Many players have changed positions and moved to spots on the other side of the ball, including senior Ray Fisher, who led the team with 42 receptions and five touchdowns in 2008. Fisher will make the move to cornerback for his final season. Along with Fisher, three other wide receivers will make the switch to defense.
But Lynch said this type of moving is normal for college football and that IU is just trying to put its best players on the field.
The team will also use more tight ends this season, instead of using four or five wide
But those changes are not the most important of all the Hoosiers have done in the offseason.
Lynch said he feels the implementation of leadership development and team building was an integral facet of the team’s training. He said the older players have taken ownership of the team, which should be beneficial for the other younger players as well.
As far as the upcoming season is concerned, Lynch said the goal is always to contend for the Big Ten Championship, and to once again be a bowl team.
He pointed out a few players for fans to watch.
He said he feels junior quarterback Ben Chappell will have a standout season and that the offensive line is much-improved from last season. Senior defensive ends Jammie Kirlew and Greg Middleton combined have the most sacks of returning players this year, Lynch said. The pair both received preseason awards, and Lynch said they both should have outstanding seasons.
Hoosiers fans also should be ready for a new experience in the stands when IU opens its season.
Not only will the fans get to see the 2009 Hoosiers in full action for the first time, it will also be the inaugural game after the new North End Zone project.
The project broke ground in July 2007, creating a new end zone area that encases a strength and conditioning center, the headquarters of IU football and an academic resource center.
The north end zone will also house the IU Hall of Champions, and it contains seating from a much different angle than available before its completion.
Lynch called the project a “tremendous asset to the program,” and said he believes the changes essentially make Memorial Stadium a new stadium, creating a new game day experience.
Lynch also said it benefits recruiting, as it creates a “wow factor.”
For the rest of the summer, the Hoosiers will have a busy schedule.
The team will travel to Chicago on Monday and Tuesday for the Big Ten Media Days.
Lynch will also continue to participate in the Tailgate Tours that have been traveling around Indiana all summer. The last event will be Aug. 26 in Indianapolis.
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