August 15, 2007

Marando, Middleton growing into their roles

The IU coaching staff has long been vocal about the plan to rotate linemen in and out of the defensive line this year, and pass rushers Ryan Marando and Greg Middleton figure to be significant members of that rotation.

The loss of Kenny Kendal has cleared the path for Middleton, a true sophomore who played in a handful of games last year, and Marando, a former linebacker who converted to defensive end during the offseason.

Both have matured into their new roles, namely Marando who originally figured to be a situational pass rusher that only got in during certain defensive sets.

However, a lot of things can change in an offseason, and Marando's role is one of them. Defensive line coach Brian George says Marando has shown the coaching staff improvement on a physical and technical standpoint, giving the former linebacker the opportunity to be more than a situational-type pass rusher.

"Things change," George said. "(Marando) did a good job in the spring. He still had a lot of ways to go technique-wise, plus he had to add some weight. He was about 235 (pounds) in the spring. He's added about 10 more pounds and he's spent a lot of time working on his technique and he may be able to be more than a situational pass rusher now."

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