Via Connor Bazelak on Instagram

IU football: Tom Allen says he hasn’t named a starting QB for a reason, McCulley to WR

Will it be Connor Bazelak or Jack Tuttle under center on Sept. 2 when Indiana opens its 2022 season against Illinois?

While many believe they know the answer, IU fans will likely have to wait until the week leading up to that game for certainty.

While Bazelak has a more proven track record, Allen says he didn’t see enough this spring to a name a starter, and he sees benefits to keeping the competition open.

“I didn’t name a starter for a reason coming out of spring football, and I wanted the guys to go into the summer with tremendous, high level competition,” Allen told Dan Dakich in a radio interview on 107.5 The Fan this week. “Competition is what makes all of us great.

“That quarterback position is a special position with the leadership role that’s required there, and the daily demands of that spot and how you have to set that tone for the whole football team.

“No. 1, I didn’t feel like it was clear (who should be named the starter), and No. 2 I love the competition.  When we evaluate players, I want guys that are competitors.  I want guys that love to be put in a challenging situation and they are going to rise to the top and don’t fear having guys in their room that are talented.

“I want those guys to have that mindset and understand it’s about winning the locker room, so that’s a process you go through, and I want to see that happen throughout the summer and into fall camp.”

The 6-3, 222-pound Bazelak arrived as a transfer from Missouri in time to practice with IU this spring. In 24 career games, including 20 starts, he has thrown for 5,084 yards, 23 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions while completing 66.4 percent of his passes.

The 6-4, 217-pound Tuttle is back for his fourth Hoosier season. Injuries limited him to six games last year. He threw for 423 yards with two touchdowns and five interceptions.

Dexter Williams is likely the third string quarterback going into fall camp.


The summer quarterback competition apparently will not include former 4-star recruit Donaven McCulley.

In an interview on Indiana Sports Talk on 107.5 The Fan in Indianapolis, IU football radio voice Don Fischer said McCulley has been moved to the wide receiver position during the offseason.

“They’ve decided to make him a wide receiver,” Fischer said.  “He’s really embraced that change, and I think he’s going to be a difference maker as time goes on at Indiana in that wide receiver role, because he’s a big strong physical kid.”

McCulley was expected to redshirt going into the 2021 season, but a wave of injuries pressed him into service.

He ended up starting four times and played in seven games, and became the third true freshman quarterback in Indiana history to start a game and the sixth overall to see action.  McCulley completed 35-of-85 for 475 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, and he rushed 64 times for 135 yards with two TDs.

As he makes the move to wide receiver, a redshirt season could once again be on the table to allow McCulley time to develop and learn the nuances of the position under new wideout coach and former NFL assistant Adam Henry.

When he is ready, McCulley will give IU something the Hoosiers haven’t had in a while — a tall, athletic, downfield target.  The idea of McCulley’s 6-foot-5 and 210 pound frame running downfield has Fischer thinking of one of the program’s all-time great wideouts.

“I’d say in some regards he’s in the same mold as James Hardy,” Fischer said.

The late 6-foot-6 Hardy wrapped up his tenure in Bloomington as the school’s all-time leader in catches, yards and TDs before being drafted in the second round by the Buffalo Bills.

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