Bloomington – Jerimy Finch's Hoosier debut will have to wait.
While 104 players went through Indiana's first fall practice in shorts and helmets, Finch was left talking to Terrance Thomas in street clothes on to the sidelines. The 6'1", 215-pound Florida transfer has been admitted to IU and is listed on the Hoosiers' roster, but he's still awaiting clearance to begin practicing.
"It's a paperwork thing," IU Coach Bill Lynch said. "It's day to day until the paperwork gets completed, but he can't practice until then. But he can come out and watch practice."
Once Finch is cleared to begin practicing, he'll need to go through the NCAA-mandated five-day "acclimation period" before he's completely caught up with his teammates. The acclimation period requires players to wear only helmets on the first two days of practice, helmets and shoulder pads and helmets on days three and four, and then full pads are allowed on day five.
Players aren't allowed to participate in both sessions of a two-a-day practice until after the acclimation period is completed. Indiana's first two-a-day is Saturday, and Finch will be allowed to practice in only one of the two sessions since he missed Monday's practice.
"I'd like to say I hope (he returns) tomorrow, but it might be Wednesday," Lynch said. "It won't be too long."
A couple members of IU's freshman class have already switched positions. Cortez Smith and Shane Covington both were signed as running backs, but Smith has been moved to cornerback and Covington is working out with the wide receivers.
Smith will be competing with a plethora of young corners for playing time opposite Chris Phillips, while Covington is now another member of a talented group of freshman wide receivers.
Lynch said he liked what he saw from some of the new faces.
"I saw a little bit out of different guys as you went through the day in different drills," Lynch said. "In team, (Tandon) Doss made a nice catch, (Tyler) Adetona made a nice catch. In individual stuff I saw (Charles) Love and (Demarlo) Belcher and Covington. I think it's a good group.
The stable of punters had a couple of new faces in the mix Monday. Freshman Kyler Scott has been added to the roster out of Culver (Ind.) Academy, but the biggest surprise was a familiar face – Joe Kleinsmith.
The Hoosiers' second-string safety is still working with the defense, but senior was also working in with the punters during drills as well.
Whether to move is permanent or temporary liking depends on what the staff sees from freshman Chris Hagerup in camp. Hagerup is the team's No. 1 for the time being, but he'll need to prove he can handle the job during fall camp. If he can't, then Kleinsmith appears to be an emergency back-up plan.
In the punting sessions I saw, Hagerup did look much improved Monday. He's always had a big leg and boomed a couple of deep balls, but he showed off more consistency as well.
Mitchell Evans is back with the quarterbacks this fall. The sophomore started out last camp there as well, but moved to safety after the first week and wound up playing as a true freshman.
A similar move could happen again depending on how things develop in the first week to 10 days of camp.
"We think he can be a really good quarterback," Lynch said. "We're still talking. There's not a timetable on that…he's a great kid, and he'll do whatever we want him to do, wherever he can help and play. We'll wait and see.
"I think the logical thing was to start out at quarterback for the few days and get a feel for things and then if we make a change we'll decide at that point."
Some other observations from day one…the Hoosiers have added some impressive looking players in this freshman class. Among the most impressive is Adetona, who is a physical-looking wideout who made a couple of nice catches Monday. Another newcomer who stood out was Tandon Doss, who has great size and showed off good hands in coming down with some tough throws…during 7-on-7 drills, Chappell was the first quarterback on the field, followed by Lewis, then Chappell, then Evans and then Chappell. So for the first couple of days, Chappell will certainly get as many – if not more – reps than Lewis…Bruce Hampton (hamstring) is the only player unable to play for the time being due to injury…James Brewer is back on the field after a long absence with foot problems. He's currently at 342 pounds, making him the second biggest man on the roster behind Dennis Ziegler. Ziegler has a new number (78) and has shed some weight, but is still the biggest man on the team at 350 pounds…competition appears wide open at the second cornerback spot. During the 7-on-7 drills that I saw, Chris Adkins was the first one on the field, while Donnell Jones, Richard Council and even Cortez Smith got looks as well…speaking of looks, a handful of the players are going with the mo-hawk look this fall. Among them is tight end Troy Wagner and the starting safety tandem of Austin Thomas and Nick Polk…the most interesting hair had to belong to Council though – the back of his hair was dyed red…during punting drills, Ray Fisher was the first choice on punt returns, followed by Andrew Means…six walk-ons have been added to the roster and are participating in fall camp. The group includes a couple of familiar names – 6-3, 185-pound freshman quarterback Brandon Kiel (cousin of '09 commit Dustin Kiel) from Hamilton Heights H.S., and 6-2, 245-pound freshman offensive lineman Chris Ahlfeld (brother of former IU basketball player Adam Ahlfeld) is from North Central H.S. Also added were 6-2, 190-pound quarterback Connor Creevey (Mishawaka, Ind.); 5-11, 190-pound safety Devin Anderson (Ft. Wayne Elmurst); 6-2, 185-pound wide receiver Kyle Dietrick (Bishop Chatard H.S.) and 5-9, 165-pound punter/kicker Kyler Scott (Culver Military Academy).
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