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Last updated: Thu. Jun. 12, 2014 - 12:50 pm EDT

IU quarterback surprise – Roberson to transfer

Sudfeld looms as likely starter

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BLOOMINGTON – And then there was one running Indiana's football offensive show.

Nate Sudfeld.

Welcome to the drama that is the Hoosier quarterback situation. Just when it looked like it would come down once again to a showdown between Sudfeld and Tre Roberson, who shared the starting job last season, we got Wednesday's surprise announcement that Roberson was transferring.

The fact that it came a month after the spring semester ended, a week after a May break courtesy of coach Kevin Wilson, a week after Wilson had talked positively about the looming competition and two days after the beginning of summer workouts left mystery in its wake.

The official release did nothing to clear it up.

“I want to thank the coaching staff, my teammates and Indiana University for all of their support over the last three years,” Roberson said in the release. “My time in Bloomington will always hold a special place in my heart. I wish everyone at IU all the best as I move on to the next chapter in my life.”

And then there was this from Wilson:

“We appreciate and thank Tre for his contributions to our football program both on and off the field. He is an outstanding player and a great young man. We wish him well as he moves forward with his career.”

Finally Roberson tweeted another comment:

"I want to thank Hoosier Nation for all the support the last three years," he said. "I'm going to miss my teammates more than anything. I love them all."

Love apparently does mean saying goodbye.

This leaves the 6-5 Sudfeld, a junior, as the likely starter, with competition coming from true freshman Zander Diamont, plus walk-ons Nate Boudreau, Bryce Smith and Matt Marencik.

Sudfeld started eight games last season and threw for 2,523 yards and 21 touchdown against nine interceptions. He completed 60.2 percent of his passes. As a freshman he threw for 632 yards and seven TDs against one interception. He was basically a pocket passer, although he did improve his running last season.

Roberson, a dual-threat quarterback, has two years of eligibility remaining, but will have to sit out one of them if he transfers to another major college program. He would be eligible immediately if he transfers to a Football Championship Subdivision program, such as Indiana State, or NCAA Division II or Division III programs, or even a NAIA program such as Saint Francis.

In 2011, Roberson. a former Indiana Mr. Football out of Indianapolis Lawrence Central, became the first true freshmen to start at quarterback for IU. He threw for 937 yards and rushed for 426 more.

He missed most of 2012 with a broken leg (throwing for 368 yards and two touchdowns, rushing for 133 yards and three TDs in five quarters of action), then came back last year to share the quarterback duties with Sudfeld. He started four times and threw for 1,128 yards, 15 touchdowns and four interceptions. He completed 60.1 percent of his passes and had a quarterback rating of 158.9. He also rushed for 423 yards and five touchdowns.

Last week Wilson talked about the quarterback competition as healthy for the program. He said he would prefer that one emerge as No. 1, but that hadn't happened in the spring. He wasn't against another quarterback rotation given it worked well enough last year for the Hoosiers to lead the Big Ten in passing.

“I think they're two of the better players in our program," he said. "I think they're two of the better players in our conference from an offensive standpoint.

“Personally, I'm kind of excited about it, because I think we're getting to the point with their maturity where this can be a positive. They can have a huge impact."

Now impact is left for Sudfeld.

pdiprimio@news-sentinel.com


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