Indiana’s quarterback competition

Oct 10, 2015; University Park, PA, USA; Indiana Hoosiers head coach Kevin Wilson walks on the field during the third quarter against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Indiana 29-7. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O
Oct 10, 2015; University Park, PA, USA; Indiana Hoosiers head coach Kevin Wilson walks on the field during the third quarter against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Indiana 29-7. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O /

The 2016 College Football season is just over a month away and there is still much uncertainty for the Hoosier’s new signal caller. Trying to replace Nate Sudfeld, one of the most decorated players in Indiana Football history won’t be a simple task. Sudfeld holds numerous records for the Hoosiers such as passing yardage, passing touchdowns, as well as various others. Thankfully the Hoosiers have an abundance of options to replace Sudfeld, from the unseasoned redshirt Freshman, Austin King, to the more experienced Junior College transfer, Richard Lagow. Lets take a more in depth look at all of the Hoosiers quarterbacks.

Peyton Ramsey (Fr.) 

Ramsey is the sole quarterback commit from the 2016 recruiting class, making him the only true freshman quarterback on the roster. Ramsey had other offers from Boston College, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Cincinnati, and Wake Forest but chose the Hoosiers just a month after his official visit. Peyton was IU’s first commit of the 2016 class, showing his loyalty to the program will hold some weight with the coaching staff but it’s more likely that he will be redshirted in order to give one of the more seasoned quarterbacks a chance as the starter.

Mike Fiacable (R-Fr.)

Indiana’s last quarterback Nate Sudfeld. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana’s last quarterback Nate Sudfeld. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports /

Fiacable is an Indiana kid, graduating from Bishop Dwenger in Fort Wayne and leading them to the state championship during his senior season. Mike wasn’t originally on the Hoosiers roster when the season started, instead he walked onto the program during the middle of the year. He originally had committed to Air Force out of high school, which was his only offer until walking onto the Indiana program. Based off of the spring game, Fiacable has the arm strength and athleticism to play at this level but he’s still a couple years away. Look for Fiacable to contend for the position in a couple of years down the road.

Austin King (R-Fr.)

Austin King is yet another redshirt freshman quarterback that has zero in-game reps. King was a highly touted recruit and an extremely bright young man. He held offers from a couple of Ivy League schools, Harvard and Yale, but chose to come to Indiana to study management. With all of the offers Austin had on his table, many believed that he would choose to play in the run and gun offense of Dana Holgorsen at West Virginia, or choose to play in the premier SEC with the Kentucky Wildcats. Then out of nowhere came the Hoosiers to snag the 29th best quarterback in the class of 2015. King has major talent and athleticism, however his one fault is his arm strength. He needs to get stronger and put on some more muscle to move the ball downfield in Kevin Wilson’s gunslinger style of offense.

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Donavan Hale (So.)

Coming into the 2015 season, Hale was listed as an “athlete,” meaning the coaching staff was unsure what to list him as because he was such a versatile player. In high school, Hale mainly played behind center as the quarterback but also dabbled in other positions, as well. During his freshman  season at Indiana he played in 10 games, mainly at wide receiver but also returned punts and kickoffs when necessary. While Hale hasn’t played much behind center during 2015, he still possesses experience from his high school career. Look for the Hoosiers to use Hale during special packages or trick plays due to defenses being unaware of his quarterback abilities.

Something you don’t know, but should: Donavan’s cousin is Jonathan Crawford, Indiana’s safety that was named to the All-Freshman team for and

Zander Diamont (Jr.)

Mandatory Credit: Matthew O
Mandatory Credit: Matthew O /

Hoosier football fans can remember the 2014-15 season when Sudfeld went down with an injury to his non-throwing shoulder. Zander Diamont stepped in and took control of the offense, leading Indiana to a win over rival Boilermakers and reclaimed the Old Oaken Bucket. Zander has also backed up Sudfeld on multiple occasions last season, most notably against Penn State and his 79-yard touchdown against the #1 Ohio State Buckeyes.

Okay, that’s enough of the past for now, lets get to the here and now. During the spring game, Diamont didn’t see as much time as he would have hoped, as Lagow and Cameron switched off for the first few series. This wasn’t a good sign for Zander because that means that he’s at least listed as third on the depth chart, with Lagow and Cameron starting ahead of him. Some of Zander’s biggest flaws happen to be his size, listed at a short for quarterback standard, 6’1. Some also say he doesn’t possess the arm strength and is mainly a one dimensional player, which became evident during the Penn State debacle. Diamont has some ground to make up when training camp begins in the next few days. 

Danny Cameron (R-So.)

Finally we get to one of the quarterbacks that has a legitimate shot at taking the reins when the season begins in August. Danny comes from a football family. His father Cam Cameron played quarterback at Indiana during the 80’s and came back to become the coach during the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Cam has bounced around the NFL and NCAA from head coach to offensive coordinator, being the position he presently holds at LSU.

Cameron played sparingly last season and was third on the depth chart behind Sudfeld and Diamont. His lone playing time came at Penn State when Sudfeld and Diamont both went down with injuries. Cameron was anything but impressive, only completing 6 of 16 passes for 65 yards along with one interception. However, Cameron impressed during the offseason – enough for coach Wilson to name him as the starter alongside Lagow for the spring game. Danny certainly is in the running for the starting job, but will need to keep pace with his closest competitor, Richard Lagow.

Richard Lagow (R-Jr.)

Junior college transfer, Richard Lagow, came to the Hoosiers at the perfect time. Nate Sudfeld is gone and will be difficult to replace, which is why Indiana was the perfect fit for the gunslinger from Texas. Lagow originally signed to Connecticut out of high school, however they were going through a coaching change during his first season which prompted his decision to transfer to Oklahoma State. Buried in the depth chart, he redshirted his first season and decided to continue his playing career at Cisco College.

Lagow begins his career at Indiana with two years of eligibility remaining, with Indiana being his fourth college in three years. He has the prototypical size for a quarterback and the exact same measurements as former IU field general Nate Sudfeld, both standing at 6’6 and weighing in at 240 pounds. His arm strength is one of his biggest assets which is necessary in Kevin Wilson’s west coast offense. Richard can spin it with some of the best in the country and it will be on display for everyone to see in exactly five weeks from today. Lagow looks to be the favorite to start heading into the season. You have to think that Lagow would’ve chosen another school to transfer to if he wasn’t promised the starting position at Indiana. Ultimately this is Lagow’s job to lose.