It is now just over 50 days until the 2018 Indiana football season kicks off. As we ramp up our coverage going into the fall campaign, take a look at the latest program news and notes.
WES MARTIN EARNS ACADEMIC HONORS
The Big Ten Conference announced Tuesday that 65 students from IU’s athletic teams have earned the Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award. According to IU, “the recipients are students who have recorded a grade-point average (GPA) of 3.7 or higher for the 2017-18 academic year.”
Senior offensive lineman Wes Martin won the award from the football team. He also won academic all-Big Ten honors and the football award for scholastic achievement earlier this year. He is expected to be an anchor to a veteran offensive line that will be a major key for the 2018 season.
MORE WES MARTIN
But wait, there’s more on the West Milton, Ohio native. The Atlantic’s Bruce Feldman wrote a piece ($) called “2018 College Football Freaks List.”
“Arguably the strongest football player in the Big Ten, the 6-foot-3, 310 pound senior will be a four year starter for the Hoosiers. Martin, an academic All-Big Ten athlete, benches 525 pounds and has a max of 425 pounds in the hang clean”
It’s clear that Martin has both the brains and the brawn to be a force this year. He has started 25 straight games for the Hoosiers.
BIG TEN POWER RANKINGS
SB Nation’s Bill Connelly takes a shot at sorting out the Big Ten. The good news is that Connelly sees the Hoosiers finishing ahead of Big Ten East counterparts Rutgers and Maryland. The bad news is that still leaves the remaining four members of the division above IU.
Connelly puts IU at the top of a tier three of the overall Big Ten, and says “any of these teams could break through to about 8-4 or so.” We added the emphasis on break through, a phrase IU fans know well. Most Hoosier fans would take an 8-4 season all day long.
Connelly lists wide receiver Nick Westbrook and safety Marcelino Ball as the best offensive and defensive players on the Hoosiers, respectively.
ATHLON SPORTS SEES THE HOOSIERS BOWLING
It isn’t Pasadena, but Athlon Sports projected out all of the 2018 bowl games and put the Hoosiers in the Quick Lane Bowl on December 26th in Detroit. The projected opponent is Wake Forest, a team IU has seen in recent years.
We hear Detroit is nice in December, but you might want to hold off on booking tickets. Nevertheless, it is certainly encouraging to hear two independent sources coming to the same conclusion — IU looks like a team that will end up bowl eligible.
NATE SUDFELD IS IN AN INTERESTING POSITION
The Eagles website had an interesting take on their third string quarterback and former Hoosier Nate Sudfeld. From a playing time perspective, he could not be in a much worse position.
Sudfeld is behind arguably the best quarterback in the NFL in Carson Wentz, along with the Super Bowl MVP in Nick Foles. That is a lot to overcome to see the field. But the Eagles take on the situation is a little different. They view it as an opportunity to see what they really have, especially while Wentz continues to recover. Sudfeld should see plenty of reps in training camp and the preseason.
The former Hoosier sees the growth and is looking forward to the opportunity this summer:
“The reps that I’ve had in the spring,” Sudfeld said as the team’s mandatory minicamp entered its final day in June, “have been extremely valuable for me. The more time I can get on the field, the better it’s going to be for me, getting into a rhythm, getting into a flow. I’m excited with where I am and I’m looking forward to doing more in the summer.”
You can follow us on Twitter: @daily_hoosier
Find us on Facebook: thedailyhoosier