BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana Hoosiers will start highly touted junior college transfer Richard Lagow at quarterback in next week's opener against Florida International, coach Kevin Wilson announced Friday
Lagow beat out junior Zander Diamont, who had more experience in the Hoosiers' system, but Wilson made it clear that Lagow's hold on the job will last only as long as he stays healthy and produces on the field.
"Rich has grown in every aspect," Indiana receiver Ricky Jones said. "I believe he's gotten on the same page as the receivers in a short period of time and that's pretty impressive."
Lagow initially signed with UConn but left school before the 2013 season opener. He then walked on at Oklahoma State, where he redshirted, then spent the next two seasons at Cisco (Texas) Community College.
The 6-foot-6, 240-pound Lagow, who has two years of eligibility remaining, enrolled at Indiana last winter.
For three weeks, Lagow and Diamont, who nearly pulled off an upset of Ohio State in relief last fall, went head-to-head in practice.
"He's really playing the best," Wilson said of Lagow. "The other guys are playing better, and Zander gives you kind of a change-up out there. But the guy we're going with is playing really, really good."
As a true freshman, Diamont started the final six games after Indiana's top two quarterbacks went down with season-ending injuries. The former Los Angeles city player of the year was 64-of-132 with 515 yards with one touchdown and four interceptions in 2014.
Diamont filled in again last year when Nate Sudfeld went down with another injury. After stepping in against Ohio State, Diamont ran for a 79-yard touchdown -- the longest run by a quarterback in school history. He finished the game with seven carries for 98 yards, caught one pass for 16 yards and was 6-of-14 for 76 yards through the air.
He struggled the next week against Penn State in his only start. The 6-1, 174-pound junior hasn't played in a game since Oct. 10.
Wilson has used quarterback rotations in previous seasons and will look for ways to get Diamont on the field.
"We can put two quarterbacks on the field at the same time," Wilson said. "He's not a receiver, but he can play on the perimeter. Zander gives you some running skills the other guys don't have, so you may see them both lined up in the backfield at times."