College football

Randle Els hope Hoosiers stick with Wilson

2011-06-28T19:00:00Z 2011-06-28T23:26:43Z Randle Els hope Hoosiers stick with WilsonBy Josh Weinfuss josh.weinfuss@nwi.com, (219) 933-3374 nwitimes.com

Getting used to a new face on the Indiana Hoosiers' sideline is part of being an alum of the IU football program.

Antwaan and Curtis Randle El are used to the Hoosiers cycling through head coaches every few years, but the brothers, who played at Thornton High School and then at IU, are confident their alma mater has found a coach to stick with in Kevin Wilson.

"I think he's good so far," Antwaan said. "His attitude in terms of wanting to win is great. Just the way he's approaching it, throwing as much as they're going to be throwing, I think it's wonderful."

Antwaan met Wilson, who was hired last Dec. 7, when he brought his 17-year-old son to Wilson's football camp in Bloomington this summer. Curtis, a cornerback at IU from 1996-99, has been on conference calls with Wilson. Both believe the coach's pass-first mentality and Oklahoma Sooners background, plus Indiana's new facilities, are a recipe to lure top recruits to Bloomington.

"We don't get enough of the good talent," Curtis said. "It's a tough place to recruit, but now I think they have the facilities and the amenities to do it. I think we can turn it around sometime, but it has to happen soon.

"You see Northwestern turned it around about eight years ago. Even Minnesota has gone to bowl games. It's Indiana's turn."

Since Antwaan -- who finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 2001 -- graduated in 2002, IU has been led by three different coaches. Gerry DiNardo and Bill Lynch were both fired, while Terry Hoeppner died four years ago from brain cancer.

Antwaan said IU needs to find a coach and stick with him.

"Hopefully, we'll get with Kevin Wilson and be there for a while," Antwaan said. "That's the thing -- you win over time. You want to be able to get to the guy you brought in."

Antwaan finished his IU career with 7,469 passing yards, 3,895 rushing yards and 92 touchdowns from 1998-2001. In his four years, the Hoosiers went 16-28 and never made a bowl game.

Since 2002, IU has gone 36-71 and played in one bowl, the 2007 Insight Bowl.

With just a couple months until the Wilson era begins in Bloomington, one of the school's best football products feels this is Indiana's chance to emerge from years of mediocrity.

"I know that they can," Antwaan said. "It's just about getting there and keeping it there. They can get to that level, no question. No question about it."

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