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COLUMN: Freshman quarterback Peyton Ramsey impresses in spring game



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Redshirt freshman quarterback Peyton Ramsey runs the ball in the IU spring game Thursday. The Crimson team beat the Cream  42-36. Bobby Goddin Buy Photos

Remember the name Peyton Ramsey.

The freshman quarterback shined in IU’s spring game Thursday night by scoring two touchdowns and looking impressive when he was in at quarterback for the victorious Crimson team.

Last season, former coach Kevin Wilson raved about Ramsey in press conferences but redshirted him to allow him to acclimate to the college game. Ramsey certainly looked like he used that year well. He was decisive with his reads and showed strong accuracy after being named scout team player of the year last season.

IU Coach Tom Allen said he wasn’t at all surprised by the freshman’s performance.

“Coach’s kid,” Allen said. “Lot of moxie. Lot of toughness. Good decision maker. Really good football player.”

Ramsey displayed the type of mobility in the pocket that is required in college football today.

“That’s something that the quarterback has to do, especially his size,” junior tight end Ian Thomas said. “And he has the ability to do it.”

Spring games are always difficult to judge players by because the quarterback isn’t allowed to be tackled and all the eventual starters aren’t playing as one unit. It’s a small sample size to judge any player by, but it doesn’t appear that junior quarterback Richard Lagow has made noticeable improvements from last season.

Lagow remains a work in progress — a quarterback with all the physical skills in the world but lacking that essential touch to put it all together. In the spring game, he once again struggled with inaccuracy but had the types of throws that tantalize.

Lagow showed in the spring game exactly what we saw last fall — a good quarterback who is capable of so much more.

He won most outstanding offensive player for the spring, which showed him that his coaches firmly believe in him.

This doesn’t appear to be an open quarterback battle just yet. It’s Lagow’s job to lose, and Ramsay can help push Lagow to get better.

“We all need that,” Allen said. “We all need to feel like there’s somebody on my heels that keeps me sharp, keeps me focused, keeps in tune to the little things.”

Following the game, Lagow was effusive in his praise of Ramsey and said they “push each other.”

“It’s a little bit different because I’m the older guy in the room, and he’s pretty young,” Lagow said. “There’s still things he looks to learn from me and from experience. I think the world of that kid, and I think he has a really bright future.”

Thursday night showed IU has two very capable starting quarterbacks, and the presence of Ramsey should force Lagow to continue to improve.

Right now, the job is his and he needs to seize it because Ramsey showed that he can start at quarterback in the Big Ten sometime soon.

It might not be this season, but the early returns on Ramsey portend great things for the quarterback.

aphussey@indiana.edu

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