BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Closing out its first day of preseason camp, the Indiana football team hosted its annual Media Day on Thursday. Head coach Kevin Wilson and his entire staff along with 15 players met with the media.
The team also took individual and position pictures inside Memorial Stadium. To view a photo gallery from today's events click here.
Below is a partial transcript from Coach Wilson's press conference:
"We're continuing to grow and we're coming off, of course, what everybody knows, we are where we were. Where we're going we need some positive support and you guys being here means a lot, and at the same time I know you have to be honest and truthful. Our guys will be the same way. I hope our staff was, I hope our players were. We had a good start. We're limited by rule what we can and can't do this summer. We did have last month (July), 110 players training this summer to be here and we can only have 105 for practice, so we had a large commitment from our non-scholarship guys. Don't have exact totals, but I know we had a great summer academically. Though not complete, it looks like we'll be pushing a 3.15 grade point average with 60 guys over a 3.0 this summer. Academics are going well. We physically feel like we've improved. We had practice this morning on our new field. We've got some new players with us. Our junior college guys have been with us a little bit longer. Again, I thought it was a decent start. We have a lot of work to do but we're going to have a great camp. I look forward to moving day-to-day and getting ready to open up September."
On his second summer as head coach:
"Even though we're limited with my contact, I'm not supposed to ask the strength coach who is here or how did it go, not even supposed to ask what he benched. The physical side and knowledge you don't know, but you are able to organize your quarterbacks in a way where one, they know what we want to do. We had 18 organized quarterback-ran practices that were part of workouts where after a run or after a lift, and we structured a couple, two days a week in June, three days as we get into July, so we did more 7-on-7s in June and July without coaching, without videotape, but we had as many or more reps there than our guys had. It's no pads, but as far as lining up as a freshman, day one was actually June 4th, unless he didn't graduate high school and couldn't be with us until June 18th. Day one, it's almost like spring ball, it just kept going just without the pads.
"It's year two and some guys know schemes, but the real deal is the beauty of year-round training, which is why I'm not a big proponent of redshirting, because you've got them year round and are working them. You can physically develop them, but you can burn them out. Day one is a lot different. I remember my first day of practice they told us where to stand in the huddle and what the snap count was and how to block with your face up so you didn't hurt your neck and all these steps. It's like we're still building and we're not at a high gear yet. First play we ran in walk-through today was double-crash corners off both edges. I go, `Hey, it used to be 50 cover 3.' The game has evolved and that is just commitment of players more than it's year two."
On how things have changed this year:
"To me, we don't change until scoreboards change. We can subjectively say we didn't put a turf field out here to improve our graduation rate. We didn't pay for everyone to be here in summer. We took classes and we did great in summer school, but it was really a commitment to train, to prepare, to mature and to be a better football player. We're making, this institution and this administration from the top, and the athletic department is making the commitment to making a winning team. Ultimately, I don't know if we've changed until we see scoreboards and we see how we produce against other Big Ten opponents and the people that are part of our league. We've added guys and guys graduate and guys go by the wayside, guys get injured. We've had some guys come through. We've lost a coach or two, gained a coach or two. We've reorganized some internal infrastructure with recruiting and things to help us in those regards. We know the system is further along. We have now played 16 true freshmen and 16 redshirt freshmen. Hopefully they've trained and gained weight and are stronger and better. There's also some subjective change, we can say he weighed 180 pounds and now he is 192 pounds. He ran a 4.6 and now he ran a 4.56. He benched 12 reps and now he did 18. At the end of the day, we're not changing until we get out here and play on Saturdays and we win games."
On whether he saw a change in the team in January:
"We personally tried to end the season the Sunday after the last game. Even though our record wasn't statistically scored well, we didn't practice with the young team that way. There was a lot of energy. We started that Monday and we hit the weight room five days that week. We stayed through exams, whether you had to take exams or not, lifting. We challenged them that we would test them the first week they came back in January. I think over the winter when it was exam week and we were getting ready to go home, we didn't shut it down. I think that gave us a chance now where we can have a great preseason, but we need to have a good preseason. I think we are in position to have one, but now you have to go do it. You can practice and have a good game plan developed, but now you have to go do it. Were we better? I don't know. I think we tried to flush the season immediately. We didn't talk really much about what was, other than we addressed how we are going to keep doing our business, how we do our process, what we believe in. I think we started to get people to realize and start seeing this is how we do things. We also did a few things in some leadership deals where we started putting players in charge of themselves off the field. We did a lot more work in team building and team leadership, where I think last year we were trying to get settled in, get to know you and teach you a play. We're still working on it today, teaching guys. We just had a session on Twitter. I'm not banning Twitter, but I'm trying to teach people how to use it properly because it will affect your professional career and relationships and all those things. Instead of banning it, I'm trying to use it as an educational opportunity."