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Zander Diamont May Start at QB This Weekend for Indiana

Indiana University apparently will be down to a third-string quarterback for Saturday's homecoming football game against the eighth-ranked Michigan State Spartans.

No. 2 quarterback Chris Covington, 18, a freshman, was scheduled to be the starter and was listed as such on the depth chart released Tuesday. His mother, Sheneesha Edwards, said her son would not play but did not elaborate.

That would elevate another freshman, Zander Diamont, into the starting role. The Hoosiers intended to redshirt him, but those plans changed when Nate Sudfeld separated his left shoulder in last week's 45-29 loss at Iowa. Sudfeld will be sidelined for the rest of the season and is to have surgery Thursday.

The 6-1, 175-pound Diamont, 19, Los Angeles, is the son of son of The Bold and the Beautiful star Don Diamont, who plays Bill Spencer on the daytime soap opera. The quarterback's Venice High School coach, Angelo Gasca, said Wednesday that Diamont had not been told he would start.

"All signs point to him playing," Gasca said.

At a Monday news conference, Indiana coach Kevin Wilson indicated the Hoosiers would use both and Diamont and Covington. Diamont would be the second first-year quarterback ever to start for Indiana, following Tre Roberson in 2011.

"But Zander is a good player, throws well, runs well," Wilson said Monday. "He's a smaller guy. You've got two freshmen, so you've just got to be careful of what you ask those guys. When you have freshmen, you have some mistakes, and they are going to be challenged, but the defense is going to do everything they can to make his role uncomfortable."

Diamont enrolled at IU in January so he could participate in spring practice. He was honored as the Los Angeles City Player of the Year and by the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame as its high school Athlete of the Year. Gasca said Venice features a "quarterback-friendly offense" similar to that of Indiana's.

Last year Diamont passed for 3,501 yards and 47 touchdowns. He set career records in both categories at a school that produced J.P. Losman and other major college QBs. Losman was the nation's No. 3-rated quarterback coming out of high school, starred at Tulane and was selected 22nd by the Buffalo Bills in the first round of the 2004 NFL draft.

Indiana's offensive coordinator, Kevin Johns, has said Diamont has "a little Johnny Manziel in him." Gasca concurred.

"He can make plays," Gasca said. "That's what what I like about him."

Michigan State (5-1, 2-0) is the defending Big Ten champion and in contention for one of four spots in the College Football Playoff. Indiana (3-3, 0-2) has alternated wins and losses.

Zander Diamont was just 5 of 15 for 11 yards in his first college start, though the true freshman did score on a 9-yard TD run to give the Hoosiers a 17-14 lead with 5:25 left in the first half. That was the last time Indiana would score in the game, while Michigan State went on a 42-point run to win 56-17.


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