Tony West, RB- West is the son of head coach Lou West and most likely the most dangerous player on the ISU roster. He rushed for 791 yards on 160 carries a year ago and also caught 17 balls out of the backfield. While he's not big at 5'9" and 175 pounds, he does have dangerous speed if he gets into the secondary. West was an all-state running back at Mishawaka's Penn H.S. when his father was an assistant coach at Notre Dame, and he decided to join his father in Terre Haute when he got the job two years ago. He started his college career at Findlay University, then transferred to Western Kentucky before eventually going to Indiana State in 2005. While ISU was a I-AA school, West still had to sit out the 2005 season due to the NCAA's double transfer rule. He's now a senior and the top offensive weapon in the Sycamore offense.
Reilly Murphy, QB - Murphy took over as the Sycamores' quarterback midway through the 2006 season and had a solid year statistically. The junior college transfer California completed 143-of-261 passes for 1,937 yards and eight touchdowns while throwing eight interceptions. Murphy didn't lead Indiana State to any more wins, but he was named to the Gateway Conference's All-Newcomer team for his efforts. One of Murphy's biggest challenges this fall will be the loss of ISU's top two receivers from a year ago – Carl Berman and Sam Logan – who combined for 98 receptions, 1,318 yards and nine of ISU's 14 touchdown receptions a year ago.
Charles Dowdell, QB/WR - The Ft. Wayne Northrop graduate is a redshirt freshman who is slated to back-up Murphy at quarterback. But the 6-0, 180-pounder is also a gifted athlete whom Coach Lou West has talked about playing at slot receiver as well. There are needs at wide receiver with the loss of Berman and Logan from a year ago, so it's a very real possibility he could make his way onto the field as a pass catcher. Whatever West has in store for Dowdell, there's little doubt that he's one of the most athletic players on the roster and someone who is capable of making big plays if given the chance to be on the field.
Prenny Stokes, C- The Indiana State offensive line has been decimated by injuries, and no position has been hit harder than center. Junior Jack Byrne – the projected starter – sprained his knee in a mid-August scrimmage and is expected to miss the IU game. Byrne's back-up is Jacob Carpenter, but he twisted his knee during fall camp and is questionable for the opener. If neither play is able to go, the Sycamores are expected to turn to Stokes, a senior who has started the last two years at defensive end. But desperate times call for desperate measures, and Stokes could serve as a stop gap until Byrne and/or Carpenter is ready to return. If Stokes is on the field, expect to see a big game for IU defensive tackle Greg Brown, who should be back from a shoulder injury.
What's coming up:
On Monday – Five Numbers to Note
On Tuesday - Four Players to Know
On Wednesday – Three Big Concerns
On Thursday – Two Key Matchups
On Friday – One Bold Prediction
Four Days and Counting
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