Hoosiers add DT Weston Kramer from Northern Illinois

Indiana has addressed its defensive tackle depth via the transfer portal on Wednesday, adding Northern Illinois grad transfer Weston Kramer.

Kramer, a 6-foot-1, 290-pound senior, started 24 games for the Huskies during the 2018 and ’19 seasons. NIU played six more during a pandemic-shortened 2020 slate, and Kramer was a second-team All-MAC defender.

In his career, Kramer has racked up 97 tackles, including 12.5 for loss. He has also logged 3.5 sacks.

IU was in need at the defensive tackle position following the graduation of three-techniques Jerome Johnson and Jovan Swann. Freshman Damarjhe Lewis also entered the transfer portal shortly after the conclusion of spring practice.

Earlier on Wednesday, though, IU defensive coordinator Charlton Warren expressed confidence in the mix the Hoosiers have up front.

“We have guys in that size range and athleticism that can play three, that can play shade, that can play end, which doesn’t make you feel like you’re a one-single-point-of-failure defense,” Warren said. “I like the guys we have, I like the young guys we’re developing. And if the right person is out there that can  help us win, then sure, you take a look at the portal. But we’re not certain we need to do that right now.”

While the Hoosiers do have redshirt freshman C.J. Person as a contender at three-technique, and junior nose Demarcus Elliott has gotten time at three-tech this spring, Kramer does help fortify things. He has played four years for the Huskies and has one year of eligibility left.

Kramer has had an interesting recruitment since entering the transfer portal in January. He originally committed to Temple in February. He then decommitted from the Owls in March. Now he ends up with the Hoosiers.

IU has been rather active in adding players from the Mid-American Conference lately. The transfer of Miami (Ohio) defensive back Deland McCullough II, the son of running backs coach Deland McCullough, was made official on Wednesday. IU is also adding Miami (Ohio) tight end James Bomba as a preferred walk-on.

8 comments

  1. Was Warren not aware of Kramer’s recruitment? I know coaches are limited in what they can say about recruits until they sign, but either he was unaware of Kramer’s recruitment or he was going out of his way to deceive the media. Warren had just said, “I like the guys we have, I like the young guys we’re developing. And if the right person is out there that can help us win, then sure, you take a look at the portal. But we’re not certain we need to do that right now.”

    Strange!

  2. The brutal truth is, IU’s DL and OL recruiting continues to fall short in regards to their competition. If this guy helps, fine. In the last few years I’ve focused on upfront bigs on both sides of the ball,..there has yet to be a single 4☆ signee. This should have rectified itself by now. Checking the recruiting pages, still no 4☆ has IU on their radar…again, let alone actually committing. I also see a top rated QB from Center Grove opted for Rocky Top. Heehaw.

    1. You’re right, Brad. But you also have to acknowledge that it is much more difficult to recruit Offensive and Defensive linemen than it is to recruit players that fill other positions. It’s simply a numbers game. The size these young men need to be and the strength they need to have is, in relative terms, rare. But IU has improved both its recruiting and its “development” of competitive Offensive and Defensive linemen. That’s proven by the number of former IU linemen in the NFL right now. And remember, we just got a high quality O-line transfer from Michigan this past off-season. Can IU improve? Yes, absolutely. Will IU improve its recruiting and development of these big me? I’m confident it will. We have to produce winning seasons and get over the hump in winning major bowl games. Until TA and staff strings a few of those seasons together, IU will have to continue working the transfer portal.

      My guess is that unless IU’s O-line demonstrates significant improvement this season, IU will have a new Offensive line coach in 2022. It’s just not acceptable for IU’s O-line to be ranked near the bottom of the Big Ten in key rushing and passing statistics. IU has too much talent on that side of the ball to be held back by an under-achieving O-line.

  3. The key to the2021 season will be the DL and OL performance. LBs and DBs can help the DL look good with sacks and QB pressure but the more they can generate the rush themselves the better it is for the team.

    RBs and different running plays can help the OL show better stats but the better the OL is the better the offense can be.

    Offenses can hide shortcomings with play selection but defenses are at the mercy of offenses attacking their weaknesses. The DL shortcomings are more likely to be exposed if we have any shortcomings there. The OL could look better if coach Sheridan uses plays to slow down the pass rush and open running plays to gain more yardage.

  4. Kramer said, ““I just feel like I need better competition. I’ve been a three-year starter in the MAC and every year it seems like it gets easier and easier for me to go against them. I just want better competition so I can get better film.”

    Well, he’s going to get much better competition playing in the Big Ten, that’s for sure. But I like the reason he stated for deciding to transfer. I like the confidence it shows. I like his experience as a three-year starter. IMO, he’s an upgrade relative to a red shirt freshman who transferred away from IU. Can he make a contribution equal to what Johnson and Swann did last year? We’ll see!

    1. He is saying the right things about why he is transferring. I do worry the increased competition level will be too much but I trust our coaches that he will handle the change. He does bring playing experience out younger guys don’t have so we will see how much experience counts on the DL.

      I hope he comes in and gives IU another DL player that can get the job done in the B1G.

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