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Indiana loses Burrus brothers, makes changes

2/24/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Hours before tonight's State of the Union address, Indiana head coach Bill Lynch gave a State of the Hoosiers address early today.

Check out the full rundown of personnel departures, position changes and injuries -- trust me, there are plenty -- in Doug Wilson's blog post on The (Bloomington) Herald Times' Web site.

Here are some of the key points:

  • Defensive tackles and brothers Keith and Kevin Burrus are among the eight players to leave the program during the offseason. Keith Burrus appeared in 12 games last fall for Indiana, while Kevin played in seven contests. Both players decided against playing a fifth year, and their departures thin Indiana's interior line depth for 2009. Indiana already lost another defensive tackle, Jeff Boyd, earlier in the offseason. As a result, the Hoosiers moved offensive linemen Jarrod Smith and Milton Owens to defensive tackle. None of the other players leaving the team had critical roles.

  • Seven players have switched positions from offense to defense in an effort to help a unit that has struggled for most of this decade. The biggest move is Ray Fisher, who switches from wide receiver to cornerback. Fisher led Indiana in receptions (42) and touchdown catches (five) last year. He played defensive back in high school and recorded four interceptions as a junior.

  • Injuries killed Indiana in 2008 and will continue to linger during spring ball, as several starters will sit out. The Hoosiers' spring sick bay includes safeties Austin Thomas (knee) and Nick Polk (knee), linebacker Will Patterson (wrist), defensive tackle Deonte Mack (hip surgery) and punter Chris Hagerup (knee).

  • Former All-Big Ten quarterback Kellen Lewis will be a bit of a nomad this spring, moving from position to position. He'll continue to play some quarterback but could see more time at wide receiver.