i was at practice for a short time this afternoon, but i did see a few things that impressed me.
first was the sheer numbers of players. big difference over last year.
secondly, lots of offensive and defensive linemen.
thirdly, charles dowdell is a quarterback and is in the hunt. they are not handing the job to schmidtke. he has to eaaaaaaarn it. dowdell looks bigger physically and he is throwing the ball much better. his throwing motion has improved. he had some nice deep balls and showed some touch on his a few of his throws. he's getting better.
i saw some athleticism and i saw lots of size from the freshmen. some of the freshmen are actually bigger than some of the older players that i saw last year.
i think that miles and company pulled off some steals in terms of some of the newcomers.
After talking with most of the coaches today at lunch, I get the feeling they are moving on.
They are excited about the new kids (Dramatic improvement in talent, skills & attitude) and the TEAM. We are lucky to have this coaching staff. As for the PC "that every position is up for grabs" it is MY opinion a handful of positions are already filled. Go to go.sycamores.com to see some pictures of yesterday's practice. Only one player came out of the locker room with a football in his hands.
E. J. Jones, who rushed for 2,066 yards and 23 touchdowns as a senior at Edwardsville, Ill. will have three year of eligibility at Illinois State. He decided against a transfer to Indiana State, where his father Edmund is an assistant coach.
First off, Wow!!! Good Attitudes, heart, and good work ethic has taken over the team. Gone are most of the thugs, and trouble makers and in is a class of good kids. Also, talk about talent. This is a very good frosh class. I can understand how it was ranked so high in FCS fball. Look for a young team with alot of frosh playing and providing good depth. Let's hope this kinda recruiting continues and 1 or 2 more classes like this and ISU Fball is gonna be tuff instantly!!!!! Already are gonna improve because of the new excellent coaching, but they got the job done and sold ISU fball to alot of very talented players.
Yah, I believe Dowdell is ahead on the Qb battle and it is his to lose. He looks so, so much better than last year. Huge improvement. He is also much bigger. Calvin appears alittle too small to be playen right away. I think Chuck's got the job, and hopefully keeps on improving and can lead the team.
I do believe most positions are up for grabs. Some positions are probably filled or expected to be occupied by certain players, but I knpw Miles will put the best player for the job at whatever position it is. Look for both sides of the line and LB to have good competition and battling for spots. Only a few out of many spots there are filled, and look for alot of frosh to be on it. Though, they are critical positions of the team, and could be the weak links on the team. The D must shore up this year for them to be in the games. These are good players with skill but they could be awfully young going againest much older, experienced players. The D-L must apply pressure and plug the gaps this year and not let the run kill them. Potential weak spot??? Let's hope not, and they improve before the year.
0-Line must protect the Qb, and block. Another potential weak spot on the team. This could very well impact how successfull of a team they can be this year.
Qb, Rb, and Wr all look very talented and skilled. Great competition going on there. All pushing one another for spots and playing time only makes them all better. Very Good depth at the skill spots. Look for a few frosh to be in the rotation and providing depth and be contributing to the team. Now, and the Future looks set with the skill spots for years to come!!!
Overall, ISU has very good coaches who know what they are doing. They will call the right sets and use formations and plays that give them a chance to succeed. They can only do so much, and ultimately it will fall to the players to execute and get it done on the field.
OL may be better than expected. The Duke kid who transfered in from Arizon (6' 5", 310)
is a talented, skilled and experienced LT. Should give our QB very good blind side protection and an extra second or 2.
The OL has looked good the first two days. It appears that we have more size than we have had in years past.
The young kids are still trying to learn the system (to be expected). Coach Unbenhagen knows what he is talking about.
There a few young kids to keep an eye on.
Evan Borchers, Aaron Stewart, and Casey Paswater. I think these kids may get early PT.
The OL will be anchored by veterans Jack Byrne, Pat Burke, and Matt Duke. I'm pretty excited about the OL. I counted 15 offensive lineman. It will be nice to have some depth up front. That is where it all starts.
i keep hearing really good things about freshman ryan roberts. he's smart, he's got good size, he's very athletic, and from what i hear, he's very, very good. he is still learning isu's defensive system, but he appears to be a quick study. he just might make a name for himself in the league as a freshman.
for any of you who are long-time isu football fanatics, like myself, he sort of reminds me of john allman. allman was a big and athletic, a rangy former running back in high school and as a freshman at isu but was switched to safety. he became an all-missouri valley conference selection later in his career and had some looks from the nfl.