Monday, August 29, 2011

Earn It -- In Wilson’s IU Football World, Performance Counts

Kevin Wilson refuses to give anything to anybody. He’s big into this you’ve-gotta-earn it thing. Why are we mentioning this? Because it looks like it’s going to cost tight end Ted Bolser and receiver Duwyce Wilson a chance to start this weekend, when the Hoosiers open the season against Ball State and Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium.

Bolser and Duwyce Wilson are talented guys, two of IU’s best football players, but they’ve been banged up in recent weeks and missed a bunch of practices. In the meantime, receiver Dre Muhammad and tight end Max Dedmond filled in and did the job. They have earned the opportunity to start.

This will be huge for Muhammad, and vindication for five years worth of effort (first at Purdue, then at IU) during which he has started zero games and played minimally.

Anyway, Bolser and Duwyce Wilson don’t have major injuries. Coach Wilson described them as minor tweaks and pulls. Both are likely to be cleared to play against Ball State, but the coach isn’t about to just hand them the No. 1 position.

“To me, you gotta kind of earn it back. To the other guys that have been out there battling every day, it’s a little disheartening. Even though some guy might have a skill set, you have to earn it back. It might be a quick earn because your skill set drives you to the point. But I don’t buy the deal, I got hurt; I automatically get my spot back because I was the starter.”

Kevin Wilson, like all coaches, believes in the motivating power of competition and the old cliché that you either get better every day or you get worse. There is no treading water, which is likely what Bolser and Duwyce Wilson have done because of their injuries.

“One of my comments is, it’s not about getting healthy, it’s about getting better,” Kevin Wilson said. “Better doesn’t mean healthy; it means you’re becoming a better football player, too. When you miss work, that’s hard to do.

“We’ll keep an eye on those guys. Those are two skilled kids. They did a lot in the spring. We’ll see if they get back in the mix.”

Bet the house that they will.


Okay, we can’t help ourselves. When you’re a member of the media and there’s a high-profile position that seemingly is not nailed down, you gotta ask. It’s part of our journalistic DNA.

So when you look at an IU depth chart that lists its quarterback order as either Edward Wright-Baker or Dusty Kiel, you gotta wonder and question.

The problem is, Kevin Wilson doesn’t want to reveal his hand. He HAS to have a good idea at this point. The quarterback position is too important not to. But when asked, he suggested he might play three quarterbacks against Ball State, with freshman Tre Roberson in the mix.

So we get a little twist. IU released its two-deep depth chart on Monday, and Wright-Baker and Kiel were listed, in no particular order, as the starters. Then Kevin Wilson said Roberson was still in the picture. He also said he has no timetable in naming a starting quarterback.

“I don’t know. We’re just not as consumed with it as you guys. They’re all doing good. No one has really separated.”

The best way to separate, by the way, is not turn the ball over.

“Even if a guy goes up there first (to start), we’ll see if he stays the starter,” Wilson says. “I don’t know if anyone has had the support or played well enough to clearly separate. You get into game situations, maybe things go different. We’re not going to look over the shoulder at one bad pass, but right now, we’re just gonna let it keep going a little bit.

“We’ll have a guy go first. He might not be the starter. It might be based on what we’ve seen short team. That guy is taking care of the ball the best.”


By now you probably know, have probably seen, Mitch McGary’s costly dunk. He was in a dunk contest and jammed so hard the backboard shattered and cut him. He needed 37 stitches to close the wound.

McGary isn’t coming to Indiana, or to Purdue or to Notre Dame. Yes, he’s an in-state guy who got away. He’s big, strong and very likely will end up a very rich guy if the NBA and its players ever reach an agreement.

Would it have been nice if a guy like that ended up wearing Cream ‘n Crimson? Of course it would, but the way Tom Cream is recruiting, the Hoosiers won’t miss a beat.

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