CHICAGO – Adam Replogle describes teammate Larry Black Jr. as a great pass-rusher.
Black said Replogle is a tough, hard-nosed player.
The two senior tackles provide leadership for Indianas defense.
Theyve played a fair amount, and theyve always been pretty good, but we need them to play at an impact Big Ten high-level, IU football coach Kevin Wilson said during Big Ten media day Friday at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place. Not, Im one of the best guys on Indianas defense. Im playing some of the best football in the Big Ten. Those two are capable as D linemen.
They are mature, strong, experienced. They are good football players and they need to play at a high level.
The 6-foot-3, 292-pound Replogle has appeared in all 36 games in his career and has started the last 35.
Replogle, from Centerville, Ohio, had a career-high 49 tackles last season, fifth on the team, and led the Hoosiers with four sacks. He was second on the team with seven tackles for loss, forced one fumble and broke up two passes.
Hes going at it every play, Black said. Hes a hard worker. Hes going to outwork that person in front of him. He makes a lot of plays. We need him on the D line, and hes ready to go.
Replogle knows there is room for improvement.
Speed off the ball, thats one of the biggest things I need to work on, he said. And working with my hands. It all starts with your hands.
The 6-2, 311-pound Black started all 12 games last season. He had 47 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks.
Hes a big, powerful dude, Replogle said. He uses that to his advantage.
Black, from Cincinnati, finished tied for third on the team with 5 1/2 tackles for loss. Black and Replogle both have 15 1/2 career tackles for loss.
Ive learned to be patient with a lot of stuff, Black said. Sometimes youre not going to have your best day or your best games, but you cant let that get you down. You have to keep moving forward. I learned how to go through the course, stay afloat, keep a level head and keep working hard. Because I feel brighter days are in store for IU football.
Replogle said Black, along with Nicholas Sliger, another senior tackle, are looking to leave a lasting legacy at Indiana.
To do that, the defense has to improve. The representatives at Big Ten media day specifically pointed to third-down stops.
We want to be a great, strong, physical defense, Black said. We changed the scheme up a little bit. We are attacking more. Its more being there and in position to make plays. Just be a firm defense.
Ive been though a lot of stuff since Ive been here, really havent won as much as Id like to. But, man, we have one more season for that. I tell the guys all the time, Were in these games, were going to go out there and compete, and were going to win some games this year.