BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana quarterback Richard Lagow spent the offseason looking at every one of the 438 passes he threw last season.
Some of them he enjoyed a lot more than others.
His 3,362 passing yards were second in the Big Ten and his 19 touchdowns ranked fifth. But his 17 interceptions in his first season at IU after enrolling at UConn, Oklahoma State and a junior college, put him next to last in the conference in that statistic.
“My interceptions last year came on decision making more than anything,” Lagow said. “I’ve spent time studying my own tape, going over all the decisions I made. Not just the good ones, not just the bad ones, but every single throw.”
Lagow’s first test of whether all that film study helped will come Thursday night against Ohio State.
Those three transfers tagged Lagow as a me-first guy and he admits there might have been some of that in a younger, less mature version of himself.
He was a high school football star in Plano, Tex., who chose to go halfway across the country when he signed with UConn.
By the time he got there, the coach who had recruited him was gone and Lagow left after a few weeks. He walked on at Oklahoma State and soon was out of there, too.
It wasn’t until he landed at Cisco Junior College in a small town in Texas that he says he got his mind right about football.
“I had a bad attitude when I was at UConn and Oklahoma State. That is the only thing I would change,” Lagow said about the twists and turns of his journey to being a starting quarterback at an NCAA Division I school.
“I wanted to play right away. You have to have that attitude but you also have to understand the people who were there before you know stuff you don’t. Cisco gave me a chance and it worked out for them and it paid off for me,” he said.
“When you’re in junior college, especially in a town like Cisco, Tex., you don’t have anything but your teammates and football. The closest Walmart was 30 miles away. You had Chicken Express and Subway and a gas station in town.
“There were times at Cisco I questioned why I was doing this. After my first season I had some offers but nowhere near where I wanted to go. So I decided to come back for a second year. I wouldn’t have made it here without my teammates at Cisco,” Lagow said.
He also might not have made it to Indiana without former head coach Kevin Wilson, who now is Ohio State’s offensive coordinator after resigning last December when IU’s athletic director questioned if some of his coaching methods were too harsh.
“We know who we’re playing. We know Coach Wilson is over there and all that,” Lagow said.
“He’s got a great mind for football. It’s fun to play for Coach Wilson. He likes to score a lot of points. He is a great offensive mind. You’re going to be on your toes all the time with him. He’s always thinking of new things.
“He will push you. He means well by everything he does but he is going to push you. You just have to react the right way to it,” he said.