Allen happy to have QB Jackson in the Hoosiers mix | Indiana University Sports

BLOOMINGTON — Indiana’s football coach Tom Allen meets the media before the men’s basketball game at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall against Michigan State.

While Trayce Jackson-Davis lit the hall with 31 points in the Hoosiers’ win over the Spartans, Indiana football fans are excited about the addition of Jackson-Davis’ brother Tayven, who transferred from Tennessee to potentially become Indiana’s quarterback for the 2023 season.

Jackson announced his signing last week. Indiana recruited Jackson from Center Grove and finally got his man.

“What we liked about him was his athleticism. He’s a long-distance athlete, multi-athlete, basketball, track and field, all three, and he just felt like he could create something with his legs, with his arm. He’s a great leader,” Allen said.

Jackson only played two games for the Volunteers. He completed two passes in two attempts against Akron. Though battle-hardened in Knoxville, Allen knew what he was getting into given the connections formed during Jackson’s high school recruitment.

“We have many close relationships with their staff and know them well, which allows us to get to know him even better, the behind-the-scenes leadership he has brought and the confidence and swagger he brings to a space when he comes in there,” Allen noted.

“Those are things you look for in a quarterback, the ability to throw the football and run the football had a dual effectiveness in high school and then you saw him play the time himself last year that he played in Tennessee.”

Jackson joins a quarterback room that currently has freshmen Broc Lowry and Brendan Sorsby. Dexter Williams II, who started Indiana’s last two games before suffering a devastating knee injury in the season finale against Purdue, is also back but likely won’t play in 2023.

Allen has no plans to add any more quarterbacks at this time.

“We discussed it, but that’s one of those things that’s a little difficult. Being able to get an older man to do all this sounds great, but I’m not sure how that will play out. I have no plans to do that at the moment,” said Allen, who also said there would be a re-evaluation after the Spring Ball.

RECRUITMENT CONTINUES

With Football Signing Day around the corner on February 1, Allen provided a summary of what he thinks the Hoosiers still need to strengthen their roster.

“A little more depth on the defensive line would be a focus. Probably a boy or two in secondary school. We’ll probably get younger with this group. Potentially a wide receiver as well,” Allen said. “I would say we feel good where we are on offense. We could add an extra slot there to have some flexibility with that. Also, the tight end would give us some flexibility.”

The transfer portal adds a dimension to the whole thing.

“It’s definitely a whole new world of opportunities that we have now to choose from that we didn’t have in the past,” Allen said.

VIOLATION UPDATES

Allen updated on the recovery of two Hoosiers, both of whom suffered knee injuries during the 2022 season.

Alongside Williams in the season finale, wide receiver Cam Camper tore his ACL on October 22 in Indiana’s loss to Rutgers.

“He’s doing great. He’s ahead of schedule – doesn’t surprise me at all. He’s a worker,” Allen said of Camper. “He’s disciplined. He is mentally and physically strong. He’ll do anything you ask him to do which I know adds to your pre-injury qualities, then that’s how you’re going to attack your rehab, like some guys in the past who’ve done a really, really good job with that, and I’m really, really proud of him for that.”

Allen also praised Williams but made no promises of a sooner-than-expected return.

“I still don’t know what the future holds in terms of the season. The first obvious diagnosis was that he would be out for the whole year. It would be a 12-month recovery, so maybe there are possibilities for that to increase a bit. I just think time will tell,” Allen said.

RUZIK ON SITE

Allen spoke at length about Steve Ruzik, who was brought in from Auburn to serve as Indiana’s director of recruiting. Ruzik’s role has been publicized in other media as “General Manager”.

Ruzik had been to North Carolina, Minnesota, Ole Miss and Chattanooga before being called to Allen’s staff.

“I like the fact that he’s been in places that are very similar to us, some places that aren’t that much like us in the way we do things, so you get a wide spectrum from different conferences Get opportunities to do things,” Allen said.

What else does Allen like?

“The creativity, the forward thinking and the marketing mentality in recruiting. Maximizing the technology with graphics and (being) where the players live, so social media, connecting with them there and taking us to a new level in that regard,” he said.

OFFENSIVE LINE AND THE PORTAL

New Indiana offensive line coach Bob Bostad also spoke to the media. With Indiana still in the middle of the recruiting cycle, Bostad mentioned how much the transfer portal has impacted the offensive line, a unit that has always been built on continuity and experience.

“I don’t know if there are still many guys like me who recruited a class, maybe put them in a redshirt, and then you brought that class up. Maybe if they’re good, they’ll play substantially by their second year…those days are over,” Bostad said.

Bostad, who came to Indiana from Wisconsin, still wants to try to build a line the traditional way, even if the headwinds in collegiate athletics will make that difficult.

“My ideal plan is that I want boys from high school. I want to develop and teach them. Is that possible? We’ll try,” said Bostad. “You need time to get to know each other, to grow together and to trust each other. It’s going to be difficult.”

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