”It’s been going great, man,” Redding said. “It’s been fun playing with all these guys, competing, going out playing hard, so this past week and a half has been real great.”
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Redding spoke about his progress through six spring practices.
As previously mentioned, he said he’s trying to become more of a leader among the running backs. Though he just completed his freshman year, he’s already one of the most experienced players among the running backs.
In addition to Redding, that group features two current walk-ons, a former walk-on, a player who missed his entire freshman year because of a season-ending leg injury in preseason camp and a first-year transfer player. Redding had the most playing time with the team last season out of the current group.
He said being a leader has been a good experience for him.
”It’s been kind of cool, you know, just from having a little bit of experience,” Redding said. “But I’ve been trying to step up to be a leader. That’s what I’ve been working on a lot, getting the RB crew tight and getting better with leading the team. It’s been a work in process.”
In being one of the most experienced players in the group, he’s been helping out teammates like Jordan Howard, the first-year transfer player from UAB with immediately eligibility, get acclimated to the program.
Howard was seventh in the country in rushing yards per game last season, averaging 132.3.
”Jordan’s good,” Redding said. “He has real good explosion, strong lower body, can run through guys, make guys miss. He’s a little bit of everything, but playing with him and competing with him has been great.”
Redding could be in for a more expanded role this season as well. In practice, he said he’s been getting check-down passes out of the backfield more often.
”For sure,” IU offensive coordinator Kevin Johns said, when asked if Redding could be catching more passes out of the backfield this upcoming season. “He’s got great hands. And I think all the backs we feel comfortable throwing any of those guys the ball.”
In 2014, Redding had 118 rushing yards and 14 receiving yards . There’s areas of his game he’s been working on throughout the spring.
He specifically listed off remembering plays, remembering offensive line blocking schemes, recognizing defenses and calling out blitzes as areas he’s been focusing on.
Aiding his development and improvement in those areas in the spring has been the return of junior quarterback Nate Sudfeld.
”It’s been real great,” Redding said. “With Nate, I feel a little more comfortable. Not that I didn’t with Zander or anybody, but just having Nate back, everybody’s been feeling comfortable.”
Overall, Redding has been having a great spring.
”I see Devine running extremely hard, playing with low pad level, competing,” Johns said. “There’s a little bit of, he’s not a seasoned veteran, he’s not a fifth-year senior. So he’s really going in there his first year fighting to be the starter. But man, the kid plays hard and he brings it every single day.”