Written By Alex Compton (@Alexncompton)
The Hoosier Huddle Countdown to Kick-off is nearly complete! There are now 21 days until the Indiana Hoosiers kick-off the 2017 season against the Ohio State Buckeyes. Today’s countdown takes a look at IU’s most important player- Richard Lagow.
Richard Lagow (Redshirt Senior)
-Weight: 240 pounds
-Hometown: Plano, Texas
Before I even start this piece, I want to make it very clear. There is no quarterback competition. Ramsey played well in the spring game sure, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready yet or that he’s better than Lagow. Lagow is the starter, the clear-cut starter, and will be for every game barring an injury or something else that you can’t predict. With that being said, we now only have three more weeks until Indiana’s biggest home opener in school history and boy am I excited. Now is as good a time as any to dive into the man that will be under center on August 31st, so let’s get started.
Last year, Lagow had an up and down season, but one that leaves me extremely excited for him this year. The Big Ten’s second leading passer is back for his final year of college football, and some of what he showed last year makes me firmly believe he can be in the conversation for the league’s best signal caller this season. Just read some of his accomplishments from last season on IUHoosiers.com: "Finished 253-of-438 (57.8 percent) for 3,362 yards with 19 passing touchdowns, 17 interceptions, two rushing TDs and one receiving score ... ranked second in the Big Ten in passing yards per game (258.6, 28th nationally), third in yards per completion (13.3, 32nd) and completions (19.4, 39th), fifth in touchdowns (19), and sixth in total offense per game (250.3) and passing efficiency (128.8) ... sits second at IU in single-season passing yardage, third in attempts, tied for third in 300-yard games (3, T-4th in program history), fourth in completions, fourth in total offense (3,176), and sixth in passing TDs ... led the Big Ten in passing plays of 10-plus yards (136, 21st nationally), was second in 40-plus (15, T-12th), 30-plus (24, T-20th) and 20-plus yarders (48, T-25th), third in 50-plus yarders (7, T-17th), and tied for third in 70-plus (2, T-19th) and 60-plus yarders (3, T-25th) ... started all 13 games ... recorded three, three-touchdown games ... set the Indiana single-game mark with 496 yards along with three scores on 28-of-47 against Wake Forest ... the 496 yards were the most the in the Big Ten and the 12th-most nationally in 2016 ... threw for 394 yards, sixth all-time in school history, with three TDs on 28-of-40 (70.0) in the victory at Rutgers ... tossed three touchdowns, including a career-long 79-yarder, and went 17-of-27 (63.0) in the Ball State win ... completed 35-of-59 for 317 yards at Northwestern ... 59 attempts are tied for second and 35 completions are third in Hoosiers lore ... posted 276 yards with two passing scores and a 5-yard receiving TD in the victory over No. 17 Michigan State ... netted 292 yards and two touchdowns against No. 10 Penn State ... went 18-of-27 (66.7) for 240 yards and one passing and rushing score in his first career start at Florida International ... IU offensive player of the week (Michigan State).”
Reading through those numbers should get you excited, but the one number that people keep coming back to is his interception total of 17. If Indiana wants to Breakthrough this season, it’s going to start with Richard Lagow and his ability to move the football without turning the it over. Mike DeBord is in Bloomington for his first season, and his offense is different from last year in the sense that the play calls will be much more set up and methodical. No longer will Lagow have to throw bombs on 2nd and 12 or throw a bubble screen on 1st and 20. The play calls and the positions the offense will be in this year will fit Lagow and his strengths much better, which should lead to an immediate turnaround in this area.
Besides the change in the offense, I’m excited about Lagow this year because he’s emerged as a leader according to almost everyone around the team. His teammates have been raving about him, and coaches from Nick Sheridan (QB) to Mike DeBord (OC) to Tom Allen have echoed this sentiment as well. Watching him at practice shows how committed he is to this team, and if you just watch the videos on social media, you’ll always see him at the front of the huddle too. That stuff matters, and it really matters for a quarterback. You have to remember that last season was the first year Lagow played D1 snaps, so it was crazy that he put up those kinds of numbers in his first real action. After a full season and an offseason of growth, I think the sky is the limit for Richard Lagow. I praised him all of last year, and I’m predicting big things out of him this year. Oh, and if those big things come? I expect the breakthrough to come right along with them. Three weeks left. Let’s buckle up.