Taj Williams won't be a Hoosier this fall, but the program is hopeful he can finish smoothing out his academic concerns and arrive midyear.
Taj Williams won’t be an Indiana Hoosier this fall, but the door isn’t closed on him joining the program soon, according to coach Kevin Wilson.
Speaking after his team’s first preseason practice Friday, Wilson said Williams, a four-star wide receiver and one of the top-rated recruits in IU’s 2013 class, was close to becoming academically eligible this fall, but that he narrowly missed qualifying.
“It’s unfortunate he’s not here now, but he’s so close,” Wilson said of Williams. “It’s red tape. It’s things he’s got to do. But it’s realistic to do. It was realistic to maybe happen in the summer. It didn’t.”
The No. 34 wide receiver in the 2013 class, according to 247Sports, Williams was a late add for Indiana when he signed in March, after taking a post-Signing Day visit to Bloomington.
He worked through academic concerns in the spring and summer, and though he wasn’t quite able to clear all of the hurdles in front of him in time for this season, Williams could, according to Wilson, finish what he needs to and enroll midyear.
“Taj, timeline is right where he’s kind of eligible but can’t get it all processed possibly and be here for the semester,” Wilson said. “If (Williams) gets things in good accord, he is still in our number count that we could bring him (mid-year).”
Chestnut still waiting on clearance
Three-star running back Daryl Chestnut is listed on the 105-man roster Indiana released to the media Thursday, but he has not yet reported for camp, as the program awaits NCAA clearance in his case.
Daryl Chestnut is awaiting final clearance, but Kevin Wilson said it's still possible for him to join the program this fall.
Without going into specifics, Wilson said it’s possible the former Miami (Fla.) Columbus standout could still make it to campus in time for the season.
“He’s got some things we’re waiting to get the results,” Wilson said. “If the results go proper, he will show. If not and if he’s close enough, he’ll be a mid-year (addition). …
“Darryl is not eliminated. It’s just a matter of red tape.”
Marshall’s dismissal prompts Bennett position switch
Antonio Marshall would have been a redshirt senior cornerback in the mix for a starting spot this preseason, but the former JUCO transfer was removed from the roster for an unspecified violation of team rules this summer.
Wilson called the dismissal “unfortunate,” but he said he didn’t feel the departure would hurt Indiana’s defense significantly, adding that Marshall was a back-up coming out of the spring.
Bennett, who spent most of the spring at safety covering for Indiana’s lack of depth at that position, is now out at corner, and Wilson said the 5-foot-9 junior is firmly in the mix at his new position.
“We’ve moved Tim Bennett to corner,” Wilson said. “My comment is that we wanted to do it in the spring. But with Antonio Allen and with (Chase) Dutra not being here and Mark Murphy having the shoulder (injury), I’d have actually liked to have seen Timmy Bennett (at corner).
“(At corner,) I think you’ll see Tim Bennett, you’ll have Michael Hunter back healthy out there, Brian Williams has played some, Kenny Mullen has played some. I think Ryan Thompson’s a wild card. And from what the guys say, the best cover guy is (freshman Rashard) Fant. He’s (162 pounds), we’ll see if he can play, but he can run, so we’ll see.”
Maurice Swain: Wilson said Swain has officially taken the junior college route and is no longer an option for Indiana to add as part of the 2013 class at any point.
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