BLOOMINGTON -- Isaac Griffith is back.
Well, he's back watching, anyway.
The Indiana freshman wide receiver, and former Homestead standout, is back in school and eager to return to football, two weeks after nearly drowning during a spring break trip to Florida.
Griffith watched Saturday's scrimmage from the sidelines. He was able to reconnect with teammates and coaches. After missing a week of school, he's set to resume classes today.
“It was good for his teammates, good for us, but really good for him,” coach Kevin Wilson said. “We always talk about wanting to get back to normal with him. We're glad to have him back. He said he was able to stay up with his academic work. We look forward to get him back going.”
The Hoosiers' scrimmage, their first since returning from spring break, was held in the Mellencamp Pavilion because of cold, rainy weather.
“It was typical, some good, some bad,” Wilson said. “I did see a lot of things defensively I like in a lot of things, but I don't see it consistently yet, I don't see it in groups. I see it in individual play. I see some guys are more physical. They're showing up. It's taking that consistency to the scrimmage field.”
IU is switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defensive concept under new defensive coordinator Brian Knorr. He's trying to upgrade a unit that ranked as the Big Ten's worst in most categories, allowing 38.8 points and 527.9 total yards a game.
“The defense showed some things, made some plays, but what I liked is they'll be very disappointed because they lacked consistency,” Wilson said. “They have a lot of growth to do. I like where they're at. They have a lot of things to build on.”
The Hoosiers also hope to build on an offense that has rated among the Big Ten's best the last two years.
Quarterbacks Nate Sudfeld and Tre Roberson got plenty of work, as did freshman running back Myles Graham
“The offense started to get going,” Wilson said. “Myles Graham, for a young guy, ran well. We're trying to bring the tight ends along. Both quarterbacks were good.”
As far as the conditioning coming back from spring break, Wilson broke the players in with some running. It wasn't as extreme as when he was an assistant coach at Northwestern, when the Wildcats came back on a Sunday night and had to run 10 100-meter dashes, eight 80-meter sprints, six 60s and four 40s, but it was early morning March 24.
“We had a field goal competition (before we left for spring break),” Wilson said. “I said, if we make the kicks, we'll come back and run 6:30 Monday morning instead of 6. One of the kids said, that's not that big a deal. We've still got to get up early.' I said, 'Hey, it's 30 minutes later.'
“We made a couple of kicks, so it was 6:30. We did some things to blow the rust out of the tanks.”
The rust is gone now. Everything is full go until the April 12 spring game wraps up spring practice.