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Indiana QB battle is a summer dead heat

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Follow Pete DiPrimio via Twitter at www.twitter.com/pdiprimio

Carroll standout Tranquill gets Hoosier offer

Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 6:05 am

We're just under two months from the start of Indiana's preseason football camp and this much we know:

There's a dead heat at quarterback.

Don't you love potential drama?

Tre Roberson, Cam Coffman and Nate Sudfeld played to a spring practice standstill. In nearly every way, that was expected. Roberson began as the unquestioned starter last season until a broken leg cost him the final 10 games. While he's physically healthy, he had rust to work off.

Coffman and Sudfeld shared duties in his absence. All three shared snaps in the spring and by August, that has to end. Somebody has to emerge, and while logic suggests it will be Roberson (he's a dual threat guy in a dual-is-cool era; the others are not), he must improve his accuracy and decision making.

If not, well, don't you love potential drama?

The summer could help determine that. While coaches can't work with players during this time, players can and are running their own drills to hone the timing that will be crucial in the fall.

“No one has separated,” coach Kevin Wilson said. “Maybe that's bad. Somebody needs to. I don't want to play revolving guys. I want to get a guy in rhythm. I don't want a guy looking over his shoulder.”

In two games last season Roberson completed 66.0 percent of his passes for 368 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed for 133 yards (averaging 11.1 yards a carry) and three touchdowns.

Coffman, a junior college transfer, completed 60.7 percent of his passes for 2,734 yards, 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Sudfeld completed 62.2 percent of his passes for 632 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception as a true freshman.

Sudfeld and Coffman combined for just six rushing yards.

In the spring the quarterbacks weren't supposed to run (they were off limits as far as tackling), which handicapped Roberson the most.

“We're trying to teach him how to throw,” Wilson said. “We were making him play left-handed because he wasn't going to take off and run. We wanted him to get back, read defenses and become a more complete throwing quarterback.

“Cam and Nate were better (than last season). They're more seasoned. I like them all, but it would be nice to see someone emerge.”

As far as their summer development, Wilson said, “I can't even ask the strength coach who's there and not. Right now it's, 'You leaders run the team.' We have strong leaders. We've got a lot of guys who understand our values. We'll see you in August.”

Optimism is high that this season, Wilson's third at Indiana, will produce a winning record and the program's first bowl bid since 2007.

“We'll be stronger,” Wilson said. “We've got a lot of guys back, and on paper a good class coming in. I like the direction it's going, but we'll win games in October and November based on the summer. I think they understand that. So we'll see.”

Not being able to work with current players allows Wilson and his staff time to run various camps for high school age players, which is big for recruiting.

Wilson got his third commitment for the Class of 2014 from Los Angeles quarterback Alexander Diamont. The 6-2, 175-pounder attended an IU camp last week, was quickly offered a scholarship and just as quickly accepted.

Washington State, Arizona State, Colorado, Nevada and Fresno State were among the schools looking at him. Last year Diamont threw for 2,977 yards and 31 touchdowns for Venice High School to earn Western League offensive player of the year honors.

Diamont is the son of soap opera actor Don Diamont, who was a long-time regular on “The Young and the Restless,” and who now appears on “The Bold and the Beautiful.” The son has done some modeling and appeared in a soft drink commercial.

The fourth commitment came Monday from Ohio offensive lineman Wes Martin.

IU previously got Class of 2014 commitments from defensive tackle Mike Barwick and offensive lineman DeAndre Herron.

Also, Wilson has offered a scholarship to Carroll standout Drue Tranquill, a three-star safety who is rated as the state's No. 9 player by Rivals.com, a national Internet recruiting service. His 4.49 40-yard dash time at a recent Purdue camp generated a lot of buzz. Minnesota and Western Michigan are among the schools to have offered him recently, and it's likely Purdue will soon.

The 6-2, 205-pound Tranquill is also an outstanding baseball prospect, although it appears he's leaning more to playing football in college.