Back-Up QB Decision Not An Easy One

Edward Wright-Baker

Bloomington - Edward Wright-Baker has been getting the reps with the No. 2s the last two days at quarterback, but the possibility of burning a year of eligibility is on the minds of the IU staff...

Edward Wright-Baker is the team's No. 2 quarterback.

At least for the last two days.

On both Monday and Tuesday, the true freshman from Jeffersonville, Ind., was the most popular choice to be running the No. 2 offense for IU Coach Bill Lynch and IU Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada. Fellow true freshman Dusty Kiel also got some work with the No. 2s, but practice time would suggest that the back-up role to Ben Chappell is now Wright-Baker's to lose.

Despite what has been unfolding on the field, Lynch still isn't ready to pencil Wright-Baker in as the team's back-up.

"It's an evolving thing," Lynch said Monday. "I don't want to say (Wright-Baker's) going to be the No. 2. He was the No. 2 today, there's no question about that."

Lynch said the decision to have Wright-Baker work with the No. 2s this week was based on his performance at Saturday's scrimmage along with his body of work during fall camp. A byproduct of that decision has been that the No. 2 at the start of fall camp, redshirt freshman Adam Follett, has been seeing most of his action with the scout team the last two days.

While Wright-Baker has been impressive, one of the things the IU staff is wrestling with is that it could wind up burning a year of the freshman's eligibility without getting him on the field much. Chappell is clearly the team's No. 1 quarterback, so barring an injury Wright-Baker would presumably be used in only mop-up duty.

That's a wrinkle the staff is considering, but at this point it doesn't appear as if that will stop them from having a true freshman as the top reserve.

"I'd think we'll make a decision, ‘okay, we're going to play him,'" Lynch said. "And that means we're going to play him whenever we get a chance to play him so he gets a little game time. When do we make that decision? I'd think by this time next week we better know if we're going to play him."

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