Jack Denton, an athlete from Zionsville (Ind.), verbally committed to Indiana today.
He is the 15th prospect in the class of 2010 for the Hoosiers, joining Cincinnati (Ohio) cornerback Cameron Cole as one of two IU commitments to come today.
Denton said he wanted to be a part of rebuilding the Indiana football program.
“Coach (Bill) Lynch is a smart guy,” Denton said. “He knows what he is doing. He will turn IU football around. And that’s what I want IU football to do, and I want to be a huge part of it.”
Denton, who is 6-foot-2 and 235 pounds, was recruited as an athlete because of his multi-position versatility.
He plays linebacker and fullback for Zionsville, so he could play linebacker or H-back for Indiana. (more…)
This is from Monday, when Indiana football coach Bill Lynch met with the assembled Indiana media after his short press conference.
CHICAGO — The Big Ten Media Days are complete after a two-hour interview session this morning with all 11 Big Ten coaches and three players from each school.
Chris Korman bounced around, talking to Bill Lynch, Ben Chappell, Jammie Kirlew and Will Patterson.
I stayed with Lynch.
This is some of what I learned:
“This football team is really, ever since the end of the year in November, had a great offseason. That’s where it all begins.”
“You got to be good upfront if you’re going to win. We have now a situation with our offensive line that we have 84 returning starts in our offensive line. That’s quite a few in college football today.”
“I really like this football team and the way they’ve worked.”
“We’re really proud of what has been built in Blomington and the commitment from our administration. To put together what not only changes the face of the stadium, but the area we are going to work in. … There’s a new face to Indiana football.”
“(Greg Middleton) didn’t have the kind of year he had as a sophomore. (Since January) He’s had a great work ethic. I know our strength & conditioning staff have been really impressed with him.”
“(On more open dates) Yeah, I think that would help. It’s a long season. These kids work all year-round now. It’s unbelieve what we ask of them. … It’s a demanding time. If we can give them a week off somewhere in there, it helps. If you get a week off, I hope it’s later in the season.”
“(On pistol) We wanted to be able to run some power football with some different blocking schemes up front.”
“We got a little bit spoiled (with James Hardy).”
“We’d like to get to a point where we can play a good BCS school as one of our nonconference games.”
“(On visiting Greek organizations during the Spring) Visiting the sororities was a lot better than the fraternities.”
Minnesota coach Tim Brewster has joined Penn State coach Joe Paterno in the group of coaches wanting a 12th team in the Big Ten and a football championships game.
Brewster, at the end of his podium address to the assembled media at the Big Ten Media Days, said he looks forward to the Big Ten having a Saturday night championship game on national television.
“How great would that be?” Brewster said. “We’re missing a little something there by not having it.”
Brewster also said Minnesota has schedule a home-and-away with Southern California for the coming years. Said recruits perk up when they hear that, and that they want to play in marquee national television games.
But wait, doesn’t every Big Ten team already appear on national television?
Indiana athletics director Fred Glass spent 30 minutes today talking about ways to improve the overall fan experience at football games this season.
Glass said he does not believe attendance at football games is wholly reliant on the product on the field.
While he said he has confidence in coach Bill Lynch and the increasing stability in the program (he twice mentioned the 35 scholarship upperclassmen), he has not given Lynch a contract extension.
“No,” Glass said when I asked if there had been any talk of an extension.
Lynch signed a four-year contract on Nov. 25, 2007. After the 2009 season, he will have two years remaining on his contract.
Most college football observers will attest that it is very difficult for a coach with two years remaining on his contract to recruit future classes.
[10:45 a.m. UPDATE]
Indiana athletics director Fred Glass said today that he was concerned that the North endzone would exasperate just how outdated some facets of Memorial Stadium are.
To make sure that does not happen, Glass said the university is spending around $3 million in an attempt to brighten up the rest of the stadium and improve the overall fan experience.
First and foremost is the return of the Knothole brand, in the form of a park. The Knothole Park, in the south endzone where concrete now sits, will be a Field Turf replica of the Memorial Stadium field and will be an open place for children to play during games.
“It’s an ode to the old Knothole Club,” Glass said. “When I was a kid, you paid a buck or whatever and got into the Knothole Club. You went on the hill back there from behind the North endzone and threw a ball. Truth be told, I spent a lot more time running up and down the hill than I did in a seat.”
The park will be ready for the season opener against Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 3. While it may have a few small stands, like a blocking sled or face-painting booth, Glass said he hopes to just see children throwing Nerf footballs and for it to become a place that children want to go to and encourage their parents to enter the stadium.
A retro scoreboard is being added to the North endzone, one that Glass said will have a 1930s/1940s feel to it.
In addition, Indiana is replacing the sound system in time for the Oct. 3 Ohio State game (which is when the new building will officially be dedicated); encouraging the band and cheerleaders to have more fun during the games; encouraging Greek organizations and residence halls to buy tickets in the front rows and hang bed sheets; adding ticket booths; sending out ticket sellers into the tailgating areas with tickets and a wireless credit/debit card machine; and giving a fresh coat of paint to many facets of the building, include the entryways and the press box.
Students will be allowed to buy $5 student tickets, and that offer will extend to students from other universities. Glass gave the example of an Indiana student having three friends from Ball State visit the weekend, and how all four would be able to attend the game for $20.
Glass said there are promotions in the planning stage that will attempt to bring in more fans, but it does not appear that there is a plan similar to the $5 balcony seats for men’s basketball games last season.
“The reason IU is last in the Big Ten in terms of how much money we have to spend per sport is because we don’t fill Memorial Stadium,” Glass said. “Getting football right is not only important for football’s sake, but it is important for the entire department.”
The funds are coming from a fundraising drive. Additional funds (also being used towards improving the student-athlete development center) have been created by eliminating open and frozen positions and following the university’s directive for no pay raises. (more…)
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