Written By Sammy Jacobs(@sammyj108)
We continue our position preview by looking at a position that has come under much scrutiny in the last 12 months. The quarterbacks.
The Indiana Hoosiers have finally figured out who their starting quarterback will be in 2014. That man is Nate Sudfeld. Coach Kevin Wilson had the choice made for him after both Cam Coffman (winter) and Tre Roberson (summer) transferred from the program. The Hoosiers are officially Nate Sudfeld’s team, however there are issues about the depth at a position that just a year ago was loaded.
The junior signal caller finally has full control of this offense after splitting time in both his freshman and sophomore seasons. Sudfeld threw for 2,523 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2013 while completing 60.2% of his passes. Being the full time quarterback in this offense should allow Sudfeld to put up monster numbers.
Sudfeld has the size and ability to be an elite passer in the Big Ten. He can see over the line and read defenses, while possessing the arm strength and accuracy to hit the deep ball and score from anywhere on the field. The California native is cool in the pocket and has a two-to-one touchdown to interception ratio. Sudfeld is not a statue in the pocket either as he has shown the agility to avoid sacks and buy time to find the open receiver down field.
While putting up great numbers at home, Sudfeld has not shown that he can win against good Big Ten teams on the road. In 2013 he looked shaken by the crowds at Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio State. In those four games the young gunslinger threw for only 582 yards and three scores while only completing exactly half of his pass attempts. This is a question that will come into play in a season where the Hoosiers only play six home games and will need to win a couple of road games to become bowl eligible.
Boudreau is a walk-on from Illinois who joined the team prior to the start of the 2012 season. He redshirted his freshman year and played sparingly during the 2013 season in wins against Indiana State and Bowling Green, while collecting Scout Team Offensive Player of the Year honors.
Boudreau is the most experienced of the back-ups on the roster. He has good size at 6’3” and 220lbs. to lead the offense if Sudfeld should go down with an injury.
To say that it would be a tire fire if Sudfeld gets hurt for any period of time would be a major understatement. Boudreau has never thrown a pass at the colligate level and would be thrown into a potentially overwhelming situation. In addition to not throwing a regular season pass, the walk-on sophomore only threw three passes in the spring game.
Talk about your California swagger. Zander Diamont brings all of that to Bloomington as a true freshman. Diamont was selected the U.S. U-19 National Football team while garnering all sorts of city and league player of the year awards in Los Angeles. As a senior in high school he threw for 3,501 yards and 47 touchdowns. By the way ladies he was also a model.
Diamont brings with him the swagger and confidence he would need to play quarterback in the Big Ten. He showed above average arm strength and pocket awareness in high school. Another thing Diamont has going for him is that he enrolled at IU in January and was able to practice with the team throughout the spring. This should give him a head start on learning the offense and potentially solidifying the back up job.
Size and experience are where Zander Diamont needs improvement. At 6’2” he has the height to play in the pocket in the Big Ten, but he is listed at only 175lbs. The Hoosiers were probably hoping they could redshirt Diamont a year while he gets a grasp of the offense and takes part in a college weight training and nutrition program to put on some bulk.
One of the newest members of the Hoosier football team comes from a familiar family. Cameron’s father, Cam, both played for and coached the Hoosiers. Danny Cameron was the back up quarterback at Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, LA and is a pro-style quarterback.
There is not much to go on with Cameron but he did show adequate footwork and arm strength in workouts. His size 6’2” 195 lbs. could allow him, physically, to be more prepared to take on the backup role for the Hoosiers.
He arrived in June. While it was a welcome arrival as added depth, Cameron will be the least experienced of the three quarterbacks vying for the backup role. Many big named schools did not recruit him and one can only speculate that his commitment to IU was based on legacy.
To be blunt, the Hoosiers are in major trouble if Nate Sudfeld goes down for an extended period of time. What was once a three-man race has turned into a one-man show. Sudfeld has shown he play at elite levels, now it is time for the junior to take control of his team. He no longer has to look over his shoulder to see if the coaching staff will plug in Roberson. It is ride or die with the California quarterback. Having one quarterback should help solve some of IU’s consistency issues they faced in 2013, when it seemed they either scored in 90 seconds or ended up with a three and out. There is some talent behind Sudfeld. Zander Diamont is highly skilled, but the Hoosiers are a year away (Tommy Stevens is committed as part of the 2015 class) from having the same kind of depth they did in 2013.
2014 Position Previews