Kevin Wilson talks IU football

Kevin Wilson addressed several topics in his comments to the media Monday afternoon at Big Ten Football Media Days in Chicago. Here are the highlights of his remarks.

So what did we learn from Indiana coach Kevin Wilson Monday when he was at the podium for Big Ten Football Media Day?

Here are the highlights:

First, here are Wilson’s overall impressions of his team heading into camp which begins Aug. 4.

“We've got a little bit more depth across the board. Offensive line, defensive line, skilled guys, et cetera.

“Very pleased the last couple years with our recruiting efforts and the ways those things have picked up on paper. And with the new rules this year, was very excited to have a chance to work with our freshmen in summer and not really for the football side but just to watch those guys run around, see those freshmen players, see who was in shape, who would compete, who could bend, change directions, et cetera.

“And very, very pleased now having had those guys in summer, I think even with so many returning players, we have a number of freshman that I would anticipate to being in the mix to compete and play this year.

“I think it's noted, our deal is always constant, consistent daily improvement. As we went through winter, into spring, and now summer, I feel very comfortable as we report next week. We're coming in stronger. We're coming in healthy. I have no medical issues with our current team. Academically, setting a great state, and we've been off the charts with our academics with our guys.

So I really like the direction the team's going, and really getting ready and prepared to have an outstanding preseason. We'll need one.’’

Wilson was asked about junior tailback Tevin Coleman. He said he expects that Coleman will have a big year and be in an impact. But then he posed a rhetorical question – “Will Tevin be the featured guy?,’’ Wilson said.

“He kind of was the featured guy last year, but I do think we're going to have to play with more than one back,’’ Wilson said. “I think, you know, most teams, whether it be -- I mean, Adrian Peterson has a complementary guy in the NFL and did when we had him at Oklahoma. I mean, we're going need to complement Tevin, whether it be with D'Angelo Roberts, Myles Graham, Laray Smith, guys in-house. And I really like Andrew Wilson and Anthony Davis as some walk-on thick kids. I'm telling you, better than you think.

“And then two signees, Tommy Mister and Devine Redding -- we got eight guys in the running back court coming into our preseason 105, and they're all pretty good. And no one like Tevin. I think Tevin can be as good a back -- and there's some tremendous backs in this league. I think he's one of the best backs in this league. I think we've got a line that can back it up. We got a quarterback that can spread it around and get the ball out in space.

“I'm looking forward to Tevin having a solid year, a strong year. And whether we want to call it breakout or can he handle the load, I think he's going to be one of the better offensive players in this conference, and looking forward to coaching him next week again.’’

Wilson was asked what he was looking for when he hired Brian Knorr as the new defensive coordinator?

“My first thought was not identifying a person,’’ Wilson said. “I looked at teams that I thought were comparable to us, talent-wise, who they played, and statistically for a couple, three years, who had played pretty good.

“And Brian's numbers coming out of Wake Forest had been top 40 defense for a couple of years in a row. Of course I knew him and was very comfortable with him. But what I was looking for, again, wasn't an unproven guy, but someone I thought that had played solid, competitive defense, because I think if we could just be competitive and get a few stops, everybody -- I always kind of almost laugh, they say, you know, your offense versus your defense going fast, if we get a couple of stops and get the ball back, think how much better the offense could be.

“So I don't use that offense hurting the defense. I think we complement each other. So we played a lot of young guys last year. We recruited 15 guys to that side of the ball. Got 10 guys back, and you'll see some young guys in the mix. We're going to be young, we're going to be more athletic, we're making a change, we're going to be a work in progress. But from what I saw in spring, we're going to be significantly improved on D.’’

One of the most interesting topics was when someone asked Wilson what Tre Roberson had said to him when he decided to transfer. There has never been much written on that topic since it happened.

He said, as was expected, that Roberson simply wanted to be the main quarterback and not going through the weekly decision process.

“Tre and Nate's skill set are a little bit different,’’ Wilson said. “Both those guys, quote, want to be the guy. I really encouraged -- I encouraged all of them to stay in there and hang with it. But at the same time, I think he felt maybe a chance just to be the guy. We wanted what was best for him, we respect him and we wish him well.

“That being said, I don't want to say now just because Nate is there, you know, we never have a position by default. He needs to continue to improve. I think he can be one of the premier quarterbacks in this league. I think he's capable of that now and has been. And so again, as we play, my goal with Nate, he's a young player, a true sophomore, he's got two springs under his belt. He's got a lot of growth to do, and I think if he continues to improve, he's going to be a brilliant player.

“But right now I just want to see him stay hungry, stay humble, stay grounded, and start being the guy to truly lead this team. Because like I said a year ago, for us to really play great, we've got to have dynamic play at quarterback. We've had really good play in this conference, but I don't think it's been as dynamic as we needed, and look forward to seeing if Nate can manage our team, get us in the end zone more, bring those interceptions down just a little bit and have a top end year. Top Stories