Countdown to Kickoff: 12 Days (Zander Diamont and Reakwon Jones)

 Zander Diamont earned his stripes in 2014 after being thrown into the fire as a true freshman.  Image: Courier Journal

Zander Diamont earned his stripes in 2014 after being thrown into the fire as a true freshman. Image: Courier Journal

Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)

#12

Welcome back to the work week Hoosier Nation as we are now just a dozen sunrises until the Hoosiers kickoff the season against Southern Illinois. Two more Hoosiers wear the number 12 in 2015, there are 105 guys in camp and doubling up is normal. Today we will take a look at sophomore quarterback Zander Diamont and freshman linebacker Reakwon Jones.

Zander Diamont

  • Ht/Wt: 6-1/173
  • Postion: Quarterback
  • Year: Sophomore
  • Hometown: Los Angeles, CA (Venice H.S.)

Zander Diamont came to IU with a famous father, a million dollar smile, and a fairly unknown skill set on the football field. Diamont was selected to the USA Football Under-19 National Team and was named Los Angeles City Player of the Year, Westside co-Player of the Year, and the Western League co-Player of the Year in 2013 when he threw for 3,501 yards and 47 touchdowns at Venice High School.

Diamont's freshman year at Indiana was supposed to be a transition year where he could put on some bulk and learn the intricacies of the Hoosier offense while redshirting. However, that plan was scrapped when both starting quarterback Nate Sudfeld and backup Chris Covington were lost for the remainder of the season in an October loss to Iowa.

Diamont was thrown to the wolves, as his first start was against one of the best defenses in the country in the Michigan State Spartans. The Hoosiers fell 56-17, but Diamont ignited the crowd when he scored his first career touchdown as the Hoosiers took a 17-14 lead.

Over the first few weeks of his tenure of starting quarterback Diamont looked overwhelmed by the speed of the college game. As the season went on though, Diamont looked more comfortable and was able to make more plays. He finally led the Hoosiers to a victory over Purdue in the season finale. He finished the year with 515 yards passing, 133 yards rushing and three total touchdowns. 

With Nate Sudfeld back starting in 2015, the coaching staff will have a choice to either redshirt Diamont or use him as the backup quarterback. A redshirt year will let him develop and compete for the starting position in 2016, while using him as QB2 will give the Hoosiers an experienced back up just in case of emergency.

Reakwon Jones

  • Ht/Wt: 6-2/205
  • Position: Linebacker
  • Year: Freshman
  • Hometown: Lynn Haven, Fla. (A. Crawford Mosley H.S.)

Jones was a standout linebacker for head coach Jeremy Brown at A. Crawford Mosley High School in Lynn Haven, Fla. He was a 2014 first team Class 5A All-State Selection and won the Bay County Defensive Player of the Year after recording 124 tackles, 13 TFL's, five sacks, and six forced fumbles. He led his team to its first playoff appearance since 2006 as a senior.

The Hoosiers have a deep corps at linebacker which will likely give Jones a chance to redshirt and get his feet wet in a college program.