FB CAMP: Decision Made at Cornerback?

Bloomington – One of the featured position battles during fall camp appears to be pretty well settled. Chris Adkins, Adrian Burks, Richard Council and Donnell Jones have been battling for the chance to start opposite Chris Phillips, and co-Defensive Coordinator Joe Palcic thinks he knows who he's going to go with...

Bloomington – One of the featured position battles during fall camp appears to be pretty well settled.

IU co-Defensive Coordinator/Cornerbacks coach Joe Palcic has been rotating Chris Adkins, Donnell Jones, Richard Council and Adrian Burks onto the No. 1 unit alongside Chris Phillips ever since spring practice opened last March. Now, after 15 spring practices and almost three weeks of fall camp, Palcic says he knows who he'll likely run out onto the field during the Western Kentucky's opening drive Aug. 30.

There's one problem, though. He's not ready to reveal who that person is going to be.

Palcic isn't telling the media and he's not telling the players, either. Instead, he wants to continue giving each opportunities to work with the No. 1 unit over the next couple of days before announcing the starter sometime next week.

"I have four other guys that are working hard and I want to keep that competition going as long as I can," Palcic said.

As anxious as the players might be to know how the two-deep is going to ultimately shake out, Palcic said they've continued to go about their business throughout camp and haven't pressed him for an answer.

"They haven't asked, and I don't think they want to upset the other corners," Palcic said. "They're all obliging the others, saying it's your turn to go with the 1s today."

All four have had their moments during both the spring and fall. Adkins and Council have the best size of the group, with each standing more than 6'0" tall. Jones combines excellent speed with a 205-pound frame that makes him a very capable open field tackler. Burks didn't get as many reps with the 1s during the fall due to a groin injury, but he's been back on the field for most of the week and trying to pick up where he left off in the spring.

Whoever Palcic chooses, it doesn't appear as if it will be a choice made due to the other's shortcomings. Instead, the group has played well enough to ease many of the concerns about the problem of having to replace starters Tracy Porter and Leslie Majors.

"I've been really happy with the group as a whole," Palcic said. "Even though I have a starter in mind, I think I'm going to play a bunch of guys. There's no reason why we should get tired out there. They can tug on their shirt and I'll get the next fresh guy in and I'll have confidence he can do the job."

Getting solid production out of the corners will be a key component to IU's success on defense this fall. The Hoosiers made huge strides last season in pressuring the quarterback (a school record 42 sacks) and generating turnovers (31, including three defensive touchdowns), and Palcic says his unit can take another step this season.

"Although we're not old, we're experienced and that's going to help us," Palcic said. "We're a year older, a year better in technique, a year faster, a year stronger.

"I think we have a chance to make a significant improvement from last year in both wins and statistically with the defense. We're looking to improve on our run defense, our pass defense, our third down defense. Those are three things we really want to do and still create the turnovers we did last year."

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