy Lynch run and jump into Muhammad’s arms in the end zone. But eventually, the pass was ruled incomplete.

— Chappell continued to show improvement throwing the deep ball, hitting Duwyce Wilson on a deep post route for a touchdown that covered 45 yards plus.

— Cornerback Matt Ernest has continued to show he’s making a nice transition. He picked off a wobbly pass from Edward Wright-Baker in a scrimmage.

SI’s Rosenberg to Stevens: Stay Put

[5:40 Update]

Stevens has heard you, Mr. Rosenberg.

Or he was just planning to stay all along. Yeah, probably that.

Stevens has signed a 12-year extension with Butler.


The discussion of Brad Stevens’s future has been all over the place in the last week, and in light of all that talk I found this column from Sports Illustrated’s Michael Rosenberg interesting. Actually, someone in the Time Inc. Communications department sent me what most likely was a mass e-mail about it, probably assuming that every sports writer in Indiana would find it interesting and he was probably right.

Basically, his point is that even though Stevens is as hot as he’ll ever be, he should stay put and not jump at the first good job. It’s an interesting column, and it also mentions Tom Crean (no, not in the sense that he should be fired and replaced with Stevens). Regardless, I found it intriguing. Hopefully you do, too.

There’s much to discuss

The Final Four has ended, and it was a classic.

Indiana is still looking for an assistant coach, and a few players for the 2010 class.

Victor Oladipo comes to Louisville this weekend, as does Moses Abraham.

Recruits galore will be playing in Indy, too.

Spring football is chugging along.

Yes, there’s much to discuss.

Hope to see you on our usual 11 a.m. live discussion over on HTO.

Oladipo named First Team All-Met

Indiana signee Victor Oladipo was one of 10 players named to the Washington Post’s All-Met first team, the Post reported Wednesday. The All-Met Player of the Year is Quinn Cook, Oladipo’s teammate who is also being recruited by Indiana.

Hoosier Morning


Walkon linebacker Leon Beckum is still working with the first team during spring drills. Rich Janzaruk | Herald-Times


IU spring roster cut down by injuries

Before the first practice after its first scrimmage of the spring, Indiana declared five more players out for the rest of the spring.

Defensive tackle Jarrod Smith (back) hadn’t seen any time before Tuesday’s practice, but IU made it official that he isn’t coming back. Offensive lineman Cody Faulkner, who missed all of last season with injuries, is now done for the rest of the spring with an ankle injury. Safety Jarrell Drane (knee) is also done for the spring, and cornerback Lawrence Barnett had his last spring practice on Tuesday. He will have surgery to repair ligaments in his wrist.

Running back Darius Willis also missed Tuesday’s practices. He injured ribs in Saturday’s scrimmage. Offensive lineman Justin Pagan has been cleared to do some drill work in helmets and shorts. He had ankle surgery before the season.

In other roster moves, true freshman linebacker Jack Denton, who graduated high school early to practice in the spring, is temporarily moving over to tight end. Redshirt freshman safety Nick Zachery is working with the wide receivers.

Hoosiers add tight end/defensive end for 2011

Jake Reed, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound tight end/defensive end from Columbus North, has committed to Indiana for the Class of 2011 according to his coach Tim Bless.

Bless said Reed was technically recruited as a tight end, but that he could end up playing on either side of the ball at IU.

“I think he’s got the capability of doing either,” Bless said. “That’s a discussion they’ll have to have. That has to play itself out.”

Bless said Reed was mostly used as a blocking tight end last season, but he was a force in the running game. He made the most of his opportunities in the passing game with eight catches for 147 yards.

“I think what gave him Big Ten offers was his ability to destroy opponents on the other side of the ball,” Bless said.

Reed was rarely used on defense last season, Bless said, because Columbus North had two senior defensive ends. This year, however, he will get a lot more opportunity to show his abilities there.

“I can’t wait to see what kind of impact he can have for us over there,” Bless said. “That’s kind of untapped potential.”

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