Bloomington, Ind. – Much of the attention at Tuesday's practice was centered on James Hardy, but the biggest change on the field was one that revolved around a projected starting defensive lineman switching sides.
Charlie Emerson, a 6-5, 266-pound junior, has moved from defensive end to right tackle. Emerson has also switched from No. 93 to No. 70 and was working with the No. 2 unit Tuesday.
"I think it's a great opportunity for him," said Emerson's former position coach, defensive line coach Brian George. "We want to put the strongest players on the field, and this allows us to get two good players on the field and that's great for us."
Hoeppner approached Emerson about the move, and said he was pleased with the junior's response.
"I said ‘Charlie, we need you to do that,'" Hoeppner said. "The reason we can do that is because of the quality depth we've been able to develop on the defensive line. That allows us to move Charlie Emerson, who's athletic and gives us quality depth on the offensive line."
The player who has suddenly surfaced on the No. 1 defensive line, meanwhile, is Keith Burrus. The 6-2, 269-pound redshirt freshman has worked his way up to a starting spot, something that has even caught George by surprise.
"Any newcomer that comes in and proves he's ready to play is a surprise," George said. "As a coach, you'd like to think the guys that you've recruited are going to be good players, but you never expect them to come in the first year and contribute, just because they don't know what they don't know.
"He's a guy that's come along and come on strong. He's practiced well, learned the defense, which is hard for a guy coming in that hasn't been here, that wasn't here in the spring or last fall. It's a great job by him learning, and he has the tools to be a really good player for us."
Burrus is presently on the No. 1 defensive line along with Kenny Kendal, Greg Brown and Joe Kremer. Jammie Kirlew, Emile Bass and Todd Newman, among others are also expected to provide depth on the defensive front.
The defensive line had its biggest opportunity for full contact during Tuesday's practice, a session that had the most extensive "full go" 11-on-11 work of the fall thus far. It was a welcomed opportunity, according to George.
"I think they've been itching for a few days. We've had a taste, but today was the first extended time that we had as a full time to work on some full contact. They were excited."
Other News and Notes:
- Blake Powers was especially sharp during 7-on-7. The junior quarterback was 10-of-10 during 7-on-7. Overall, the top three quarterbacks were 21-of-28, with Graeme McFarland going 6-of-10 and Kellen Lewis going 5-of-8.
- a couple of IU players are nursing injuries – Nick Polk (ankle), Chauncey Incarnato (ankle) and Nick Sexton (neckle muscle). All the injuries are considered minor.
- 11-on-11 ended with the No. 1 offense going against the No. 1 defense, the No. 2 offense against the No. 2 defense, and the No. 3 offense against the No. 3 defense. The No. 1s ended ended with a 14-yard touchdown strike from Powers to Hardy. During the 2s vs. 2s, Graeme McFarland nearly hooked up with Lance Bennett for a score, but the ball went through Bennett's hands near the goal line. During the 3s vs. 3s, walk-on Trea Burgess ran for an 11-yard touchdown to cap the No. 3 offense's drive.
- perhaps most significant was after each of the offense's drives during 11-on-11 was the fact that IU successfully converted three 29-yard field goals. Austin Starr, who appears to be the No. 1 kicker presently, was the first to convert, followed by Kevin Trulock and Nick Ford. That also appears to be the current depth chart for the placekickers as well.
- a handful of true freshmen earned reps with the No. 2s Tuesday. Will Patterson and Mandela Roberts worked in at outside linebacker, while offensive linemen Cody Faulkner, Pete Saxon and Mike Stark worked with the No. 2 offensive line.
Tuesday Practice Report
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