Before becoming the confident quarterback he is today, Indiana junior Nate Sudfeld had to endure a lot in order to mature as a player. Thanks to past experiences, maturity is one of his biggest areas of improvement heading into this season.
“I’d said I’m pretty different,” Sudfeld said at IU’s media day, when asked about how different he is from freshman year until now. “I think I’m just more mature overall.”
A three-star quarterback who arrived in Bloomington in 2012, the Modesto, Calif. native said he tried to be ‘the guy’ as a true freshman. He threw for 632 yards with seven touchdowns and just one interception in seven games played that season.
At Monday’s media day, he admitted trying to be ‘the guy’ might have been naïve of him at the time.
“It’s never going to be perfect, and I’m kind of a perfectionist, so that was kind of difficult as a freshman,” Sudfeld said. “You wanted to go no interceptions, and you throw one and it kind of drives you nuts. Not that they’re ok, but they’re going to happen at times.”
He competed against Tre Roberson and Cam Coffman during both his freshman and sophomore years. As a sophomore, Sudfeld threw for 2523 yards with 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Those numbers were put up splitting time with Roberson and Coffman. Now, both of them are gone, as Roberson transferred to Illinois State and Coffman to Wyoming.
Sudfeld said sharing things with both Roberson and Coffman, as well as competing with them, were a big part of his maturation process.
“I think that really did help all three of us in the long run, because whether it’s football or whatever, it’s not always going to be exactly how you want it and you still got to be a good teammate and a good person,” Sudfeld said. “I think we all three handled it pretty well.”
The three of them still keep in touch with each other in a group message to this day, exchanging text messages with one another.
“I think there’s a real strong bond we all three have just going through those ups-and-downs, those times,” Sudfeld said. “I definitely think that did help as far as football wise, competing everyday.”
IU head coach Kevin Wilson said Sudfeld understands being a better manager and minimizing negatives better than he did a year ago.
“He's played very well. I think he can be one of the better players in this league,” Wilson said. “We need him to take care of that ball in the end zone and manage the team at a high level, and I think he's ready to do that.”