Written by Lloyd Ribner III (@Ribner3)
Before coach Kevin Wilson took to the podium for his press conference on Friday the Hoosiers released their first depth chart of the season. While at the microphone coach Wilson was sure to emphasize the fact that the depth chart is far from set in stone. However, with the release of the two-deep we finally get to peak inside the minds of the coaching staff in terms of the roster, and there are some interesting decisions throughout.
We will begin by taking a look at the offensive side of the ball, and where better to start than at the quarterback position. While not a surprise, it is interesting that there is still no separation between the trio of quarterbacks Tre Roberson, Cam Coffman and Nate Sudfeld.
There was a surprise at the running back spot where Tevin Coleman is still listed as the starter over Stephen Houston. While Houston is a senior, and the defacto lead back, Wilson did the same thing entering last season. The head coach has lauded Coleman with praise saying that he has the ability to play on Sundays. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Houston underperformed, but it is a bit of a disappointment that he could not take control of the starting job heading into his senior season. I fully expect Seth Littrell to use multiple backs throughout the season not putting to much of the load on any single player.
With Dan Feeney lost for the year to injury underclassman David Kaminski and Jacob Bailey have moved up the depth chart at the right tackle position. It looks as it will be a two-man battle, but Wilson also stated that Ralston Evans and Jake Reed would also be part of the mix.
The two-deep goes to three men at the tight end position as freshman Danny Friend forced his way on due to his play. He clearly has made a mark in camp and the coaches have taken notice.
There is depth at the wide receiver position to say the very least, as there are seven different players listed at the position on the depth chart. The trio of Cody Latimer, Shane Wynn and Kofi Hughes are denoted as the starters. The second string consists of Isaiah Roundtree, Duwyce Wilson and Nick Stoner, while the group is rounded out on the two-deep by sophomore Ricky Jones.
The defensive side of the ball was more of the same, as the Hoosier coaching staff made some interesting moves, but nothing that was ultimately earthshaking.
One of the most interesting developments is that three of the true freshman linebackers were able to make the depth chart. While none of them claimed a starting job, the fact that T.J. Simmons, Marcus Oliver and Clyde Newton have already put their skills on display can be viewed as nothing but a positive for the future of the Indiana defense.
The Starting trio at linebacker as of right now consists of David Cooper (MLB), Steven Funderburk (WLB) and Griffen Dahlstrom (SLB) however; it looks as if Dahlstom will be trying to fend off Flo Hardin, as the two seem to be rather level.
It appears as if Tim Bennett has officially taken hold of the left cornerback spot while the position opposite to him is still up for grabs. The battle for the remaining secondary spot has come down to Kenny Mullen, Ryan Thompson, Brian Williams and Michael Hunter.
The starting bookends at the defensive tackle position are listed as Ryan Phillis and Nick Mangieri. While Phillis was basically a given, Mangieri a sophomore moved past junior Zack Shaw on the depth chart after most believed coming out of spring ball that it would be the upperclassman’s job come fall. On the interior Alex Todd and Bobby Richardson are the starters at defensive tackle. Richardson has proven his versatility throughout fall camp playing both at tackle and end. As far as the highly touted freshman linemen are concerned, Darius Latham saw his name on the depth chart released Friday, while fellow blue chip recruit David Kenney did not.