Bloomington – It might be a year and a day later than many had originally hoped, but Jerimy Finch made his debut as a member of the IU football team Tuesday.
Moments before the start of the team's second practice of fall camp, the IU staff learned that the 6'1", 215-pound sophomore had been cleared to begin practice. The Indianapolis product and Florida transfer worked out at safety on individual drills and returned some punts during special teams sessions on his first day in an IU uniform.
"Yesterday I told you guys with the paperwork we really didn't know if it would be 1, 2, 3 days, so we were really thrilled he was able to get out here this quick," IU Coach Bill Lynch said. "Glad to have him out here."
Finch, who originally verballed to IU in 2007 and then decommitted in the days leading up to signing day to sign with Florida, will be made available to the media for the first time on Thursday.
While Lynch was glad to see Finch in an IU helmet for the first time, he's also been equally pleased to see some much improved play out of redshirt freshman punter Chris Hagerup.
Hagerup came to IU in the spring of 2007 and was expected to handle the team's punting duties as a true freshman. But that didn't come to fruition, and he was eventually redshirted while fifth-year senior Michael Hines handled the job last fall.
It's only two day into fall camp, but Lynch says he's already seeing some much better things out of Hagerup. He's been kicking the ball more consistently and has been getting his kicks off much quicker since he's switched from a three-step approach to a two-step approach.
"I like Hagerup," Lynch said. "I think he's worked at it, his get off time has been really good the last two days. He's two stepping it which is what we want him to do, he's fielding the ball well on bad ones. He's got the leg, it was all the other things that were kind of holding him back up to this point. But I like what he's done the first two days."
Early speculation was that since Joe Kleinsmith has been working out with the punters as well during drills that the job was an open competition, but Lynch dismissed that talk Tuesday. He said Kleinsmith is being looked at as a potential back-up to Hagerup, particularly for road games when IU can only travel a limited number of players.
"He's our guy," Lynch said about Hagerup. "Last year he just wasn't ready to do it.. He's a completely different guy now than a year ago.
IU co-defensive coordinator Joe Palcic named his No. 1 cornerbacks for Tuesday – Chris Phillips and Richard Council.
But nothing should be read into that to suggest that Council will be the choice to start opposite Phillips when the Aug. 30 season opener arrives. Instead, Palcic is rotating his cornerbacks on a daily basis to give them all an opportunity to work out with the No. 1 unit.
"Everyday I'm letting someone new go with the 1s so they all get a fair look," Palcic said. "Coming out of spring, I didn't have anyone stand out as the No. 1 corner opposite Chris Phillips. So we opened up the competition again in the fall."
Palcic doesn't see his situation as a negative. Instead, he has seen enough from the likes of Council, Chris Adkins, Donnell Jones, Adrian Burks and now freshman Cortez Smith to have him considering rotating a couple of corners on gameday if one player hasn't separated himself from the pack.
"It's not that I don't have anyone who's good enough to play, I have multiple guys that are good enough to play," Palcic said.
The defensive highlight of the day probably came during 11-on-11 work in the first half of practice when senior cornerback Chris Phillips stepped in front of a Ben Chappell pass and raced into the end zone for a touchdown. Big plays have always been a specialty for Phillips, who has four career interceptions, two of which he's returned for touchdowns….It's only two days into practice, but the two freshman wideouts who would appear most likely (at this point) to get a chance to play as freshmen are Tyler Adetona and Tandon Doss. Adetona has been working out with the slot receivers, while Doss is an outside guy. Among the other freshman wide receivers, Shane Covington was working out as an inside receiver, and Demarlo Belcher is an outside guy…Kellen Lewis continues to try to work his way up the depth chart, and he made one of the day's best throws on a deep ball to Andrew Means which he hauled in for a 35-plus yard gain…another big pass play during 7-on-7 came from Mitchell Evans, who hit Belcher on a similar pattern down the sidelines.
FB CAMP: Tuesday Practice Report
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