Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
Big Ten Media Days are just around the corner (July 30- Aug. 1) and there a many questions that Hoosier Nation would like to have answered before the 2015 season kicks off on Sept. 5th.
The Hoosier Huddle staff has put our collective wisdom together and have come up with a handful of questions for head coach Kevin Wilson.
1. How is the health of the ball club?
The Hoosiers have a bunch of players coming back from injuries sustained either during the 2014 season or in spring practice. Major players include running back Jordan Howard, linebacker T.J. Simmons, tight end Anthony Corsaro, and UAB transfer wide receiver Marqui Hawkins.
These players are vital to the success of the 2015 team and the Hoosiers need to be at full strength to start the year in order to get to the magical six wins.
2. Last year's WR corps took some criticism for untimely drops and inconsistent play...many players return plus you add Camion Patrick and several talented freshmen, who are you looking for to lead the way this season to rebound as a passing attack?
Anyone who watched IU play in 2014 could see the youthful inconsistencies shown by Hoosier wideouts. With another year and spring practice under their belts and in addition to Camion Patrick, Marqui Hawkins, and a few talented freshman this position group should be able to catch the ball consistently. There will be more competition for playing time and one would have to think if a player has a case of the drops he will be replaced.
3. The offensive line appears to be a strength for your team and one of the best O-lines in the conference. That being said, who do you think takes the reigns as the starting center after the departure of Collin Rahrig?
Rahrig was the heart and soul on a great offensive line in 2014. Replacing his leadership and production will be a difficult task. Who will step up for the Hoosiers? It could be Jason Spriggs or Dan Feeney who both have plenty of experience and are very talented.
4. With an entirely new starting secondary heading into 2015. Who do you see stepping in the leadership role? How important is it to get as many guys reps in the first to games to build the depth as the schedule ramps up?
Indiana has lost their entire starting secondary to graduation, transfer, and dismissal. The Hoosiers should have a strong front seven, but if a young secondary cannot find its sea legs in the first two weeks it could be in for a wild ride in Week 3 when Western Kentucky rolls into town. Expect the competition for starting spots to go well into camp, but we can probably pencil in Chase Dutra and Rashard Fant into the lineup.
5.The team ranked 110th in overall special teams. With two returning kickers and a veteran punter will you improve the field position battle? Also the return game lacked explosiveness, with the departure of Shane Wynn who will be returning kicks?
Special teams is often overlooked by many people, but it is an extremely important aspect of the game when less talented teams are trying to find an edge. Last season the Hoosiers were dismal on special teams. Aside from grabbing a few onside kicks they were less than spectacular.
Success on special teams sets up both the offense or the defense for success. A good return game will hand an explosive offense shorter fields, while a good punt and kick off performance can help out the defense by pinning opponents deep in their own territory. Having a big-legged kicker like Griffin Oakes creates more margin of error for the offense. Oakes can hit long field goals in case the offense stalls, so IU can still get some points out of a decent drive.
While we may not get a chance to have all of our questions answered next week, and we will certainly try our best, you can be sure Wilson and some of the players will touch upon a few of them.
Stay tuned to HoosierHuddle.com for all our IU Football Media Day coverage.