Indiana football coach Kevin Wilson met with the media Saturday prior to the Indiana-Ohio State basketball game at Assembly Hall. He touched on a variety of topics from the health of quarterbacks Nate Sudfeld and Chris Covington, to how the Hoosiers performed in the classroom last semester, to his thoughts on the off season conditioning program and Spring football and how recruiting is going in general with this class.
Here are some of the highlights of what Wilson touched upon:
SUDFELD, COVINGTON WILL PARTICIPATE IN SPRING PRACTICE
Wilson said that both Sudfeld and Covington would be able to participate in spring ball but they would be limited from contact. But as Wilson said, quarterbacks don’t usually get much contact in spring any way so it shouldn’t be that big of a deal.
Both Sudfeld and Covington, IU’s top two quarterbacks, were injured in mid-October giving way to Zander Diamont taking over as the IU signal caller. Sudfeld separated his non-throwing left shoulder when he was driven into ground on a hit against Iowa. Covington tore his ACL either in that game or the next day in practice.
“There will be a point in time where it may be looking like they always look because they’ll have that blue jersey on,’’ Wilson said. “I think Chris from a running standpoint it may be that he can only do pocket throws rather than have him running around and doing sudden breaking.’’
Wilson said Sudfeld has already begun throwing the ball some.
“His issue is going to be one side is going to be able to lift and do a lot and the other side not so much,’’ Wilson said. “He called me the other day and he’s doing OK. He’s going to be able to do everything with limitations. It will be like ‘Today you cannot bench but you can do this exercise.’ But he’s not going to be on his own.’’
Wilson said one player who will miss the spring is backup offensive lineman Jacob Bailey. Wilson said Bailey has a knee injury. He said that everyone else has minor injuries. Wilson also said he expects running back Tommy Mister, who was injured before the season started and redshirted a year ago, will be full go and able to participate in the spring.
WILSON OFFERS ACADEMIC PROGRESS REPORT
Wilson said the Hoosiers had 55 players last semester who had a 3.0 GPA or higher and the team GPA average was 2.8.
He said that along with gaining 2,036 yards and being a consensus first team All-American, that tailback Tevin Coleman also had four B’s and an A in his classes. He also singled out Antonio Allen, as a rising player both on and off the field. He said Allen had a 3.5 GPA. He also mentioned offensive tackle Jason Spriggs at being “well over a 3 point average.’’“You like to see that kind of success because I think some of those successful traits kind of carry over to the football successes we need to get to,’’ Wilson said. “I’m not saying that ‘Hey it’s great that we’re doing good in school.’ It’s nice that we’re doing good in school but it’s part of a winning culture and we just wanted to share some of that.’’
OFFSEASON PROGRAM AND SPRING FOOTBALL PLANS
Wilson said that Indiana will basically approach the offseason as if its Spring 1 and Spring 2.
In the past, IU has always had four or five spring practices before students go on Spring Break. They would then resume Spring Ball when players got back.
This season Wilson’s off-season conditioning program will run right through Spring Break. Spring Break at IU runs from March 15-22.
After spring break, Wilson will have his team doing conditioning workouts on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and then begin Spring practice on that Thursday, March 26.
”We probably won’t practice that Easter Saturday weekend which is April 4,’’ Wilson said. “Then we’ll come back on April 11th and have some kind of spring event. That has kind of been the date in the past. It goes well with the youth clinic we do, and the fan support and it has gotten bigger. So we’ll probably do something that week but then we’ll have a few practices.’’
Wilson said the athletic department is actually looking into doing something in conjuction with Little 500 weekend this year at IU.
“So maybe we’ll have two spring games,’’ Wilson said. “We’ll have one which is a public scrimmage and continue to use that week that we’ve been using and we want to build on that but because we’ve backed up spring maybe we can tie into the Little 500 and do something there.
“But that’s not my call and it’s not the athletic department’s call. We’ve reached out to some people there to see what we can do. If it doesn’t work then we’ll just have some extra practices.’’
RECRUITING RANKINGS ARE GOOD AGAIN
Wilson said he went back and looked at IU’s recruiting rankings from 2002-2010, the years leading up to when he took over the program in 2011.
He looked at how IU ranked not only with the teams that were in the Big Ten then but then ones that are there now. So it became a ranking of 14 teams for each of those years.
“I think we ranked 14th the majority of the time with one 11 and one 12,’’ Wilson said. “I think we had six 14’s in that span. Our first year here we were 11 and then we were 12, but since then we’ve gone fourth, seventh and now I think we’re sitting at sixth (and that doesn’t include the junior college transfers).
“So the recruiting thing has really picked up. Now just because they’re committed doesn’t mean they’re coming. It’s water over the dam, last minute changes, a coach leaves. All kinds of things like that. Sometimes right now you recruit committed kids harder than uncommitted but you’re recruiting guys. And we’re also looking at the sophomores and the juniors and doing the Junior Days and stuff.’’
IU WILL SIGN 25 RECRUITS
Wilson said IU has 18 commits along with the two transfers at this point that gives him 20 committed players in the class. That doesn’t include a third UAB player, Kyree Hollis, who will walk-on for the Hoosiers. Hollis played at Cardinal Ritter High School in Indianapolis.
Wilson said the Hoosiers will sign 25 players.
“(The class) looks good on paper,’’ Wilson said. “It still has to finish. We need a few more spots we can get. Who those spots are, sometimes you’re getting to the point where there’s a couple of things you need but just like the NFL draft you’re looking at the best player available and sometimes it’s hard to walk away from those kinds of guys. We’ll use that mindset a little bit.
”We have a lot of athletic guys. I think there’s five or six guys that played quarterback but they translated into a tight end or offensive positions or defensive positions. It’s looking good on paper and we’ll see how that finishes up. And again it would be the third year in a row on paper with better starting points with guys.’’
NEXT RECRUITING PERIOD BEGINS THURSDAY
Wilson said IU is in a dead period for recruiting until Wednesday. That’s because this week is the coaches convention in Louisville.
“You technically have three weeks but Thursday, Friday and Saturday counts as the first week,’’ Wilson said. “So you’re allowed three contact weeks. So you prioritize. And that’s MLK weekend our visits that weekend, which are not going to be a lot, are going to come in on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. So we can use all day Thursday and all day Friday and not just for seniors but for juniors, too. We’ll be watching basketball games of top junior skill guys Friday night.’’Football Recruiting Update: Jan. 10, 2015
Wilson commits to IU
Analysis: Howard is a big get for IU