Fant will return for 5th year in 2017

Indiana will once again have one of the Big Ten’s top cover cornerbacks in its defensive backfield next season.

Rashard Fant announced Thursday that he intends to return to IU for his final year of eligibility, giving the Hoosiers a trusted veteran at field side corner.

Fant, who gained admission into the Master of Public Affairs degree program at IU’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, said last month that he would wait until after Indiana’s trip to the Foster Farms Bowl to decide whether to pursue a career in the NFL or return to college.

Indiana is certainly glad he chose the latter.

Fant earned All-Big Ten second team honors in 2016, leading the conference with 17 breakups and 20 passes defended. He also made three interceptions. Fant is first in the NCAA among active players with 48 career passes defended, averaging 1.3 across the 38 career games he’s played.

The Georgia native has also developed into a leader inside IU’s program. Fant has previously served as a Student-Athlete Advisory Committee representative for the Big Ten and also works as a Hoosier HEROES peer mentor, providing guidance to incoming freshman athletes.

17 comments

  1. Good call on his part. He has tremendous skills but he’s tiny for the pro game. Another year of physical maturity, barring injury, should serve him well.

  2. This is great news for IUFB in 2017. Having their top Corners returning gives the defense a solid base to build around. It is possible the defense will return 10 of 11 starters in 2017. I would think the only possibility of leaving early right now is Scales and Oliver but I haven’t ready anything about them being on the verge of leaving. If these players come back IU will have a very experienced team for the 2017 season. Add in talented players that missed due to injuries and IU could be as talented as they have been in a long long time.

    The news of Fant’s return is the first of what I hope is abundant good news for IUFB in 2017. I hope Fant realizes his goals of playing in the NFL and becoming a professor.

  3. Kind of nice, all the football news/coverage taking stage over IU BB.

    About potential injury for players in the same boat as Rashard Fant. Are Universities allowed to purchase some type of insurance for a player who elects to return to school instead of turning pro and incurs an injury sufficient to curtail or delay a pro career?

    It seems to me that during the NCAA BB tourney a player could really enhance his pro value. Not so much the Bowl games? Can see increasing numbers of players electing not to play in the lesser Bowl games due to the injury potential?

    Not talking mitigating $ 85M VO type…. What would be ballpark first contract for a Fant type person?

  4. Ron, I’m fairly certain that the school cannot pick up the tab for that kind of thing but there are such policies out there. Probably the way to go would be a one year deferred premium policy that would be payable upon his first contract. Of course, he’d still need a first contract. He’d have to pay either way.

    The NFL minimum is $435,000/year for a rookie.

  5. This is great news for IU and coach Allen. Fant is a wonderful college player, but he’s too small to survive a 16-game schedule in the NFL. Best to get that graduate degree and then give the NFL a try. Obviously, he’s a very smart young man.

    1. Agree that this is great news. I hope we hear something similar from Scales in the next couple of days. These kind of commitments from current players who could have gone pro and decided to stay speaks highly of players respect for Tom Allen.

      I am pretty confident Oliver will be back as I don’t believe he would get drafted this year.

      BTW, did anyone else notice how well Chris Covington played the last couple of games? He seemed to make a lot of plays. I thought he only played in one or two games as a freshman QB when Nate got hurt before he tore his ACL. Shouldn’t he have been eligible for a redshirt?

      Covington adds great depth to the linebacking corps of Scales and Oliver.

      1. Believe it or not Chris actually played some at quarterback in five games his freshman year. Hard to believe, I know.

  6. Covington is a great athlete and is turning into a wonderful linebacker. As for his time as an IU QB, he had played that position in HS, but I think he played in one game as a QB his freshman year and suffered a knee injury in that game.

  7. Ranger 67, I did notice Chris playing LB and he looked good as a blitzer or a LB on the read. He certainly shows signs of becoming a dependable LB with the skill to shine at times.

    One of the things that hurt IU at QB was Wilson’s indecision on what type of QB he wanted. As a result he missed on a number of QBs while the offense gained Dual threat QBs Wilson wouldn’t commit to running a zone read offense with a strong passing game. Due to this uncertainty Wilson went out and got Lagow to fit the roll of a drop back passer. This coming year we may find we have two dual threat QBs with King and Ramsey who can win and pressure defenses. I know King has the arm to do that and Ramsey has the “IT” factor to lead the team.

    It would be nice for coach DeBord to have a definite idea of the direction coach Allen wants the offense to go working to develop the QBs to fit that offensive approach.No one one knows for sure how the season will go but we do know coach DeBord has coached offenses at a high level in the past with coach Watson experienced in developing QBs like Teddy Bridgewater. Add in coach Heard who had coached and developed players into top NFL talents. Coach Frey and McCollough have developed reputations of creating excellence in their positions to add into the mix. It seems there is no chance but for the offense to regain its excellence on the field putting up big points and helping the defense win games [something that didn’t happen often enough in the past].

  8. Good points Vesuvius. I think Allen would like to run a zone read offense with a strong passing game, and I think that’s how Debord’s offense at UT was characterized. What is your opinion concerning blocking schemes for a zone read vs the offense IU has run the past several years? Would there be a learning curve for our offensive line, or is that what they were doing when Diamont was in the game?

    Chet, Po and I thought Covington only played QB that one game and tore his ACL. Are you sure he played more than that? If he, in fact, only played one game, I would think he should have been granted a medical redshirt and should be listed as a redshirt sophomore on the roster, although that is not the case. It would be nice to have him back for two more years.

    One other thing, have any of you guys heard about Patrick. He played sparingly in a couple of games in late October or early November, but then I never saw him again. He had a couple of nice runs in one game, I believe as part of a set including Diamont and Natee, but nothing after that. I am pretty confident he didn’t play against Purdue or Utah, so I am wondering if he had a set back with his repaired ACL or suffered some other injury.

  9. Guys, check the official stats. Covington played five games at QB. I was surprised when I checked it out myself but he actually has offensive state in five games.

  10. Here you go.

    ” Appeared in five games at quarterback … suffered a season-ending ACL injury in game six at Iowa … completed 3-of-12 for 31 yards and two interceptions … rushed 17 times for 91 yards … made his collegiate debut in the Indiana State win … ran three times for 44 yards in the North Texas victory … posted 41 rushing yards and the 31 passing yards against the Hawkeyes .”

  11. I make plenty of mistakes, usually involving personal behavior, but I’m usually pretty good at this kind of thing.

  12. Ranger 67, Coach said they were running the zone read with Tre, I am not sure how they were blocking the zone read but the big advantage is having one less player to block. People think the advantage of the Z-R is due to the running QB but ignore the QB reduces one man the OL has to block due to the QB reading that player. Z-R improves the OL as they will have more dbl teams which helps move the LOS. The reason IU used their TEs as additional Ts was because additional men were added to the box and Z-R will eliminate the need to used the TE as a blocker the majority of the time.

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