Bloomington, Ind. – Twelve months ago it wouldn't have come as much of a surprise to see Blake Powers working out at quarterback.
But it did on Monday. Powers, who went from record-setting quarterback in 2005 to second string in 2006 to tight end in the spring of 2007 was back with the quarterbacks Monday morning, and it appears he'll be remaining there for his fifth and final season in an IU uniform.
"It's kind of a mutual decision," Coach Bill Lynch said. "We felt it was best for him, best for the football team, to move him back to quarterback."
With sophomore Kellen Lewis being the sure-fire starter, Powers figures to compete with redshirt freshman Ben Chappell for the back-up job. During 7-on-7 drills Monday Powers completed 5-of-7 passes and followed Lewis in the quarterback rotation, suggesting he's right there with Chappell for the No. 2 job.
"He can throw the ball," Lynch said. "We know that. I think he feels good about it and comfortable."
As a sophomore, Powers set a school-record with 22 touchdown passes for an Indiana team that went 4-7. Under the tutelage of first-year Coach Terry Hoeppner Powers completed 212-of-376 passes for 2,305 yards, ranking him second on IU's single-season list in both completions and attempts and yards.
But Powers also threw 16 interceptions in 2005, and a slow/injury-riddled start to the 2006 season created an opportunity for Lewis. Lewis responded by throwing for 228 yards and rushing for another 88 and leading IU to a come-from-behind 24-23 win over Ball State in week two, and by the time the Big Ten season opened Lewis was the clear-cut No. 1.
With limited prospects of playing under center this fall Powers moved to tight end in the spring and did show some promise, particularly in passing situations. But this fall Nick Sexton has been the clear-cut No. 1 tight end, Troy Wagner has been the second tight end on double-tight end sets, and Powers' opportunities to play or perhaps even travel might have been limited.
Now, the Hoosiers have a quarterback with plenty of experience prepared to step in if called upon should Lewis go down with an injury.
"It's something we talked about in the summer, but felt we'd start at tight end and see how that goes," Lynch said. "We talked yesterday and thought it was probably best for all concerned."
Powers Makes Move Back to QB
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