#IUFBinCHI: Day Two Notebook
July 29, 2014
CHICAGO -- As two wide receivers from last year's Hoosiers started new journeys in NFL training camps last week, the question marks from their departures were left to be answered by senior wideout Shane Wynn and junior quarterback Nate Sudfeld at 2014 Big Ten Media Days.
Gone are Denver Broncos' second-round draft pick Cody Latimer and Houston Texans' free-agent rookie Kofi Hughes - both of which rank in the top 10 all-time at Indiana in catches and receiving yards. How will IU overcome the combined loss of 267 catches and 3,998 receiving yards?
"It's going to be a little different look at receiver, but I'm very excited about the possibilities," Sudfeld said. "I think we actually have more depth than we did last year at receiver but just not as much experience. With these young guys, I'm just excited to see who is going to step up in camp and I think some of them really will."
On the field, IU's wideouts may look the part, but what about leadership?
"Just making sure they're all in class and they have a positive attitude," Wynn said of his elder role as a senior. "With a positive attitude, not too many things can go wrong. Everything isn't serious. You don't have to come in mad or with a chip on your shoulder, just get ready to learn. You're definitely going to have a chance and a shot to play."
Wynn, named to the Hornung and Biletnikoff Award Watch Lists, leads a receiving corps into 2014 that features four members of Indiana's 2014 signing class. But which of them has impressed?
"To be truthfully honest, all of them have," Wynn said. "Dominique Booth, I forget sometimes is a freshman. J-Shun Harris looks just like I did when I came in. Simmie Cobbs and Coray (Keel) are two guys that will definitely help us outside."
Questions answered...for now. Indiana opens its fourth preseason camp under head coach Kevin Wilson on Monday, August 4.
NEW COACH, NEW ATTITUDE, NO EXCUSES
One thing that was evident in talking to redshirt senior linebacker David Cooper, IU's defensive representative at media days, was that defensive coordinator Brian Knorr has his respect. Knorr, who came to Indiana in January after spending the last three years at Wake Forest, directed a defense in 2013 that ranked among the top 38 in all major statistical categories.
"It's been going real well," Cooper said. "Coach Knorr is a real smart guy that knows what he's talking about. He knows what to expect coming from Wake Forest. He's been there before and he's been part of a good defense."
While 2013 didn't go as planned for the Hoosier defense, 2014 brings a new year and a new mentality, one Cooper was extremely direct about.
"High expectations," Cooper said. "I told the guys, there is no excuse this year. No excuse. Everybody can say it's a new scheme and everything, but no excuse for any miscommunications, any misfits or anything. We have a high expectation and the coaches have high expectations on us. We just have to stay consistent, stay in the film room and keep that going throughout the season."
After splitting snaps at quarterback in 2013 with Tre Roberson, you wouldn't know Nate Sudfeld wasn't entering an identical situation in 2014 just by talking to him.
Roberson transferred to Illinois State in June, leaving Sudfeld as the unquestioned starting quarterback at Indiana.
"My mentality is still trying to get a lot better," Sudfeld said. "I'm not becoming complacent. I'm working extremely hard as a leader and as a quarterback to improve and keep improving to help our team win some games. I'm excited about the opportunity."
In 2013, Indiana set single-season offensive records with 6,102 total yards, 508.5 total yards per game, 461 points, 38.4 points per game, 36 passing touchdowns, 62 total TDs and 300 first downs. Those are numbers Sudfeld is aiming to make a standard in Bloomington, rather than a few notes in the record book.
"I have high expectations for us," Sudfeld said. "I've come to expect scoring a lot of points in our offense. With our O-Line coming back and how good they're looking right now and the skill guys we have like Tevin (Coleman) and Shane among a lot of other guys, I think we really have a great opportunity to put up some really good numbers and win some solid games."
Beyond the fireworks and stats, Sudfeld made it clear the number that matters most in 2014 is the one in the win column.
"I think overall, we're just excited to get the pads on and start proving who we are."
Check back soon