Wednesday, September 14, 2011

IU Tight Ends Need To Pick Up Pace; Another Basketball Scholarship Offer

Kevin Wilson is a tight end kind of coach. It’s his coaching position, if not his coaching passion, for one thing. It’s an area he’s had a lot of success in developing players, for another.

Tight ends have a major role in Wilson’s offense, which means they have major responsibilities. Some of that involves receiving, some blocking. All of it requires attention to detail and doing what needs to be done. At the minimum, it involves doing your job based on the play that is called.

That, it seems, has been a recurring problem this week in practice, even with the return to health of tight end Ted Bolser.

How do we know this? Because on Wednesday night Wilson talked about the way his tight ends have been practicing. It is, by the way, Wilson’s last media availability until after Saturay’s game against South Carolina State.

Anyway, Wilson was asked about the tight ends. Here’s what he had to say:

“Pretty bad. About half. They ought to be about 70 to 75 percent of the time getting it right, three out of four, two out of three. We’re about half and half.

“We’re doing okay. We need to play better. Tight ends are a big part no one realizes. You think if you can’t run, it’s the line. The tight ends are always at the point of attack. If not, they’re back side in a critical cut-off block (in other words, make sure somebody doesn’t come from behind to get the running back).”

Wilson said Edward Wright-Baker’s interception against Virginia last Saturday was in part due to poor blocking by an unspecified tight end.

“Our pick the other night, the (defensive) guy was coming off a tight end and hit the quarterback or hurried the quarterback. It was a tight end guy. When you see a guy get hit and you say it’s the offensive line, it was a tight end that actually broke down there.

“The line gets all the credit and blame. The quarterback gets all the credit and blame, but the complementary pieces really help or hurt them. They have to keep coming along.”

That starts with South Carolina State.


You knew it was only a matter of time before Indiana offered Derek Willis a basketball scholarship. Look, the kid is a top-20 talent in the Class of 2013. He’s like 6-9, so he’s a big guy, and heaven knows the Hoosiers can’t get enough big guys.

The Louisville Courier-Journal's Jody Demling is reporting that IU offered Willis after coaches watched a workout at Louisville Bullitt East High School. Louisville already has offered him. Don’t be surprised if Kentucky also enters the mix.

Willis had committed to Purdue last spring, but then backed out after having a monster summer in travel ball.


You have to feel bad for kicker Nick Freeland. He blew out his knee running in practice last week, and will need surgery to repair a torn ACL. He’s likely out for the season.

This isn’t a huge blow for the Hoosiers because Mitch Ewald is the field goal kicker. Freeland was just doing kickoffs and was solid against Ball State. Then he got hurt and missed the Virginia game (Ewald did the kickoffs).

But it’s tough for Freeland. In 2009, he did all the kicking and went 34-for-34 on extra points, 14-for-25 on field goals. Last year he only played in two games because of a hip injury. This year it’s a knee.

This, too, shall pass. As a redshirt junior, he does have another year of eligibility. Heck, he might even have two left. So we shall see.

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