CAMP REPORT: Wednesday News and Notes

A closer look at Wednesday's two-hour, situational scrimmage at IU's Memorial Stadium. Includes a glance at some of the lesser-known players who are making some noise with their play, and what the special teams units revealed about which freshmen might play this fall...

Bloomington, Ind. - Trying to figure out which freshmen are going to play? Sometimes the best place to look is on special teams.

While a handful of freshmen have had opportunities to work with the No. 2 units this fall, that's occasionally been due to injuries to some others projected to be in the two-deep. But a closer look at the special teams units might be the best way to figure out which freshman could be slated to play when IU opens Sept . 1 against Indiana State.

On Wednesday, three freshmen were lined up with the No. 1 kickoff coverage team – Tyler Replogle, Mitchell Evans and Donnell Jones. While that's far from a guarantee that they'll play in the opener, the staff is presumably looking to settle on who will be on the special teams units, so their presence on the No. 1 unit Wednesday suggests all three have a good chance of playing.

- Indiana's new No. 3 quarterback, Blake Powers, had a handful of reps with the No. 2 unit this morning. He's understandably rusty due to the time he's spent at tight end, and nearly had his first pass intercepted by Austin Thomas. During his second series with the No. 2s in the red zone, Powers was sacked twice by Ryan Marando who was filling in for Jammie Kirlew on the No. 1 unit at defensive end.

- With the injuries to Hardy and now Bailey, the back-up whose made the best case for playing time is Terrance Turner. The 6-3, 200-pound redshirt freshman caught three passes for 31 yards Wednesday. The next most impressive reserve has probably been true freshman Matt Ernest, who caught three passes for 36 yards Wednesday. Both Turner and Ernest worked with the No. 1s thanks to the absences of Hardy and Bailey.

A third player who gets reps on the outside is Chris Banks. Banks is a gifted athlete who can go up and make an acrobatic catch, but he's struggled at times with drops, particularly during the last couple of days.

- Trea Burgess' six carries for three yards was hardly a head-turning statistical performance this morning, but he's still a player to keep an eye on this fall. He's a 6-1, 219-pounder from Jeffersonville who can break a tackle and get an extra yard when needed. It'll be tough for the redshirt freshman to crack the tailback rotation, but he could be in line for some short-yardage and goal line carries this fall.

- James Hardy is expected back soon from his broken finger, but he's still been going through whatever drills he can while he's been out. Whether it's one-handed catches or route running, Hardy has still been actively involved at practice ever since breaking his finger Aug. 13.

"Hardy is getting closer and closer," Lynch said. "He's worked hard through this."

- the Hoosier players check out of camp this afternoon and move into their on or off-campus housing for the fall. They'll be back at practice tomorrow, and will start preparing for the Indiana State opener.

"We'll have periods tomorrow where we'll work extensively on Indiana State, and we'll do more and more of it every day," Lynch said.

The team will also practice under the Memorial Stadium lights on Friday to help prepare for the Sycamores. Kick-off is set for 8 p.m. for the opener, and IU is scheduled to play at least three night games – Indiana State, at Western Michigan (Sept. 8, 8 p.m.) and at Michigan State (Oct. 13, 7 p.m.).

- the offense was having its way with the defense early on Wednesday. The No. 1 offense was 4-for-4 converting a first down against the No. 2 defense after taking over on downs inside its own five-yard line. The ease with which the No. 1 offense moved the ball against the No. 2s prompted co-defensive coordinator Brian George to get animated along the sidelines with the No. 1 defense, imploring them to not get it "handed to them" like the No. 2 defense did.

The No. 1 defense responded by stopping the No. 2 offense in one of two series from inside the five. In the second situation – where the offense started a drive from its own 35-yard line – the No. 1 defense forced the No. 2 offense into three consecutive three-and-outs.

- as mentioned in Wednesday's other report, a handful of projected starters are nursing seemingly minor injuries. Of the projected No. 1s, Charlie Emerson (shoulder), James Hardy (finger), James Bailey (elbow), Ray Fisher (hamstring), Andrew Means (hip), Greg Brown (shoulder), Jammie Kirlew (hip), Joe Kremer (shoulder) and Geno Johnson (shoulder) all are dealing with minor ailments. All are expected to be ready by next Saturday's opener. Top Stories