Indiana opens fall camp in early August, and it should be one of the more spirited lead-ups to a season in recent history.
One reason why — IU has a lot of open competitions for spots in the starting lineup and two-deep depth chart.
In a podcast interview last week, head coach Tom Allen mentioned several players who appear to be on their way to carving-out roles when the season opens on Sept. 2 vs. Ohio State.
While Allen didn’t deliver any insights on who might have the edge in the ongoing quarterback competition between Tayven Jackson and Brendan Sorsby, he did mention some players at other positions who were, if nothing else, top of mind.
At running back, it sounds like each of Jaylin Lucas, Josh Henderson and Christian Turner are all expected to see snaps. But of note, Allen did say he wants Lucas, who he said was the fastest player he’s coached from zero to five yards, on a minimum touch count. And that will include both kickoff and punt returns, and Lucas will no doubt be a part of the passing attack as well.
At wide receiver, Allen continues to say wide receiver Cam Camper is on track to be ready to play by week one. He caught 46 passes in seven games last year before a season-ending torn ACL. But IU may not want Camper to take on a massive workload right away, and Allen named several players who he expects to emerge at wideout.
Among the the transfer receivers, Allen named E.J. Williams and DeQuece Carter. Allen compared Williams, a Clemson transfer, to Camper’s body type, and added that he likes his big play ability. He caught 40 passes in three seasons at Clemson. The 6-foot and 196-pound Carter had 56 receptions for 1,166 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2022 at Fordham.
Allen also mentioned returning wide receivers Andison Coby, Donaven McCulley, Omar Cooper and Kamryn Perry as four more to keep an eye on.
On the offensive line, experienced veterans Matthew Bedford, Kahlil Benson, Mike Katic and Zach Carpenter are all back and expected to have big roles under new position coach Bob Bostad.
Allen mentioned UMass transfer Max Longman and second-year Carter Smith. They might be the top two competing for the other tackle spot opposite Bedford.
There are open competitions on all levels of the defense. Allen didn’t get into all of them, but he did discuss the linebacker group.
While Aaron Casey seems like a lock to start at one inside linebacker spot, the other is more of an unknown going into fall camp.
Among newcomers, Stanford transfer Jacob Mangum-Farrar, and Austin Peay transfer Josh Rudolph were both mentioned by Allen, along with returners Matt Hohlt, Jared Casey and Kaiden Turner.
The 6-foot-4 and 241-pound Mangum-Farrar has the size and length Allen was looking for during the offseason. He played in 20 games with 11 starts for Stanford over the last two years. Rudolph was very productive a year ago with 73 tackles and 7.5 for a loss.
Hohlt and Jared Casey dealt with injuries a year ago, and that contributed to Turner seeing the field as a true freshman. All three will compete for a spot in the rotation this fall.
For a complete position-by-position look at who’s coming and going at IU, GO HERE.
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