IU is looking to reach back-to-back bowl games in 2016 and prove itself a worthy competitor in the Big Ten. With the season opener a month away, it’s time to take a look at what each position may have to offer.
It was the Nate Sudfeld show in 2015. The former IU quarterback, who is now in training camp with the Washington Redskins, set the school record for career passing touchdowns with 61. His IU best 3,573 yards in a season allowed him to take the career mark with 7,879 yards, as well as the top spot in career 350-yard, 300-yard, 250-yard and 200-yard games.
Now, the Hoosiers need to replace that production.
Junior Zander Diamont and sophomore Danny Cameron saw game action last year. Diamont replaced Sudfeld in the loss to Ohio State after Sudfeld suffered a shoulder injury that also kept him out of the match up against Penn State. Diamont started against the Nittany Lions, but suffered an injury of his own, forcing Cameron to fill in.
Diamont shined against OSU. He got Memorial Stadium rocking with an electric 79-yard touchdown run and nearly forced overtime. While he used his legs to find the end zone again early against PSU, his and Cameron’s performances would be remembered for their inability to generate anything further.
Cameron and Diamont join junior college transfer Richard Lagow as the main contenders for the starting job in 2016. Lagow redshirted at Oklahoma State before making a stop at Cisco (Texas) Community College. Of the three, Lagow bears the most resemblance to Sudfeld in regards to size and arm strength. But he’s only had 15 practices with the Hoosiers. That’s far less than Cameron or Diamont, and Diamont has seven starts to his name.
IU Coach Kevin Wilson said at Big Ten Media Days that he’s looking forward to watching Diamont and Lagow go against each other during preseason practices. The pair weren’t able to square off during spring ball due to a procedure Diamont underwent to correct a lingering injury.
Both have impressed Wilson with their efforts during summer workouts. While Wilson doesn’t want to let the battle drag on too much, he understands the threat of injury necessitates more than one guy being ready to lead the offense.
Opposing defenses might even see both Lagow and Diamont. Wilson has used multiple quarterbacks in the past, and senior guard Dan Feeney wouldn’t be surprised to see his coach do it again.
Wilson is also big on redshirt freshman quarterback Austin King and freshman newcomer Peyton Ramsey. However, Wilson isn’t too keen on using a freshman in a league like the Big Ten, which could mean a redshirt is in Ramsey’s future.
There are three other quarterbacks on the roster outside of those mentioned already, so there’s no need to push Ramsey along and burn a year of eligibility.
On the depth chart released last week, IU had all three listed at equal
18 Danny Cameron, 6-1, 212, Redshirt Junior
12 Zander Diamont, 6-1, 174, Junior
21 Richard Lagow, 6-6, 240, Redshirt Junior