FALL CAMP: Thursday Practice Report

Bloomington – Bill Lynch's staff isn't about to make a rush to judgment on any of the position battles being waged this fall. With marquee jobs such as quarterback, running back and cornerback all on the line during fall camp, the IU staff doesn't appear to be on the verge of settling on starters anytime soon...

Bloomington – Bill Lynch's staff isn't about to make a rush to judgment on any of the position battles being waged this fall.

With marquee jobs such as quarterback, running back and cornerback all on the line during fall camp, the IU staff doesn't appear to be on the verge of settling on starters anytime soon. At quarterback Kellen Lewis and Ben Chappell continued to rotate in with the No. 1 and No. 2 units Thursday afternoon, and a handful of players are still getting chances on the No. 1 unit at both tailback and cornerback.

Chappell said there isn't any sort of timetable that's been established for naming a starter, and that he isn't preoccupying himself with whether or not he'll get the nod for the opener.

"It really doesn't really cross my mind that often," Chappell said. "I'm just trying to come out here and get better. That's what everyone out here is doing - trying to get better as a football team."

The same goes for running back, where Marcus Thigpen, Demetrius McCray, Bryan Payton, Trea Burgess, Darius Willis and Zach Davis-Walker all likely have designs on getting a chance to be a primary ball carrier this fall. The Hoosiers are expected to rotate players at the position so more than one will get a significant opportunity to contribute, but it's still a hotly-contested position where a couple of players will likely emerge as the primary options.

Thigpen and McCray currently appear to be the top two on the depth chart, but plenty could change in the next 16 days leading up to the season opener.

"You can never have enough, and they're all competing and we're getting better everyday," said first-year running backs coach Dennis Springer. "It's a good problem to have.

"Someone will win the job, somebody will line up and be the first back in the game, and depending on what we're doing may get the majority of the snaps. But how many we're going to play depends on the flow of the game and what we're doing."

At cornerback, Chris Phillips is the team's No.1 coverman, but Donnell Jones, Chris Adkins and Richard Council continue to get looks with the No. 1 unit as well. The three came out of spring ball bunched together, and cornerbacks coach Joe Palcic hasn't tipped his hand on which way he's leaning toward.

Lynch says he likes the competition he's seen at corner as well as the other positions, and isn't anxious to have the starting lineup figured out.

"It's still such a long time until we play a game," Lynch said. "If you all of a sudden say these are our guys and you go practice them, what happens when two of them have a hamstring or an ankle.

"I think the more they compete and the longer they compete the better off we are. At some point you have to make some decisions…(but) I don't think we're ready to make those decisions yet."

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