Indiana lineman quits team

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Indiana University coach Bill Mallory could tell his prized defensive lineman, Bo Barzilauskas, no longer had his head or heart into football.
“I had a feeling and I told him that,” Mallory said. “I’ve had it all summer. We’ve done everything we can do.”
Barzilauskas’ decision this week to quit the Indiana team — for the second time — apparently ended a onetime storybook career that had football recruiters across the nation begging for his services.
He was Indiana’s high school Mr. Football in 1993 when he led Bloomington South to an undefeated season and the state’s Class 5A championship. “USA Today” and “Parade Magazine” put Barzilauskas on their all-America first teams.
“Everyone from Stanford to Florida to Notre Dame to Michigan, they all wanted him,” said Bloomington South coach Mo Moriarity.
Brady Shields, a teammate at both Bloomington South and IU, said he expects Barzilauskas to return to school, but not to the football team.
“I don’t think he’s going to transfer; he just wants some time off,” Shields said. “It doesn’t have anything to do with Indiana University. He’s just been through more than most people go through. He needs a break.”
Moriarity said most in the community saw Wednesday’s decision as an increasing possibility. After playing a limited role as a freshman — when he had four solo tackles and one quarterback sack — Barzilauskas sat out last season; in between, his mother died.
Barzilauskas, who turned 20 two weeks ago, went into spring practice relatively focused, Mallory said. He played his way to the first unit but broke a bone in his foot with two weeks left. The fall media guide had him listed No. 2 on the depth chart at right tackle, behind redshirt freshman Benyard Jones.
But Barzilauskas’ interest apparently waned after the spring injury, and his weight ballooned to 310 pounds. In summer school, his grades tumbled.
“When he played for us, you couldn’t ask a kid to be into it more than he was. You didn’t have to motivate him. It all came from him. There’s been pressure on him for a long time.”