After starting the season playing part-time at left tackle, Indiana sophomore Brandon Knight now finds himself as the full-time right tackle for the Hoosiers. The Noblesville, Indiana native spoke with Peegs.com about how the season has gone for him so far, and what he thinks of the play of the IU offensive line to this point of the season.
Knight was moved to right tackle after Dimitric Camiel went down with a back injury. He said that Camiel has been a great resource for him since taking over at right tackle.
“It’s going good so far,” Knight said. “Dimitric has been out but he has really been helping me with learning the plays and the fundamentals. He has really helped me with my mindset. This is really my first year playing big time football, so to have a fifth year senior that can help me physically and mentally is huge. I think it is a big deal to have those types of guys.”
The talented Hoosiers played at right tackle in high school so playing on that side of the line is not entirely new to him.
“The adjustment hasn’t been that tough at all,” he said about going from left tackle to right tackle. “I did rep a little bit at left tackle in high school, but I mainly played right tackle. Right tackle really isn’t all that different. The plays are just opposite from what they are on the left side. The biggest thing for me is I am working on getting my stance right, and once I get that I’ll be good.”
Knight said that Camiel isn’t the only injured O-lineman who has been giving him advice. Right guard Dan Feeney has also been working with him on things while he is out with a concussion.
“During games he (Feeney) is coming in at halftime with all his notes with what we’re doing right and what we’re doing wrong,” Knight said. “He has been helping me with my steps so he’s been big for us.”
The Hoosiers have struggled somewhat to get the running game going, and Knight said the biggest reason for that is the line isn’t playing physical enough.
“We just have to be more physical,” he said. “The fundamentals are going to come, but if you can’t be physical in the Big Ten you can’t win ball games. Against Ohio State we just weren’t physical enough. And we were just too tentative. Nebraska is a physical team and to match up against them we’re going to have to be really physical. We have got to be physical…physical, physical, physical.”
Indiana might have the youngest pair of tackles in the Big Ten with true Knight playing the right side as a true sophomore, and Coy Cronk the starter on the left side as a true freshman. Knight said that he has tried to help Cronk out as much as he can.
“I have tried to be a big leader for him,” Knight said about Cronk. “It’s a huge role for him with him and he is just a freshman. But he is doing a great job and he has come along a lot, I think even more than I have. Us young guys just have to keep pushing in practice because it’s hard playing in the Big Ten. With Coach (Greg) Frey, he is going to be on us, but we’ve just got to keep pushing.”
Indiana offensive coordinator said that he and the rest of the staff see both Knight and Cronk getting better each and every day.
“We think the world of Brandon,” Coach Johns said about Knight. “He is a lot like Coy Cronk in that he is only going to get better with time and experience. He has been battling through some nagging injuries as well, but just doing a really good job every week of trying to use his athletic ability to put himself in good spots. Certainly with those young kids, him and Coy Cronk, the want to is there and the desire is there, and now to me it is just more just game experience and reps.”