Today we will start a multi-part series to lead up to the start of the football season in just over a month. This is being done mostly for my own good, but to teach the IU faithful as well. I have never been much of a college football fan, let alone paid close attention to Indiana football. I have always been told the best way to learn is to teach. So the Crimson Quarry will be making this an educational series to teach you the names, abilities and expectations of the individual members of Kevin Wilson’s Indiana Hoosiers.
Let us start with arguably the most important position on the football field, the quarterback. The QB is the only player that is guaranteed to touch the ball on every play and in turn have the highest potential to influence the game for better or worse. Thus, we will break the depth chart down to see who will be manning the helm for the Hoosiers this season.
The Potential Starters
Dusty Kiel: The first individual we will take a look at is redshirted sophomore Dusty Kiel. The Columbus, Indiana native will be in what appears to be a two way battle for the starting job come September. He has a pedigree that favors his success. His uncle was a starter at Notre Dame, father a letterman for Butler football and his older brother a QB at Illinois State. As we will be losing multi-year starter and team captain Ben Chappell, Kiel has the opportunity to step up and perform in a big way. Kiel appeared in 5 games last season in mostly game management situations. He is a pro-style QB, which has always been Kevin Wilson’s forte with his offenses at Oklahoma. With decent arm strength but good accuracy on his passes he can stand in the pocket and deliver strikes beneficial to a spread offense. I would imagine that Kiel’s more fitting style of play would make him the frontrunner for the starting position going into the August practices.
Edward Wright-Baker: EWB will be the other likely contender for the starting spot of QB in the 2011 Hoosiers’ season. The 6’1" Jeffersonville, Indiana native is the yin to Kiel’s yang. Kiel is the prototypical pro-style QB and Wright-Baker being the prototypical dual-threat QB. EWB has a very strong arm and even better feet. However, he is lacking in the accuracy and consistency necessary for the type of offense that we have seen in the past with Oklahoma. This leads me to believe that he is in fact slightly behind Kiel in the race for the starting position this season. If Edward Wright-Baker is to win the competition he is going to have to show that he can make the passes necessary of a spread offense. Though EWB is quick and athletic he must be a pass first QB and not be too willing to settle for the run.
The Depth Chart
Adam Follett: A true pocket passer, Follett stands tall in the pocket. At 6’5" he is your typical size for what one would look for in a pocket passer. The Alma, Michigan resident has great accuracy, arm strength and consistency all on his side, but his lead feet make him a liability if the pocket were to ever break down. His release is also a little wonky according to scouting reports but his brains should be the most beneficial to the team. The redshirt junior will be most beneficial as the perfect pocket passer for the scout team.
Tre Roberson: The incoming freshman out of Indianapolis will most likely spend the year as the scout teams dual-threat QB. He is a true athlete will lots of ability to make plays with his feet and arm strength. He does however lack the accuracy and consistency with which to stick at QB in the college game. Add in the fact that he is only 6’ 170 lbs. and he is going to have to go through some major strides in his game to overcome his physical size deficiencies. During his recruiting there was talk of him possibly converting to WR in the long run; so that should give you an idea of his athletic abilities if not his deficiencies as a quarterback.
Teddy Schell: The final member of the depth chart at quarterback for your Indiana Hoosiers is the redshirt senior Schell. The highest rated QB in Illinois his senior year of high school, Schell has always been stuck behind the more capable Ben Chappell. Schell has found his place on this team as the place holder and will likely remain there for this season as well. Schell also has the potential to serve as a scout team QB as well. He is also a pro-style quarterback who is known for his brains. His ability to quickly learn the basics of any offense makes him a valuable practice addition that should provide much more help to the defense during the week than the offense on Saturday.
As a whole this year’s quarterback situation will be in a state of limbo. Wilson has stated that he wants to find his guy before the season starts and then let him know it is his position. The last thing you need is a QB who thinks with every mistake on the field he will be losing his place on the depth chart. So depending on who wins the pre-season battle, we will most likely see them stick to the starting position for the majority of the year. The starter will get plenty of opportunity to shine and depending on who gets the nod Kiel or EWB should hint towards what this offense will be going forward.