Thigpen Ready to Showcase Skills, Speed

After being a Fab-50 selection in the state of Michigan following closing out his prep career by leading the Detroit Public School League in rushing as a senior with 1,785 yards and 20 touchdowns, Marcus Thigpen was forced to sit out his freshman season at Indiana to help him make the move from running back to wide receiver. Now the speedy receiver is ready to out run some secondaries and showcase that blazing speed.

The spread offense is built on speed on well executed routes. Redshirt freshman Marcus Thigpen always had the speed, but after sitting out a year, it appears he may have what it takes to make the move from high school running back to Big Ten receiver.

"I'm real excited for this season," said Thigpen. "The redshirt year showed me where I needed to improve, what it takes to be a receiver and it helped me out more than I thought it would, actually. Just being in the weight room and learning what I need to do to be a receiver at this level has me more prepared for this season than I was at this point last season. I can tell the difference in my routes and cuts."

The 5-9, 178-pound Thigpen is currently on the No. 1 unit as the slot receiver, so he should be able to showoff his blazing speed this season. In high school he was the state champion in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.82 and should be able to use that speed either stretch defenses vertically or cause them headaches when he catches underneath routes and heads up field.

Thigpen seems to be another fan of the spread offense. He knows he can use his speed to break out in the pass-friendly sets.

"I love the spread offense," said Thigpen. "I felt we did a little too much running for a receiver's liking last season and now we have a chance to get more involved. There's a lot of passes to be caught in this offense and I hope to catch more than my share. I've been working on just staying in shape. There's a lot of running in the spread offense and we need to be able to not get tired during games."

Hoosier wide receivers coach Billy Lynch echoed those thoughts, pointing out that there will be an abundance of opportunities for the IU wideouts this season.

"The good thing about this offense is if we get it going and get it clicking, there are plenty of balls to go around," said Lynch.

Thigpen will have to battle for his share of the throws with seven redshirt or true freshmen on the roster.

"Competition is tough," said Thigpen. "But we all understand how it makes us better and the team better. I'm not going to stop working hard out here to make someone else look better and nobody is going to do that for me. Instead we need to make each other better by pushing each other."

One advantage for Thigpen was staying in Bloomington during the summer to workout and run 7-on-7 drills with the quarterbacks to make sure he knew his routes and to get on the same page with his teammates.

"I think we had an advantage during the summer since we stayed down here," said Thigpen. "Everybody else was up at home while we were in the gym working hard. We did a lot of running and had a chance to get our chemistry down with the quarterbacks. I had a better chance to get to learn the routes. It was a big advantage for me personally and it should help the team more than anything." Top Stories