Indiana Football Hosts Annual Picture and Media Day
Aug. 18, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Hoosiers hosted the annual Indiana football picture and media day on Tuesday. The team took numerous photos and talked with local media in attendance. Head coach Bill Lynch talked with the media during the first press conference to be held in the new team meeting room in the North End Zone at Memorial Stadium. Vice President and Director of Athletics Fred Glass also held a press conference in the North End Zone, and Lynch led the media in attendance on a tour of the new facility. Click here to watch the press conference.
Below is what Lynch had to say at his press conference.
"Welcome to the new Memorial Stadium. I know all of you were out on the field and got to take some pictures and talk to our players. We've been in it two weeks now, and we're very, very proud of it. It is a great show of support for football here at Indiana. It starts with our board of trustees to the president and down through our athletic administration. It really has been a big boost. We've got a different bounce in our step around here. I've said this to different groups, our guys really weren't in it until two weeks ago. With the construction, they would walk by it, and it was really an inconvenience for them for a couple of years from the time they started digging a hole out there until a couple of weeks ago. They stayed out because it was locked up with construction. When they came in, you could tell that there is great pride in the building and certainly where they're going to work on a daily basis, as well as the gameday experience we're going to have out on the field. That part of it is something special. Most of you, I hope, can hang around and get the tour of it. Some of you were here early on when it was just concrete. It is not totally done. Obviously, we don't have the pictures up and all of the things that will decorate the building, but you'll see what I think is terrific layout for our student-athletes, and that what this is all about. It is about the student-athletes because, from the new academic center that is going to be renovated down the hall, through the meeting rooms, such as this, the technology that is in each of these rooms, obviously the weight room, and as it flows into the existing locker room, training room and Hoosier Room, the layout is fantastic.
"As far as practice, where we are, I think we've had a good start. We're just about halfway through. I think we've had 13 practices, and we're allowed 29, and the last couple are really walk-throughs getting ready for the game. We've got one this afternoon and two tomorrow, and then all of a sudden we're more than halfway there. As a coach, you're excited about where you are, but you also know how much work is left to be done. You never get it all done before the opening game. One thing that we've been able to do is go pretty fast because of the experience on the football team. From an offensive standpoint, it starts with your quarterback, and Ben Chappell is an experienced guy who has really, really studied the offense and knows it. His leadership has helped everybody else jump on board. The offensive line is more experienced, particularly at the tackle positions with Rodger Saffold and James Brewer. Pete Saxon, it seems like he has been here forever, is manning down one of the guards. We've got a couple of the young guys in Justin Pagán, who played last year, and Will Matte (center), but you're quarterback has to handle it, and your offensive line has to handle it. It is much easier for your running backs and wide receivers. We've put a lot of offense in, so we think we're ahead there. We've got great competition and some very good football players that are wide receivers and running backs. At wideout, Damarlo Belcher and Tandon Doss are two guys that played quite a bit for us last year as true freshmen. A year in the weight room and staying here all summer, they are different guys. They play with a maturity, and they certainly have the talent. Then you mix a couple of juniors who are everything you are looking for in football players, Mitchell Evans and Terrance Turner. They have played very well. They can do a lot of things, and they'll be very involved in special teams as well. The running back position, everybody wants to know who the guy is going to be. Right now, I feel pretty good about four of them, and the fifth one is pretty good, he just hasn't been able to practice. Our seniors are Bryan Payton and Demetrius McCray, Trea Burgess is a junior and Darius Willis, who we can't wait to get on the field in a game situation because we think he is going to be special as a redshirt freshman. Zach Davis-Walker has been banged up a little bit, but he'll be back before long. I think we've got some guys there that can run the football.
"Defensively, it is a unique group. We're going to have a lot of seniors playing, and we're going to have some young guys playing. Those seniors have to lead the young guys as we get going. It starts up front with senior defensive ends Greg Middleton and Jammie Kirlew, who have worked extremely hard this whole offseason. Jammie came off a big year and continued with a great offseason. Greg has had a great offseason, all the way back to the winter program through this summer, and he has been very good in camp. They are two experienced defensive ends that have some numbers to back it up. Inside is a unique group because we're going to have a lot of young guys playing. Jarrod Smith and Deonte Mack are our older guys, but they've been banged up and haven't been able to practice much. The young guys, it is a good group. Nicholas Sliger, Larry Black and Mick Mentzer are all redshirt freshman, but they're all 300-pound, athletic guys that play extremely hard, and we've got a true freshman, Adam Replogle, who is from Centerville, Ohio, and his older brother, Tyler, is a linebacker for us. Adam is advanced for a freshman. He is going to play. He is probably the one freshman that right now I can say will play from the start. We've got experience at linebacker. We've got three seniors in Matt Mayberry, Will Patterson and Justin Carrington, and a junior that has played a lot in Tyler Replogle. We've got experience there, but behind them are a bunch of young kids. In the secondary, the same way, we've got three seniors in Austin Thomas, Nick Polk and Ray Fisher, with young guys backing them up. The older guys have got to carry the load early. They've got to teach the younger guys. I think there is good talent coming, but we're certainly counting on the seniors not only in leadership but in performance on the field.
"The kicking spots, Chris Hagerup is a very good punter. A year ago at this time, we knew he was going to be our punter, but we were a little bit concerned about whether he could catch the snap and get it off. Early on, he had problems with it. As the year went on, he was one of the best punters in the Big Ten. He is a weapon right now. A lot of you guys have been out to practice and watched him. He has got great talent as a punter. At the place-kicking position, I think we're going to be solid. I just don't know who it is going to be yet. Nick Freeland is a young man that is just a redshirt freshman that was the leader coming out of spring practice, and he has done his work in the summer and is kicking well. Our true freshman, Mitch Ewald, is talented but has been injured, so I can't say a whole lot. He kicked the first three or four days and then hasn't been able to kick the last three or four. And then, we've got another interesting young man, Charlie Klingensmith, who is a walk-on senior. He is a transfer, was a soccer player at St. Bonaventure. He is from Carmel, Ind. He transferred to Indiana a couple of years ago, and he truly is one of those guys that knocked on the door and said, `I'd like to try to kick here.' We said okay, and he is pretty darn good. He is a back-up punter and place-kicker. He is a talented guy that has a great attitude about things, so he will be in the mix there as well. That is kind of a quick rundown by position of where we are."
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