FB CAMP: Thursday Practice Report

Bloomington - True freshman defensive tackle Adam Replogle was more than just in the mix at Thursday's IU football practice - he was on the field with the No. 1 unit. Find out why Replogle was with the 1s, what Bill Lynch has to say about Duwyce Wilson, and how things are shaking out at running back in today's practice report...

Bloomington – Adam Replogle is trying his best to follow in his brother's footsteps.

Two years ago, Tyler Replogle wasted no time getting on the field as a true freshman. Tyler was on the field for the season-opener against Indiana State, playing on the game's opening kickoff and recording three tackles in his Indiana debut as a reserve linebacker.

Now, it's Adam's turn to try work his way onto the field as a rookie. There's still three weeks to go before the Sept. 3 season-opener against Eastern Kentucky, but on Thursday the 6'3", 287-pounder from Centerville, Ohio, found himself lining up with the No. 1 unit at defensive tackle.

That's good news for Replogle, who doesn't hide the fact that reshirting isn't high on his wish list.

"I want to play," Replogle said.

He very well might get that chance. Most of his work during fall camp has been with the No. 2 unit, but a couple of injuries created a chance to work with the 1s Thursday. Jarrod Smith remains day-to-day with a back injury, and Mick Mentzer has also been sidelined for the last couple of days. That created an opportunity for Replogle, who has been one of the true freshmen who has stood out the most during the opening week of camp.

"He's a really good football player," IU Coach Bill Lynch said. "He's a big, strong physical kid. He's been well coached in high school and his motor runs like his brother's. With a couple of injuries in there we're moving guys around."

Replogle has been able to adapt to the change in not only the speed of the game, but the size of the players as well. In high school he was used to being the biggest player on the field, and now he's in a situation where he's giving up anywhere from 10-30 pounds to his opponent.

"I'm trying to stay lower, fly off the ball and be quicker with my hands," Replogle said.

While Indiana has played only a couple of true freshmen in each of the past few seasons, it doesn't come as a huge surprise to Lynch that Replogle is challenging to play his way onto the field this fall. The Hoosier coach likes what he's seen from some of the other defensive tackles such as Smith, Mentzer, Mack, Larry Black and Nick Sliger, but he also knew the Hoosiers were getting a good one when they signed Replogle.

"He's one of those guys, a physical kid," Lynch said. "In the recruiting process we figured he'd be one that could compete pretty soon."

Other notes from practice:

- One week into camp, the Hoosiers continue to rotate a slew of running backs onto the field with both the No. 1 and No. 2 units. On Thursday, Demetrius McCray was the first tailback to go with the No. 1s during the red zone drills, followed by Darius Willis with the No. 2s. Next up was Trea Burgess going with the No. 1s, and then Bryan Payton with the No. 2s.

At this point, it still remains anyone's guess as to who will start – and which running backs will play – when the season opener arrives.

"All of them have something," Lynch said. "When we go live, they'll move the pile. To stop them you have to get some penetration and keep them from getting going. If we can cover people up, they're going to gain some yards because they all have something."

During the last couple of years Indiana has rotated running backs, and there's a very good chance that could happen again this fall. But Lynch won't rule out the possibility that one could emerge as wind up being a workhorse, either.

"I've coached teams where we've had a star back that carried it 35, 40 times a game, and then there have been good teams I've been around where you share the load," Lynch said.

"Philosophically, I don't think it's one where you have to have a running back and he has to carry the ball. You can do it with two or three."

**

There have been a handful of true freshmen who have stood out in the opening week of practice, and one of those has been Columbus, Ind., wide receiver Duwyce Wilson. The highest-ranked recruit in the Hoosiers' 2009 class, Wilson has been making plenty of plays during 7-on-7 drills and when he gets some reps with the No. 2 offense.

That could present a tough decision for the IU staff when it comes to deciding whether or not to play him this season. With Damarlo Belcher, Tandon Doss, Terrance Turner and Mitchell Evans all expected to be significant contributors at the position, Lynch wants to be sure that if they decide to play Wilson that he plays a significant role.

"Once you make a commitment to play him, you better play him a lot," Lynch said. "When the year gets over you hate to look back and say he only played so many plays. What you also try to avoid is playing a guy early because there's an injury or a situation and then all of a sudden the older guy comes back, and you put the (younger) guy off the field.

"It's too early to really talk about where they're all going to fit. He's a really good football player and he's really impressed us."


Peegs.com Top Stories