The IU football program has shown degrees of competitiveness the past few seasons yet have little to show for it except an appearance in a minor bowl game. That must change in ’10 or coach Bill Lynch could be out of a job. The team must replace the talent on defense which graduated to the NFL, though there are plenty of terrific prospects on the offensive side of the ball.
The team has numbers at the skill positions with four very good NFL prospects, starting with a pair of junior receivers.
Damarlo Belcher is a big, strong pass catcher and a cognizant football player. He offers reliable hands, comes back to the ball out of breaks and is relatively effective running after the catch. Belcher is also effective blocking down field. In many ways he reminds us of former Hoosier and second round pick James Hardy at equal points in their respective careers.
Tandon Doss is not as big or strong as Belcher yet has better speed and quickness. Doss is deceptively fast and gets downfield, displaying the ability to make the reception running full tilt. He’s very effective running after the reception, displaying both elusiveness and creativity. Right now we think he’s a potential second or third receiver at the next level.
Senior Terrance Turner is another well sized receiver who struggles seeing many passes thrown in his direction playing behind Belcher and Doss. He’s a sturdy pass catcher that gets vertical and highpoints the ball over defenders. He’s not as natural as his teammates catching the ball but does have next level potential.
Redshirt sophomore Darius Willis is a powerful north/south ball carrier who runs with authority on the inside, breaking tackles and picking up a lot yardage off initial contact. Best between the tackles, he lacks the speed to turn the corner yet could be a feature runner in the right system at the next level.
Tackle James Brewer plays with terrific quickness, shows ability in motion and keeps his head on a swivel, working with teammates and recognizing defenses. Brewer displays above average footwork in space yet must improve his strength at the point as he struggles finishing block.
In our opinion quarterback Ben Chappell could be the most underrated signal caller in the conference and is definitely a passer with next level possibilities. Chappell has a strong arm, zips the outs yet also puts touch on throws when required. Remaining poised in the pocket, he makes the right choices and does a terrific job commanding the offense. Chappell needs to improve his overall pass placement and tends to stare down targets, yet we think he’ll get late round consideration next April and is a definite pro-prospect.
Red-shirt sophomore Larry Black Jr is our top prospect on the IU defense. Constantly doubled in the middle of the line by opponents, he plays with good pad level and is very tough to move off the point. He must learn to use his hands better and improve his playing balance but shows himself to be a thug in the middle of the field and a prospect we really like.
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