Since his arrival last year Camion Patrick has been a player that Coach Wilson has been very high on. The junior college transfer was not eligible to play last season, and this spring he suffered a knee injury that will delay his Indiana debut a little bit longer. Wilson gave an update on Patrick’s rehab and how soon he might be able to suit up for the Hoosiers.
“I think there is a target date of shooting for the Big Ten opener but we’ll see as we go,” Wilson said. “The more running you do is there swelling and setbacks, but they are encouraged and pleased. He is doing well and we’ve had no setbacks, but you could. As a matter of fact, I always give them a hard time when they say it is four weeks or six months because every kid is different and every injury is different. What if it takes a little longer and the kid thinks it is worse than what it was. Some guys don’t come back as quick and some guys come back quicker. I know our medical staff will do well with him so he’s got a chance. He’ll be in preseason but he’ll be limited.”
Coach Wilson was asked about possibly using Patrick more at wideout instead of at running back this fall to help lessen the chance of the IU junior suffering another leg injury.
“In the spring we had him play running back exclusively to learn how to protect and handle the ball and run through tackles,” Wilson said. “He is very, very gifted with the ball. You get outside and there is not as much contact, but there is a lot of in and out of breaks and that is sometimes where you come up with knee injuries. So how stable is it. Even though he is looking good there isn’t a lot of side-to-side movement, it has been a lot of straight on movement and a lot of conditioning. He is weighing about 228 (pounds) so he looks good. He was either going to be a running back playing receiver, or a receiver playing running back.”
Coach Wilson said that no matter when Patrick returns it will most likely take him some time to get back to where he was mentally and with his conditioning before he suffered the injury.
“But hopefully we just get him back, and it looks like we will have a chance to get him back for a fair portion of the season,” Wilson said. “But at the same time, whenever you miss that much you have to knock some rust off. Even though I think his skill-set was truly, truly high, every time a guy has missed time you don’t just come back day one that good. It might be really until November not before he is healthy, but before he is back kind of playing with confidence and the conditioning level is right and all that stuff.”
Coach Wilson said that while there is a great deal of depth and talent at wideout and running back, Patrick is a special talent that can be a real difference-maker.
“We do have a lot of backs and a lot of receivers, but I think he is the best of all of them,” Wilson said.