Monday Fall Camp Practice Report

Bloomington, Ind. – The first practice of the post-Hep era had a Hoeppner presence after all. As the Hoosiers went through the first of 24 fall camp practices Monday evening at the IU practice fields, they did so under the watchful eye of not only the coaching staff, but Jane Hoeppner as well as...

Bloomington, Ind. – The first practice of the post-Hep era had a Hoeppner presence after all.

As the Hoosiers went through the first of 24 fall camp practices Monday evening at the IU practice fields, they did so under the watchful eye of not only the coaching staff, but Jane Hoeppner as well as the Hoeppner's daughter, Allison Balcam. Both Hoeppners showed up at the start of the 2 1/2-hour session and stayed throughout.

The absence of Hoeppner made an already difficult day even more challenging. Not only were the Hoosiers dealing with the reality of Hoeppner's absence, but they also had to cope with temperatures that hovered in the mid-90s when the team began stretching at 5 p.m.

IU quarterback Kellen Lewis joked that the offense could have used Hoeppner's enthusiasm in the midst of a day that didn't go as well as he had hoped for his unit.

"He probably would have been a little riled up (about the offense's play)," Lewis said. "He probably would have come out growling like some kind of animal and done a back flip or something."

IU Coach Bill Lynch, meanwhile, remembered how excited his former boss would get about the start of camp each season.

"It was like Christmas to him…that's what we do this for," Lynch said. "We love coaching football. He loved coaching football so much. And fall camp is the best time because you don't have the distractions…if you're a football coach, you like this time of year."

While Hoeppner was certainly the one who was most missed Monday, his absence wasn't the only one of note. Coach Bill Lynch said after practice that second-string left tackle James Brewer will undergo surgery on his left foot tomorrow morning and will be out indefinitely.

"It was a case where…he's just had some problems with it over the summer and trying different things, we decided we needed to do surgery," Lynch said. "That's going to put him out for a while. He'll be non-weight bearing for awhile."

Here's a look at other note-worthy items from Monday:

- at quarterback, a pair of freshmen will compete for the No. 3 job behind Kellen Lewis and Ben Chappell. Some had expected Mitchell Evans to be a safety, but he's playing quarterback for the time being. He'll battle with fellow frosh Teddy Schell for the No. 3 job. Evans impressed Monday – he has a strong arm and out-performed Schell on the first day during station work. The left hander Schell had a rough opening day and was generally off target with most of his throws, but it was just the opening day of camp. Walk-on Dustin Hass, meanwhile, has moved from quarterback and will be the team's No. 1 holder.

- it's only one day of fall camp, but if the Hoosiers' season-opener was tomorrow, fifth-year senior Michael Hines would likely be the punter. Freshman Chris Hagerup continues to struggle with consistency and was out-performed by Hines Monday. It figures to be a battle that won't be settled until the final week of fall practice.

- at wide receiver, the Hoosiers legitimately have seven options at their disposal. James Hardy and James Bailey will start out wide while Andrew Means and Ray Fisher are the team's top two inside receivers. But split ends Chris Banks and Terrance Turner, along with slot receiver Brandon Walker-Roby, all had their moments Monday and showed they can perform if given the opportunity.

- Over the summer, Joe Palcic said that Leslie Majors had the best spring practice of anyone on the defensive side of the ball, and that appears to have carried over to the fall. During seven-on-seven work Majors dove in front of James Bailey for an interception, and then had a nice pass broken up during 11-on-11 work as well. Fellow starter Tracy Porter also had a couple of nice plays, diving in front of hardy during the first play of 11-on-11 work for a pass broken up.

- A trio of Hoosiers had off-the-field incidents in recent weeks, but all practiced Monday. Adam McClurg, Sean Edmundson and Blake Powers were all in uniform and on the practice field Monday evening.

- the Hoosiers continue to do the "Fourth Quarter" drill at the close of practice, something Hoeppner introduced and led during the last three years. Strength coach Mark Wateska is now leading the team through that practice-ending drill.

- 7-on-7 passing stats – Kellen Lewis 10-15, 1 INT. Lewis competed his final eight passes…Ben Chappell 7-15, 0 INT.

- 11-on-11 passing stats – Kellen Lewis 3-7; Chappell 4-7.

- there were no major surprises on the depth chart considering it was the first day of fall camp. Generally, the two-deep won't be shuffled until the second week. One player to keep an eye on could be Fabienne Boone, a walk-on defensive end who has been getting reps with the No. 2 unit and got a couple of snaps with the No. 1s Monday…with Brewer being sidelined, meanwhile, Kenny Love was the second-string left tackle…there were also no major surprises at running back, where Marcus Thigpen and Demetrius McCray both worked with the No. 1s, while Bryan Payton and Josiah Sears worked with the No. 2s.

- Quotable:

"Protecting the ball (is something we need to work on), which is something we've been talking about since camp started. We didn't throw too many interceptions today, but we did fumble a bit." – Kellen Lewis.

"I've been looking forward to it. It's been a tough off-season. It was good for us to be back together." – Greg Middleton.

"There's a maturity to James (Hardy) that we've seen throughout the off-season, the spring and the summer. He's so committed to football now. At some point when he decided he wasn't going to play basketball, there was a commitment because he has some confidence now, and he feels he can be a good football player. And he also knows this can be a good football team, and he wants to be a part of a good football team. So all the things you look for in a leader, he's starting to show." – Bill Lynch. Top Stories