Though there is a quarterback battle, Roberson appears to be the frontrunner due to his understanding of the offense and the leadership qualities he brings to the table.
IU Coach Kevin Wilson said he thinks the Indianapolis native will stand out in the quarterback competition.
“Contrary to other guys, he has been a pretty good player who has embraced the challenge of competition, and he’s competed,” Wilson said.
Key to Roberson understanding the offense is the addition of IU Offensive Coordinator Seth Littrell, who came to Bloomington after spending three seasons at Arizona.
Littrell said he and the other coaches are helping Roberson learn to make more throws in the new offense.
Littrell added Roberson’s ability has improved with experience.
“I think he’s getting a little more comfortable within the system. Obviously, in the spring, he didn’t throw many balls,” Littrell said. “I think he feels a lot more comfortable with the passing game and really, overall, how to run an offense.”
As practices continue with just 10 days remaining before the Sept. 1 home opener against Indiana State, Roberson said he understands the passing system.
“I feel more confident in the passing game, and the pass game is easier to figure out,” Roberson said. “I know the timing of the routes and where to throw the ball in different coverages.”
Littrell said the pass-run ratio is still undecided and will depend on IU’s opponent, but Roberson has seen more passes in practice so far.
“We’ve been a lot more pass and a little less run, but we are going to do whatever works best,” Littrell said. “If we are running the ball really well that night, then we are going to run. If we are passing the ball really well, then we are going to pass.”
Though this will be Roberson’s second season under center, his teammates have positive words about him as a leader for the team.
“Tre is taking more control over the offense, calling the plays faster and being able to read the coaches’ minds when they call the plays,” junior running back Stephen Houston said. “He studies the game more than anybody I’ve met.”
Compared to last season, the main difference senior center Will Matte said he sees is Roberson’s ability to control the offense.
“I think the biggest thing is his leadership,” Matte said. “His presence in the huddle is much improved.”
Matte said Roberson has done a good job so far of understanding the offense, specifically the passing plays in which Matte said the quarterback’s skills are most crucial.
Roberson’s teammates said they feel his ability to lead has helped make him the favorite to be the team’s starting quarterback, and his teammates are behind him going into the 2012 season.
“He knows how to read the defense, even when they try to disguise it,” Houston said. “He has really come on to be that prime time quarterback.”
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