IU Football Practice: Day 1 Notebook

Thursday Indiana announced that two true freshmen had not met their academic requirements and would not be eligible this season. A third, IU said, could return if he gets his academics in order. The Hoosiers also announced a dismissed player for a violation of team rules. Friday, Kevin Wilson explained in detail the concerns.

Day one of fall practice meant Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson and his staff finally got a chance to see the 105-man preseason roster in action, even if that roster looks slightly different than expected.

The Indiana football team announced several roster changes on Thursday. Redshirt senior defensive back Antonio Marshall was dismissed from the team for a "violation of team rules." Meanwhile, two 2013 signees were not able to meet academic requirements and will not join the team this semester, while another is in limbo.

Wilson talked about each player's situation after practice Friday.

Antonio Marshall

As a veteran and proven playmaker, Marshall was supposed to provide stability to one of the defense's shakiest units. He came to IU as a junior college transfer from Georgia Military College, so it was just his second year in the system.

Still, he had solid production in 2012, posting 38 tackles and two interceptions.

Even with Marshall's unexpected departure, Wilson sounded upbeat about his team's ability to fill the void.

"It's unfortunate, but the guy I think he kind of came to spring as a two, played some last year," Wilson said. "But again the way we play defense — I don't know if it's hard to replace anyone because we've been looking for players, looking for starters."

Wilson said his staff has moved junior defensive back Tim Bennett to corner, and that he wanted to do so during the spring but couldn't because of his personnel and injuries at the time.

He also named redshirt sophomore Michael Hunter, juniors Brian Williams and Kenny Mullen and senior Ryan Thompson as other players who have a shot to earn quality playing time with Marshall gone.

True freshman Rashard Fant, a four-star recruit, also caught Wilson's eye.

"From what the guys say, the best cover guy is Fant," Wilson said. "Now he's (165 pounds) so we'll see if he can play, but he can run. So we'll see."

Daryl Chestnut and Taj Williams

Chestnut, a 5-10, 190 pound freshman running back, is on the 105 man preseason roster but must complete outstanding academic requirements to officially join the team in practice.

Williams, a wide receiver, has officially been ruled out as a member of the 2013 team and can join the program at the beginning of the spring semester.

"What I don't like about it is they're not here," Wilson said. "What I do like, we do have some quality walk-ons that will have a chance. Now they will earn it."

Wilson said the team is waiting on academic results for Chestnut, who can report to camp if the results are satisfactory. If they aren't, he too can join the team in the spring.

"Right now Daryl's not eliminated," Wilson said. "It's a matter of just some red tape and those two are close enough where the goal is to get them sooner rather than later and we'll see how it goes."

With Williams off the 2013 team, Wilson currently has five walk-on spots available. If Chestnut doesn't complete his academic requirements, the Hoosiers are allowed an additional walk-on spot.

Maurice Swain

A 6-5, 305 pound offensive lineman, Swain was a highly sought-after recruit in high school, receiving offers from traditional powerhouses like Georgia, Auburn and Tennessee.

Swain's grades weren't good enough to attend IU, so he'll have to go the junior college route instead. That means there is always the possibility he transfers to Indiana after a year or two of JUCO ball.

"Maurice Swain will be a junior college player and of course yes, you want to keep an eye (on him)," Wilson said. "At the same time he's not bound, he can do anything he wants."

Wilson said he was aware of Swain's academic issues at an early stage. He made a late sign of Nate Hoff, a 6-2, 320 pound offensive lineman from Solon, Ohio, to compensate.

Hoff committed May 19, the day after his visit to Bloomington.


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