Monday, April 13, 2009

A new direction in life

It's been a while since I updated this blog, and after thinking about it for a couple of weeks or more, I've decided to end my blog for good. My life has taken a different direction, one that I never dreamed would ever happen (I'll explain further), and my time to gather information is just not there any longer.

I know the blog was controversial at times, but the information within it was always given to allow IU fans a more deeper insight to the interworkings of IU football. Peegs and Decker do amazingly well with getting information out there, but they have to be "PC" about things, because if they aren't, they'll not be allowed at press conferences and be given that "inside information". My blog went deeper, because I never had to worry about what someone thought. If the reader didn't believe it, fine, if they did, fine. It never mattered to me, but the time has come to say goodbye to this chore and move in another direction.

As some know, I recently got engaged, but there's a LOT more to the story than that. My fiancee has 3 little boys (ages 5, 3, and 2). Their father abandoned them, doesn't want anything to do with them, and is your all around dead beat guy. Anyway, I LOVE THESE BOYS DEARLY, so I decided, after much prayer, research, more prayer, and discussion, that I would adopt these boys and raise them as my own.

I'm not perfect, I'm not a good speller, and I've never really been a full time dad. My skills for my involve directing men and women into and around fires and hazards to save peoples lives, so I guess I'm used to chaos! My boys cause a lot of chaos, but they are great. I couldn't image my life being any different, and though I don't get as much sleep as I used to, I wouldn't want it any other way.

So, with all that said, I'm now a full time dad, and that takes up all my time, because work, wedding plans, and a little sleep. You will still see me on the boards, talking football, but I don't have time to give this blog or the readers the necessary time it takes to make phone calls, visit practices, and gather information. I'm still the biggest IU fan there ever has been, and I'm adding 4 more to Hoosier Nation. As the boys get bigger, I know we'll be down for games and spring ball, but not right now, they are a little young yet.

Anyway, I want to thank those that were faithful in reading what I wrote, whether you thought I was full of it, or you liked what you read, either way, thank you. I enjoyed the time and the information and the friends I've made along the way. I truly love IU football and I hope that one day, some day, it will be what we all dream it can be, a consistant, Top 20, program.

Until then, I'll cheer like crazy. God Bless all of you!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Adam Follett

I can't wait for spring practice. Not because I get to see some football for the first time in a few months, but because I get to see how our freshman have grown physically and matured, and how they'll look in their first unveilings to the public. While most fans can't wait to see Darius Willis in the backfield, I'm a little more excited to see Adam Follett, but he's a kid, I honesty think, will battle for playing time this season.

Rumors flew toward the end of last season about how well Adam did on the practice/scout team. He did so well that thoughts were entertained of him actually playing, especially when IU was hurt so much at QB with injuries. Alas, the staff knew, last season was pretty much over and it was best to hold him out, and so his redshirt season was preserved, but there's a little air of excitement around spring ball and it's the anticipating of some fans seeing some of our sophmores to be in action.

Adam came to IU from Alma HS in Michigan. At 6'5" 200 pounds, he had the build of a pocket passing QB. Alma ran the spread offense, but for only one year. At his previous HS in Caledonia, MI, he ran a wish bone attack and rarely threw the ball, yet at a Camp or Combine (can't remember which) IU saw him and immediately was drawn to him. At Alma he led the team to an 11-1 record and threw for around 2000 yards and 20 TDs. He did have some INTs, but that was attributed to going from throwing the ball 5 to 7 times at his old HS to over 20 times per game at Alma. He's describe by scout as a tall, lean, pocket passer with a chin-level set-up and overhead release. That usually describes a pretty clean delivery and mechanical balance, but the same person also notes that Adam didn't always follow through with his throws, which is a problem with a lot of young QBs early on. I know that was something he's been working on at IU.

When I have witnessed Adam throw, I've noticed that he is very good and accurate on the short and intermediate stuff and can really put some zip on the ball. With improved follow through and arm strength, I think he'd do better at the deep pass, but again, he wasn't really asked to do that in HS, so he fits pretty well with what IU is trying to do in terms of short and middle of the field stuff, with the occassional deep stuff to keep people honest.

Adam also possess some speed and has some elusiveness in the pocket. While he's not a Kellen Lewis type, he's way more nimble than Chappell, so he can be deceptive and escape a little bit if need be. Last I checked, Adam was up to around 210+ and had matured well physically during his redshirt season. It will be interesting to see what he can do this spring as he'll battle Teddy Schell as Chappell's back up, at least in the beginning.

Adam signed with IU over offers from Western Michigan and I believe an offer from Virginia (if no offer, they were very close to one). Rivals had him as a 2-star and 30th best prospect to come out of Michigan that season. Personally, I think he is underrated and will surprise some people. Will he be good enough to unseat Chappell? I don't know, but I'm looking forward to the competition!

God Bless!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

4 Hoosiers Impress at IU's Pro Day

Wanted to give everyone a brief look at 4 guys that really put themselves in a position to be drafted yesterday at IU's annual Pro Scouts Pro Day. 11 players worked out yesterday and I'm told a couple were from other schools instate. Four former players really did themselves well yesterday, and while most will know of one them, Andrew Means, the other 3 may not surprise you, but they certainly surprised a number of the scouts that were in attendance.

Andrew Means kept his combine numbers as far as his bench, short shuttle, 3 cone and all that, but he did re-run the 40, and marked times at 4.38 and 4.40, which were better than what he did at Indy. For those that are "into" the scouting combine at Indy, there's a lot of rumors out there that the electronic times failed due to computer issues, so lots of guys will be re-running their 40's at their pro days. IU's running surface is noted as being a little quicker than what was in Indy, so it's no surprise Means chose to redo this.

As for Means's workout, it was very good and he showed extremely good hands and route running ability. Chappell and Follett where the main guys throwing to him and as a side note, both did very well, though they weren't necessarily being evaluated by the Scouts. It's important to note that Kellen Lewis was not throwing any passes today that I know of.

As far as Means's projected draft status, it appears he's a solid 6th, maybe early 7th rounder at this point and it's almost assured that he will be drafted. He's told the Reds that his baseball career is on hold until at least the middle part of April and probably May. He was projected to return to Billings, Montana anyway for Rookie ball, so the Reds are saying he can go to extended Spring Training in Sarasota, if he decides to play baseball again, and then report to Montana in June for the start of the season. If things go well, he could end up at Low A Dayton (OH) to finish out the year.

Okay, so Means you may not be shocked about, since he had his combine invite, but I will now reveal the other 3 that really, really, really helped themselves yesterday and should at the very least get private workout invites from teams and be considered draftable and at the least priority free agents.

Austin Starr: Austin did himself very well yesterday. Many people wrote him off after the season, because his senior season was not very memorable. He didn't kick well, showed less power than he did his previous years, and more importantly, he was extremely erratic. What probably 99% of IU fans don't know is that Austin was hurt, pretty much all season with a hip flexor muscle injury, and this was probably what effected him the most. If you aren't a kicker, you probably don't understand what that muscle does for you. It basically hands the stress the kick and when it's strained or torn, you can't use the same straight motion to get your power, so you swipe at the ball or maybe kick at it sideways, thus the problems with the accuracy and "hooking the ball" from one side to the other.

The scary thing about Austin's injury was not too many people knew he was hurt. At IU, kicker and punters are kind of on their own most of the time, doing their thing, away from the team. I remember Chris Hagerup having all kinds of issue with that because he was so used to being a part of his team, as a QB, but at IU and a lot of other colleges, the kickers are just out there on their own. If you go to a pro game, before the game, the kickers are warming up, and the rest of the team could be inside prepping, but here are kickers, kind of in their own little world. They are "specialists" once they get to college and thus, they are on an island, so I'm not shocked that people didn't know about Austin's injury, so he played the whole year with it and suffered because of it. Austin claims he hurt himself doing some sort of drill he learned at a kicking camp a couple of years ago. That's the other thing about kicking at IU, you basically put your time in, on your own, and unless it's a special teams meeting or practice, that's about all your interaction.

Over Christmas Break, Austin traveled to Scottsdale, Arizona to work with a kicking coach for 3 days to try and get things back together. Coach Zauner worked his usual magic and realigned Austin back into form and it paid off yesterday. Austin will be no more than an undrafted free agent, but he has a good strong leg with NFL potential. His biggest issue is consistancy and confidence. If he nails those in someone's camp, he could be used some place. Either way, I'm glad we now know the story on Austin and wish him luck in the future.

Marcus Thigpen: It probably won't surprise anyone that Marcus flashed MAJOR speed for scouts yesterday, because he's a track guy and rumors of his 40's have leaked out over the past couple of summers anyway. The Saints brought 2 coaches just watch Marcus yesterday, and his 40's were registered at 4.27 and 4.29. He also posted 21 reps on the bench at 225 pounds, a 32" vertical jump, and 10' 8" on the board jump. At 5'9" 200 pounds, he projects as a returner and a 3rd down back, kind of in the mold of Dave Meggett, but only faster. He's a kid that will project late in the draft because of his speed and return ability. At the very least, he's a priority free agent for a number of suitors. His time of 4.27 was a little disappointing, as he wanted to run 4.25, but either way, it's extremely insane that someone could be that fast. If IU would have had any kind of blocking last season, he would be a name you'd hear a lot about higher in the draft.

Greg Brown: Greg probably did the most of anyone yesterday in putting himself into a position to be drafted. DTs that put up the numbers that Greg did yesterday are extremely hard to find, and in fact, none of the first round projected guys showed the speed and lateral quickness Greg did yesterday. He blew people away with his times in the 20 yard shuttle or short shuttle, which measures lateral quickness. At 300 pounds, most guys don't move very quickly from one side to another, but Greg sure does, and in my opinion, these numbers show just how much Greg's talent was wasted on defense and what he was asked to do.

Anyway, Greg ran the 40 in 5.09 seconds, did 25 reps at 225 on the bench, had a 30" vertical and a 8'9" broad jump. Those numbers show a little bit of lacking on initial pop, but good penetration ability for a Tampa 2 type of DT attack. Greg's idol has always been Warren Sapp, and Greg tries to emulate Sapp in what he does. The number that caught scouts off guard was the 20 yard short shuttle. Greg did his first one in 4.45 and his second in 4.46 seconds. To put this in perspective a little more, the top DT time at this year's combine was 4.84 seconds by a kid from San Jose State that's projected as a 2nd rounder. The top time by any DL (including DEs) at the combine was 4.64 by a DE from Richmond College. Thus, you can see, scouts are raving about this one, and he was consistant as well.

This drill is described this way (wikipedia) First they start in the middle of a 10 yard distance with one hand touching the ground. The athlete then pushes off their dominant leg in the opposite direction 5 yards. After covering this distance, as quickly as possible they reverse direction and go 10 yards the exact opposite way. Finally they reverse directions one last time ending the drill at the point where they started. Athletes are timed for this whole procedure. You can see how doing this at 300 pounds, with that time, is simply amazing and it has scouts talking. An underrated, under the radar DT with that ability will make it's way across the NFL quickly and suspect Greg will be getting many more phone calls for private workouts in the next couple of weeks.

This is about as much as I know, though I am waiting to hear from Bryan Payton in his blog, since he eyewitnessed all this as well. He's still doing his blog, but his format has changed some. He blogs about everything now, and you can find it at www.byranpayton.blogspot.com

Hope all are well! God Bless!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Thoughts on Ray Fisher to Cornerback

First off, this move I really like, probably more than Kellen Lewis to WR and I think it was done for a number of reasons, but more on that in a minute. "Big Play" Ray wasn't much of a big play last year in IU's offense, but he did lead the team with 42 receptions, so others will have to step up at WR as well.

When people switch postions, it's usually for one of the following 3 reasons: player requested, numbers game, or need, and I think Ray Fisher to corner is a need move, pure and simple. It could also be considered a numbers game at WR, with Doss and Belcher and Turner and this fall adding Wilson and now Lewis to that position, but the more I think about it, Corner needed a MAJOR upgrade and Fisher probably gives us that boost more than a true freshmen would have for this season anyway. With the unforeseen loss of Cortez Smith, this had to happen.

Ray Fisher sits 8th all time in receptions with 118 and he had 42 last year, so obviously, he was a big chunk of the production the past 3 years. However, with IU's offensive woes and poor blocking, his 42 catches only yeilded 375 yards last year, so maybe a move to the defensive side of the ball will help him. Honestly, I still think we'll see him some on offense, as a deep threat, but his majority of game time play will be on D and special teams only.

He showed last season he can return kicks well and cover kicks very well, so I suspect he'll be our primary returner this year. He runs sub 4.3 so speed will not be an issue, so his only drawbacks to play corner are lack of reps and his size (5'9" 170). However, in highschool, for the Glennville (OH) Tarblooders, he was an extremely good CB, in fact, the main reason he chose IU is because they let him play WR, and not CB, which a lot of teams recruited him as. So, as a true senior, now we'll see if he can knock the rust off and really help IU here.

The problem really is, we need Ray to become "Big Play" Ray at Corner in the worse way. Sure, the 2 starters are back, but I think you'll find the reason IU play Cover 4 most of the time last season was due to lack of ability at CB. I do like what Richard Council brings to the table and I'd like to see him and Ray be the starters by fall practice with Adkins the 3rd guy along with Donnell Jones. I think IU's holdover CBs are good run stoppers, but they lack in coverage ability. I believe IU's defense fared well in 1st and 2nd down because our CBs were pretty good at run support, but once it came into an obvious passing situation, the young CBs just didn't have the ability yet to stop the pass.

I'm not sure I expect Ray Fisher to walk in and be the man, because I don't, it will take some time, and probably we'll probably be into the season some before I know how I really feel, but Ray needs to get back and their and be a leader, be a senior, hold people accountable and just let his nature ability flow. At worst, he'll be the 3rd corner and since almost all of coach football runs 3 and 4 WR sets anymore, he'll see the field a bunch.

Bottomline: This is really an interesting switch and one that will be very neat to watch through the spring and into the fall. Can he move up the depth chart and make a difference? Personally, I think he can, because that's what IU needs, playmakers and ability back there. Hopefully, for Ray, it works out for his final season and he can have a memorable one, along with the team.

God Bless!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Lewis to WR = good or bad?

What a great Saturday. Sitting outside typing away, while my 3 boys are tearing up the yard and playing ball. Seems I should be talking about baseball rather than football, but there is much to discuss about IU football, so it's time to dust off the blog and get ready for Spring Ball in a few weeks.

Last off season, the hot topic was Kellen Lewis and his suspension. This season, one of the hottest topics, again, is Kellen Lewis and his switch to WR on at least, a part time basis. I think the fan base if pretty much split right down the middle on whether this is a good idea or not. So let's look at the good and bad and see what we can come up with.

First, the bad news about Kellen. When most fans say "bad idea", the immediately point to the failed experiment that Cam Cameron tried with Randle-El and Tommy Jones. They immediately compare Chappel to Jones and Lewis to Randle-El and say, "it won't w ork just like it didn't work then". Well, it's hard to compare the two situations because they aren't playing the same teams or against the same players or same schemes, but the similarities are Jones was a thrower only, as is Chappel, and ARE was the athletic QB, while KL is viewed in the same mold.

While I'm not here to get into an argument about whether ARE and KL compare, I merely pointing out what others are saying. In my mind, ARE is way better than KL ever dreamed of being, because ARE was a leader, KL hasn't shown that ability yet, but he is improving. Anyway, back to the bad.

Some fans say that IU's defense hasn't shown they can stop many teams (true), so IU needs a QB that can put points in the board, both on the ground and in the air, to keep IU in any game they play. That has certainly been the case in the past, because IU's defense didn't do a whole lot on 3rd down other than let the opponet get the first down. It's hard to argue those statemetns, because that's what IU had had to do for several years, starting with ARE and continuing through Kellen Lewis.

What hurt KL last year was two things in my mind: First, was the suspension that cost KL the spring and summer sessions. While he did work out in Florida, at his old HS, that's not IU and it's facilities and the chance to go out in the side yard and throw to Turner or Earnest or whomever. So he missed those opportunities, while Chappell had those chances.

Second, because of the lack of preparation and training, he got hurt (so did everyone else it seems) and that cost him. Couple that with a new scheme and Chappell doing things right, well you end up with the season you have. Which was a MAJOR drop off from last year.

So was last year's disappointments enough to facilitate such a move, or is does the staff really see something to make them think this will work?

The good:

Kellen is a very good athlete. He's 6'1" and close to 200 pounds this off season. he possess 4.4 speed and can has breakaway speed and jukability. His position at the next level will be WR, so the "let's try it out group" points to this as mainly a spring ball experiment. It's also hard to argue KL's athletic ability and see that IF Chappell can throw, and IF the OL can block, this switch seems like a great idea.

Also, at play is leadership on the field and off it. The players, especially on offense really gravitated toward Chappell last spring and fall. He really stepped up his leadership and tried to get the players through the tough spot KL put them in. He did a great job really, and when KL returned, Ben did all the right things, said all the right things, and was a great teammmate and leader throughout the entire fall battle and season. However, their was dissenstion, to some degree, amongst the players, because they felt one had let them down, while the other sacrificed everything to lead them. These things happen all the time, so it's not a huge deal, but as the season spiralled down hill last year, I think this did play into the mental issues a little more than if the team was winning. So, I think the coaches saw this and decided they should really give this job to Chappell and let him run with it.

So where will this switch take IU football? Is there more too it?

First, I like the move because it gives IU a WR that can get deep and make plays after the catch. The one player that offered that was Fisher, and he's now a full time Corner (more on that in another blog). Also, let's at least get through the spring and see what happens. Will it work? I think it will, if we two things happen: First, you settle on a QB and second, the OL improves (biggest key to the whole season).

I don't know that there's anymore to this whole switch than getting KL the opportunity to get the ball in the open field, not dodge OL in the backfield, and make plays. Think about what KL can do 1 on 1 or 1 on 2, he clearing can do great things. At QB last season, he was dodging his own OLineman and defenders in the backfield at the count of 2, so at least he'll have a clearer field to work in....vbg!

Bottomline: Positions switches can be a great thing if other players and positions do their jobs and step up. IU's season isn't going to live or die by KL at WR or QB. It could be a factor, but it won't be the end all be all thing. The biggest key is probably staying healthy, followed by the OL improvement, then the defense doing better on 3rd down. You do these 3 things well, and I think the season will be FAR different than last season.

Hope all are well! God Bless!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The 5 major issues that brought the Hoosiers down in 2008

While many have argued different issues as being the #1 factor of our demise this past season, I would like to look at the 5 that I think were the most major. I will list them in order of importance.

1. The lack of any kind of production from the Offensive Line
The offensive line makes or breaks a football team. I've said a hundred times on message boards that you find athletes that run 4.5 40's all day long, but it's really, really hard to find good offensive linemen that can work in concert together and form a unit that will move the ball. If you look at most professional teams like Jacksonville, or Indianapolis early in the season, the lack of a good OL killed them. It didn't matter how good the QB was, or the talent at RB or WR, they simply couldn't be effective until the grew together and healed up.

IU's system under Hep required athletic OL guys that took lateral movements rather than power movements into the defender. The spread pretty much requires quick footed OL to move guys around, rather than backwards to create your running lanes. Problems lie in short yardage of course, but overall, the OL should create angles or lanes for running plays and sustain their blocks long enough for the QB to read the field and find the open man. Since IU's WRs/TEs run specific routes, it's even easier because the QB should know exactly where the receiver is going to be 2 seconds in, 3 seconds in, and so on, so if given time, the defense can be picked apar.
The problems this year were many for the OL, but they were the #1 reason for the collapse. First, we didn't block anyone long enough for routes to develop. Second, we were hurt way too and some guys were never healthy to start with. Third, we were green in our depth. Fourth, the coaches wanted a more tradition pocket passing attack, and our OL wasn't really built for that.
So, a multitude of problems led this group to fail. Some of it was injury, but mostly it was a lack of execution and a lack of sustaining those blocks long enough. We do have athletic linemen, but we are soft. This group has to improve, or we'll only win 2 or 3 games next year. The OL is the backbone of a football team. If they are tough, your team will be tough, and if they are soft, so will be the rest of the team. I have long thought our D has been soft because of the OL they go up against every day in practice. Our big uglies need to get meaner and better as quickly as possible!
2. Changes to the offense
This past spring and summer we changed from a zone running spread attack to a more traditional passing spread attack in a quicker paced scheme. The design isn't anything new, as it called for a more traditional pocket to be formed around the QB and more dinking and dunking of passes down the field. This change was of course brought on the seemed departure of Kellen Lewis, and the arrival of a better thrower in Ben Chappell. While it would have been interesting to see what Ben could have done as he grew into the position the entire year, instead with injuries, and the return of Lewis, this scheme change became a nightmare, more than a help.
Even though I bag on the coaches some, this change of scheme wasn't made just because of the QB issues. The staff knew that WR talent was lacking, especially a true go to guy and that the OL was really going to be a work in progress, so this quick attack was designed to help alleviate a lot of those issues. However, it wasn't enough and the guys didn't execute what they were being taught all that well either. Injuries again played a role, but the lack of executing the new offense was a huge issue too.
3. Who is the starting QB?
As I said above, Ben Chappell was told to become the leader of this team in spring ball and throughout the summer and early fall ball, he did that. The team and coaches didn't expect KL to be back, but when he did, a controversy arose. I could see this was going to be an issue from the time KL came back. His attitude was poor the season before and he really kind of alienated himself to his teammates and some of the coaches as well. However, when he returned, he was a changed guy, but it took a long time for him to be accepted. While his attitude changed, he's still trying to develop his leadership role that a QB should have on a team, and with Ben having that leadership and respect, this became a big issue that no body really wanted to admit was there and deal with it. Should KL been the starting QB over Chappell or vice-verse? I'm not going to say one way or the other, as both had the moments, both were hurt, and both had their problems. But this spring, this has to be fixed. Pick a guy and go with who best leads your team and executes the offense. If that's the slow white boy or the dramatic thrill you with his legs guy, so be it, but pick one and stay with it, unless an injury forces a change.
4. Defensive philosophies
IU employs 2 defensive coordinators, a rather different strategy, but not unheard of either. The problem is the philosophy that is used is questionable at best. They want to play a lot more Cover 2, which is fine, if you got the speed and recognition, which we don't have. We have the DL part figured out, though Middleton and Kirlew need to have big seasons together and not separately. To run an effective Cover 2, the DL has to get penetration. Brown and Kirlew did well with that this season, but no one else did.
Next and probably are biggest problem area, the LBs. I know this isn't talked about much, but we aren't fast enough here to run an effective cover 2. Look at Indy, Tampa, Minnesota, their LBs are quick on quick. IU has productive LBs, but they are not fast enough. Patterson is a very good tackler, but he's not fast enough to be effective here, and neither is Mayberry. Geno Johnson can run 4.55's all day long, but his recognition skills lack. Thus is the biggest problem with trying to run Cover 2 and Cover 4 all day, it simply doesn't work with the players we have, because of the quickness issues. Mayberry is probably the closest thing we have as he's very good at recognition and has improved his quickness, but we haven't surrounded him with enough talent speed wise, to really help.
Finally the DBs, are over matched. We have enough speed here, at least at the corners and at FS with Polk, but we are over matched on the corners. Believe it or not, our defensive is designed to play the CBs 10 yards off the ball, and if you watch Indy, their CBs do the exact same thing. The problems we have are the holes in the middle created by slower LBs and poor recognition skills by the DBs. When Polk finally gets it figured out, he's to the ball in a heartbeat, but again, his skills need to improve. Plus, he and slew of others were hurt, so that didn't help matters either. A decent OC and QB will pick this defense apart because it doesn't have the speed and recognition run what is required to be run here. The only true answer I can think of is ditch the Cover 2 and Cover 4 and go Mano e Mano. Let's get aggressive and force the QB into situations he is uncomfortable with. Even though the Colts are a zone defensive team, they attack the ball, and that's what we need to start doing more and more. We'll see what happens come spring, but with Lynch's announcement of no changes, I doubt we'll see anything done here.
5. Injuries
While injuries are certainly part of the game, you can't expect to lose a 10% of your scholarship players at one time or another and expect it to not have any effect whatsoever on you. Believe me, if this would happen to Alabama, USC, Florida, etc, they'd feel the effects too in losses, though the difference here is their back up talent far exceeds ours. At IU, we simply can't get hurt, or we are in trouble. We need every advantage we can get and with the lack of Big Ten level talent on the depth chart, one or two major injuries at key positions will simply kill us.
Hope all are well!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Who we still after

With Watkins decommitting for the Gophers, and Gainer all but soon to follow, we'll soon be back down to 14 verbals, all of whom seem ready to give IU their signature come signing day in February. That means we will probably have about 4 to 5 more spots open. So I thought it would be fun to see just who we are after (that we know of anyway) and who is likely to take those spots.

Marquise Stevens-6'1" 210 RB from Oakwood, Georgia. He runs a 4.4 and you got to love his size. IU hasn't offered that I can tell, but we may very well do so now that we have at an opening or two along with other offers out there. Intriguing prospect, though probably pretty raw, or with his size, he'd have a lot more offers I'd think. His HS team wasn't very good, so maybe that was why he didn't get the "pub".

Anthony Williams-6'2 200 WR from Tampa, Florida. Reported as a 4.5 kid that is tall and rangy with deceptive speed. Lots of offers, but Arkansas, Ole Miss, and Georgia are his top 3. IU is trying like mad to get a visit from him in January, so we'll see, but a real long shot here.

Marlon Anthony-6'5" 185 WR from Marietta, Georgia. Profiles say he runs a 4.7, but that's what they said Hardy ran when he came here, and believe James ran faster than that from the get go, so my guess is, Marlon is probably faster too. IU made his top 5 (along with some big names: Louisville, Georgia, Arkansas, and Miss. St), but he's saying he'll trip to IU in January.

Andrew Stellato-6'4" 230 TE/DE from Neptune Beach, FL. Profile says he runs a 4.6 and if that's anywhere close to true, I want him at DE, NOT TE. The kid is extremely smart and looks like everyone in the Ivy League has offered him. IU is trying to get him up for a visit in January so we'll see.

Henry Conway-6'6" 300 OL from Cleveland Ohio. Rivals ranks him as the 77th best OT in the country. He will be tripping to IU in January, though he's got a big time list of suitors, so we'll see, but getting him in here is a start. He's a kid that honestly, could do what Pagan did and start by the middle of next season.

Duran Christophe-6'6" 275 from Woodstock, GA. Rivals ranks him as the 80th best OT in the country. He too will trip to IU in January. He's a very raw kid as he's only been playing for a year or so, and he really like Coach Johnson. He's a kid I think we'll get.

Damion Sims-6'3" 215 OLB from Colerain HS in Cincinnati, OH. He's a kid that I'm pretty sure we are going offer when we lose Gainer. While he's not as good as Jerimy he has a lot of potential to be and he comes from a great program, so he'll be very well coached.

Jacquez Jenkins-6'2" 180 Safety from St. Pete Florida. He's currently committed to South Florida, but that hasn't stopped the IU coaches and other coaches for that matter to continue to try and lure him away. He's rated a little a head of Watkins, but not by much. More of a free safety type that needs weight. A worthy project if you can get him up for a visit, which the staff is trying to do.

Bradley Wallace-6'2" 200 Safety from West Palm Beach, FL. Was pretty set on Iowa State, but now with the coaching change there, it appears IU will get a January visit from him. He's an OLB/SS prospect.

I'm sure there are a few others down south that I don't know about or haven't heard over the past few months, but I think this shows where we are at.