Bloomington, Ind. - Friday was IU football's version of the calm before the storm.
Today's 2 ½-hour practice session wrapped up the NCAA-mandated acclimation period, limiting teams to one-a-day practices for the opening five sessions of fall camp. Beginning Saturday the Hoosiers are free to go twice-a-day, and they'll do that Saturday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Saturday will also be the team's first day of full contact. The team was in full pads during Friday's practice, but the players will do live tackling for the first time on Saturday starting at 9:15 a.m.
A few of the notable items from the IU practice fields on Friday:
- the injury situation remains basically unchanged. Safeties Nick Polk (hamstring) and J.T. Owens are still limited, although they did participate in some positional drills Friday afternoon. Both are considered day-to-day. Kenny Love, meanwhile, is out with a left ankle injury. Love was at practice Friday and did go through some conditioning work at the close of practice, but he is wearing a boot to protect the injury he suffered Thursday.
- at the quarterback position, Mitchell Evans appears to have taken a lead over Teddy Schell for the No. 3 job. Evans was getting more reps during 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills than Schell, and has shown off a strong arm all week. At least for the foreseeable future, indications are Evans will remain at quarterback and won't be switching to safety.
- it appears as if three tight ends might get an opportunity to play this year. Nick Sexton is No. 1 on the depth chart and is clearly the team's top blocking tight end. Blake Powers, meanwhile, impressed during the spring with his pass catching ability and can be a weapon there. Troy Wagner, meanwhile, was lined up with Sexton on Friday during double tight-end sets, so he could see action this fall as well.
- it was generally a good day for the defense, as the offense didn't turn in many big plays during 7-on-7 or 11-on-11 drills. One player in particular who stood out was defensive tackle Greg Brown, who stuffed Bryan Payton in the backfield for a big loss on one play and consistently generated a pass rush up the middle as well. Fellow first-string defensive tackle Joe Kremer, meanwhile, also turned some heads Friday, but for a different reason. Kremer sported a freshly-shaved head, with an adidas logo on one side and a block "I" on the other.
- one of the bigger plays for the offense was a surprise quarterback draw that went for 40 yards and a touchdown. That might not be a huge surprise if the quarterback had been Kellen Lewis or even Mitchell Evans, but it was No. 2 Ben Chappell who broke free up the middle and went into the end zone untouched. The 6-4, 233-pound Chappell isn't the fleetest-of-foot, and his score prompted Coach Bill Lynch to yell up to the video crew to "save that film…don't ever let that one die."
- there was a TV film crew that was in attendance shortly at practice, which in-and-of-itself isn't huge news. But the crew was from "Oprah," and they were in town filming some sights and sounds of Bloomington for a segment they will be doing about Jill Behrman. Behrman is the former IU student who disappeared during a bike ride more than seven years ago, and her remains weren't discovered until three years later. John Myers was convicted of her murder last October.
- for the second straight day, practice ended with some rigorous conditioning drills, as the team ran three sets of 220s (4 x 55 yards, or the width of a football field). A handful of nicked up players, meanwhile, were on the sidelines during abdominal work with Offensive Line Coach Bobby Johnson, and their workout might have been more strenuous than the sprints. Ray Fisher, Kenny Love, J.T. Owens, Geno Johnson and Leslie Majors were the players who went through the work with Johnson.
- on Saturday, Aug. 18, IU will hold an open scrimmage as part of its annual "Fan Day." The West stands will be open to the public, and the scrimmage is set to get underway at 2 p.m. Following the scrimmage, players and coaches will be available for autographs and photos.
Friday Fall Camp Practice Report
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