Tuesday, August 24, 2010
IU Secondary Depth Put To The Test
Bill Lynch and his Indiana football coaching staff have spent a lot of time recruiting for and developing defensive back talent.
That talent -– and depth -– is about to get tested.
Junior safety Chris Adkins is out with an ankle injury bad enough that surgery will be needed to fix it. He could miss a couple of games or perhaps the season.
Adkins (photo left courtesy of IU athletics) was one of IU’s most experienced defensive backs. He started all 12 games at cornerback as a redshirt freshman. He played in six games as a sophomore before missing the rest of the season with an elbow injury.
He was battling Mitchell Evans and Donnell Jones for the two safety spots. Now the only thing he’ll be battling is rehab.
That leaves Evans and Jones as the starting safeties, but no healthy backup. Enter redshirt freshman Lawrence Barnett and junior college transfer Lenyatta Kiles. They had been two of six cornerbacks fighting for two spots. Now they’ll move to safety.
That means seniors Adrian Burks and Richard Council, junior Matt Ernest and junior college transfer Andre Kates will rotate at cornerback.
A cynic could look at this and say, oh, no, here comes another IU defensive disaster. But if Hoosier coaches have done the job in recruiting and developing players, the secondary will be fine. So will the rest of a defense that lacks big-name stars but has big-time talent.
Joe Palcic, defensive backs coach as well as co-defensive coordinator believes this defense, unlike others in recent years, will do the job.
“Last year we underperformed,” he said. “I hope we’ll be better just with the kids we have. Their attitude is better. They’re very coachable. They work hard. When you have those three components, you have a chance to be good. We like coaching this group. I have a feeling we’ll be better.”
Feeling doesn’t guarantee doing, but it’s a good start. Now all the Hoosiers have to go is back it up. That will start Sept 2 against Towson.
Also, fifth-year senior quarterback Ben Chappell is up for another award. What’s with this guy? He’s already the most accurate QB in school history. He’s a 4.0 student who has already graduated so now he’s working on his masters. He probably loves babies and helps little old ladies cross the street. Don’t you hate guys like that?
Anyway, Chappell (photo is on the right) is one of 30 candidates for the Lowe’s Senior Class Award in football. To be eligible you have to be a senior with big achievements in four areas: community, classroom, character and competition. Chappell already has been nominated for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team and the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.