Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Volume One, Number Nine
April 15, 2008
Editor: Tom James,
ISU Football Alumni Blog Page: http://isufootballalumni.blogspot.com/


It would appear as if the Ballyhoo/Indiana State University Football Golf Outing, which is scheduled for Friday (April 18) at the Idle Creek Golf Course in Terre Haute, has attracted a large group of participants. Idle Creek is located on the south end of Terre Haute, in the Springhill area.

Idle Creek Golf Community

Terre Haute - Idle Creek Golf Course - Golf Course - AOL City Guide

As of last weekend, there were 19 foursomes (or 76 golfers) set and ready to take part in the annual fund-raising effort for the Sycamore football program. That number is up considerably from the last several years. All monies raised at the golf outing will go directly to the Indiana State Football Program.

Also, the annual Indiana State Blue-White intrasquad scrimmage is set for 1 p.m. Saturday (April 19) at Memorial Stadium. The exact format of the scrimmage had not been determined at press time.

All former players, coaches, student managers and athletic trainers are invited to attend both the golf outing (even as observers) and the scrimmage.


It will be interesting to see how the Indiana State football coaching staff conducts the Saturday workout since player numbers are down for this first spring under Trent Miles as the team’s head coach. Indiana State has approximately 43 players taking part in the spring workouts.

The Sycamores are down on offensive and defensive linemen (five on each side of the ball) due to graduation from the 2007 team, injuries and from the decision from the previous coaching staff to not recruit a large number of offensive and defensive linemen.

And those are not the only positions where ISU is currently shorthanded. The Sycamores used just two quarterbacks in last Saturday’s scrimmage – Terre Haute natives Matt Seliger and Kyle Toney.

The presumptive starter heading into this fall, sophomore Charles Dowdell, was held out of the workout (presumably for disciplinary reasons since he was seen running steps throughout the morning practice). Another quarterback that had been on the roster, sophomore Evan Parker, was also not available.

Speaking of discipline and accountability, those have been the big watchwords since Miles and his coaching staff took over the program.

If players don’t want to do the things necessary to rebuild the program (go to class on a regular basis, attend tutoring sessions, made grade requirements, go to the weight room when scheduled, miss or being late for positional and team meetings or practices, bad attitudes, off field activities), they pretty much end up cutting themselves from the team.


As evidenced by the program’s 1-32 record over the past three seasons, the talent level currently on the Indiana State football roster is pretty thin. But that could be about to change.

The Sycamores’ coaching staff signed 31 players in February and have around 10 more joining the team as preferred walk-ons this summer. There may also be some Division I-A transfers coming into the program, although that won't be known until other schools around the country end their spring workouts.

One thing is certain, though. Several of the incoming freshmen arriving on campus in August could find themselves fighting for starting positions when the season starts.

During the recruiting process, I was asked what can the ISU coaching staff do in order to entice players to a program that has been struggling so much in recent years. They can promise playing time early if they’re good enough.

A player can go to one school and sit the bench for a year or two, or they could come to Indiana State and have the opportunity to start right off the bat.

As a forecast for what to expect in 2008, Indiana State could be more talented than in recent seasons but could also be very, very young. But if this recruiting class is as good as some people think that it may be (ranked second-best recruiting class in the Gateway Conference, eight-best in I-AA football), they could be the foundation for a huge turnaround in the Sycamores’ fortunes in the coming years.


--Yes, Indiana State does have a tight end in its offense. After not utilizing a tight end the last couple of seasons, the Sycamores will have a tight end involved in the offense this season.

ISU coaches moved former linebacker Josh Jones to tight end this spring and he has made a pretty good impression on observers. The Mooresville, Ind., junior appears to be a tough-minded kid who is willing to make the tough catch over the middle or to run a seam route up the field.

Another intriguing possibility is 6-foot-6 redshirt freshman Joe Wingis, who has been moved from wide receiver to tight end. He’s kind of light (just 200 pounds), but the St. John, Ind., native is still becoming acclimated to his new position.

--In addition to using a tight end again, the Sycamores are also using a fullback in its offense. The tight end and fullback psotions were non-factors in the ISU offense the last two seasons.

--Two running backs who have caught our eye are University of Kentucky transfer Antoine Brown and sophomore Darrius Gates. Brown’s body shape and running style sort of reminds us of former Indiana State running back Tori Vactor.

Gates has more moves and utilizes a shake-and-bake style. He often makes a positive play out of a negative one.

The problem with both backs, as well as the other running backs on the team, is that the depth and talent is so thin up front along the offensive line, it’s hard to really get a line on how good they could be.

--Sophomore placekicker Corey Varnadore (Tallahassee, Fla.) seems to have good range from about 45 yards and in. The Sycamores’ coaching staff have been working Varnadore a lot this spring, attempting to put him in pressure situations to see how he reacts. The results have been pretty good so far.

--Mix and match. That’s what the Indiana State football coaching staff has been doing this spring in an attempt to get their best players on the field. Positional changes have been instituted in order to get that accomplished.


I don't want to keep bugging everybody, but I still need email addresses for former players. If you have a former teammate who is not receiving this Indiana State Football Alumni Newsletter, send him a copy. Or tell him about it so that he can send me his email address.

If your former teammates don't have email or dont own a computer, give them a call and see if you can entice them to get involved again in Sycamore football. You guys are the best representatives that the ISU football family has. Get the word out that everybody's help is needed.

Get involved. It doesn't matter whether you were the star of the team, the fifth-string offensive or defensive tackle, a student manager who didn't get to travel or the athletic trainer who got teased all the time by the players. Or whether you played for Bill Jones, Paul Selge, Jerry Huntsman, Tom Harp, Dick Jamieson, Dennis Raetz, Tim McGuire or Lou West.

Indiana State Football Needs You....again!!!!

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