Indiana's 2003 Walk-Ons:
Kyle Badgley P Richmond, Indiana
Tim Bugg LS South Bend, Indiana
Mike Connolly LB Terre Haute, Indiana
Paul Haan WR/LB Lafayette, Indiana
Troy Harker OL Monticello, Indiana
Nick Luce DT Vincennes, Indiana
Adam McClurg LB Greenwood, Indiana
Patrick Oldham OL Carmel, Indiana
John Rabold SS Bloomington, Indiana
Drew Robbins K Columbus, Indiana
Josiah Sears FB Greenfield, Indiana
Casey Smith FB/LB Charlottesville, Indiana
Landon Story WR Poneto, Indiana
Ben Wyss OL Fort Wayne, Indiana
IU has many more walk-ons this year than it has in the past due to the implementation of the Preferred Walk-On program. Football contact Gavin Lang said "We're bringing in tons of kids. Even some of the scholarship kids don't contribute right away so it'll be tough for the walk-ons."
Yet fans should not judge the quality of a walk-on class by the number of walk-ons playing on game day. "A good class of walk-ons is not going to be a starting lineup of walk-ons," Lang declared. Instead, they contribute by helping to build team morale and by providing energy to motivate the scholarship players in practice. By practicing harder, the scholarship players will play better in the games.
Still Lang thinks some of this summer's walk-on class will make a difference on the field during games. "The O-Line and D-Line kids are going to have some possibilities there because we are so thin in both those areas," Lang said. He also noted that the linemen on both sides of the ball showed some good potential.
Walk-Ons to look out for in the next few years:
Sure he's just a punter, but Badgley averaged 42.6 yards per punt during his senior season at Richmond High School. That was his first year playing football instead of just soccer during the fall season. His longest punt of the year was marked at 72 yards, so this kid as quite a leg and could make a difference for IU's special teams in the next few seasons. The Bloomington Herald and Associated Press named Badgley to their respective All-State teams.
Rabold comes from a good football pedigree, being the nephew of Chicago Bears lineman Mike Rabold. He set a school record for Bloomington North HS with 14 career interceptions. Although he is not as physically gifted as IU's other safeties, Rabold's coaches say he has great instincts for the ball and makes his breaks towards passing lanes much quicker than most safeties. Rabold could be a diamond in the rough on special teams with his ability to make quick decisions and to make tough open field tackles.
Wyss has good size at 6'3/260 lbs, but he needs to bulk up some to handle Big Ten quality linemen. But if Wyss bulks up he could lose some of the quickness that has impressed IU's coaching staff. Wyss was a 2002 consensus all-state pick by publications across Indiana after finishing his career at Fort Wayne Bishop Luers. Wyss might be needed this season because IU has a very thin offensive line.
Imagine a Ron Dayne sized body (6'0/232 lbs.) with great vision and you have incoming freshman Josiah Sears. The Greenfield Central graduate rushed for 3, 485 yards over his career including 1,730 yards during his senior campaign. Sears is a member of the 2002 All-State team. He lacks speed and quickness, but with his size and vision he could be a good change-of-pace back when used with a smaller, quicker runner.
2003 Walk-Ons Revealed
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