Indiana Hoosiers head football coach Kevin Wilson has been blessed in many ways. In his football-coaching career, he has had the fortunate experience of being a member of some very memorable and successful football programs where he gained an immeasurable amount of experience from Hall of Fame caliber coaches. Coach Wilson coached under eventual National Championship Head Coach of the Texas Longhorns’ Mac Brown while the two were on staff at the University of North Carolina. During the mid-1990s Wilson served on the offensive coaching staff at Miami of Ohio with an eventual Super Bowl winning coach of the New Orleans Saints’ Sean Payton. Wilson has also served on Coach Bob Stoops National Championship team for the Oklahoma Sooners where Wilson coached alongside countless other successful NFL and College Football coaches.
For the past three football seasons, Wilson has been the head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers and has been blessed with a very talented wide receiver that has helped carry his football squad at times. Unfortunately it would seem that Wilson’s luck has run out with this particular individual as junior wide receiver Cody Latimer has decided to forgo his final season of eligibility as a Hoosier to enter this year’s NFL draft. Replacing Latimer will be a very difficult task as his offensive productivity has been a lynchpin of the Hoosiers success in particular for the past two seasons.
Latimer fits the description of a position of a possession wide receiver to a T. Whenever quarterback play has been less than desirable over the past two seasons Latimer, who runs exceptionally well with or without the ball, has always shown the ability to make a play by creating space and opening a window for his quarterback to deliver the ball. Latimer’s excellent hands and ability to get open will be missed even more than his team leading numbers. In 2012, Latimer 805 yards on 51 receptions with six touchdowns and as a first team All-Big 10 wide receiver in 2013 Latimer caught 72 balls for 1096 yards and nine touchdowns.
With all of that, Latimer’s decision to declare for the NFL draft is still a questionable one. It would be undeniable that Latimer would be the focal point of the Hoosier offense in 2014 with a crop of departing seniors on offense unlike Coach Wilson has seen in his time at Indiana. The Hoosiers would also have a returning quarterback who showed great potential this season in Nate Sudfeld. Also, Latimer may have first or second round draft talent but it is unlikely he will go as high in this draft as he is only the second rated wide receiver out of the Big 10 and the 16th overall rated wide receiver in the country. Latimer may very well have a good professional career but it is unlikely he will make a draft day splash like he may have been able to next season had he chosen to return for another year and earn all of the Big 10 honors that Penn State’s Allen Robinson won in 2013.
Replacing Latimer will be particularly hard, especially because the Hoosiers will be losing two other top offensive weapons this season as well as senior tight end Ted Bolser and senior running back Stephen Houston, both of whom may have NFL potential, have run out of eligibility. In 2014, Big 10 foes should prepare for speed at the wide receiver position provided by the Indiana Hoosiers. Shane Wynn, in particular, will be one wide receiver Hoosier opponents should keep an eye on.