Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer, September 7, 2016
Indiana?s offensive identity is a tough, physical ground game. And running back Devine Redding is the lead player in a strong Hoosier rushing attack that is the back bone of what typically is one of the Big Ten?s top offenses.
The 5-10, 208-pound Redding ran for 1,012 yards last season to help IU rank No. 2 in the Big Ten in rushing (210.5 ypg) and reach a bowl for the first time since 2007. The Youngstown, Ohio, native averaged 4.5 yards on 226 carries to go along with nine touchdowns in 2015. He also caught 12 passes for 85 yards en route to ranking third in the Big Ten in attempts, fifth in rushing yards and seventh with 77.8 rushing yards per game. And that was as Jordan Howard's backup.
In the opener at Florida International last week, the junior ran 22 times for 135 yards, averaging 6.1 yards per tote in a 34-13 win.
I caught up with Redding as he prepped for Indiana?s home opener this week vs. Ball State.
Q: Are you pleased with how your season started?
A: We looked good. A nice start. But, we always can get better and we strive to improve each week.
Q: How key is the offensive line? It looks like Indiana has one of the better fronts in the Big Ten led by guard Dan Feeney.
A: He is one of a kind. He loves his job and loves to do what he does. He is always getting his linemates ready. It?s great to have a guy like him. He is one of the best. And he makes it easier for all of us. We have such a good line here. They make my job easier.
Q: How would you describe your running style?
A: I am more of a downhill guy. I can make cuts and am a pretty all-around guy. But I like to come at defenses.
Q: Have you had a most memorable run in your career?
A: I had a run against Purdue when I hurdled a guy. That is the one I remember the most. (Watch it in the video above.)
Q: Do you keep in touch with former IU backs Tevin Coleman and Jordan Howard?
A: I talk to them recently. I talked to Jordan a couple of days ago. He is with the Bears. He just made the roster. They are good backs who I was able to learn from. I was fortunate. Two talented guys.
Q: What do you think of Ball State? The Cardinals have won the last three vs. IU.
A: We have watched some film on them. They are a pretty solid team. Pretty good looking team. It will be a challenge for both teams. We will have to play hard.
Q: How did you think new quarterback Richard Lagow looked in the opener?
A: He looked pretty good. He has some areas to improve on, like all of us. He always wants to help the team.
Q: You ran for over 1,000 yards last season. Can you again in 2016?
A: I have to keep working and growing. Just keep playing ball. Whatever the outcome is, that?s what it is. You have to lay your heart out there.
Q: Do you have a favorite play?
A: Any run play. When a run play is called, I get this little feeling in my stomach. And it makes me smile. Whatever the team needs, I am here. I just want to win.
Q: The Indiana defense needs to continue to improve. And, things looked promising in the opener. What?s it like to practice against the Indiana defense?
A: Practicing against our defense is one of the hardest things. They are hard to practice against. They play so hard. I don?t like to get hit by any of them. They try to put it on you.
Q: It's a Thursday night, you're hungry … What?s your favorite place to eat on campus?
A: Falafels. They have a lot of Greek food. I like to get the chicken gyro. That is one of my favorite spots. You can?t beat it, especially after a long day.