Feeney named to Outland Trophy Watch List #iufb

Dan Feeney could have spent his summer preparing for his first NFL training camp.

Instead, he’s preparing for his final season at Indiana, recognized nationally as one of the top offensive linemen in college football.

Feeney’s fifth year in Bloomington will begin this fall with his inclusion on the Outland Trophy Watch List for the second consecutive season, the Football Writers Association of America announced Friday.

The Outland Trophy annually honors the top interior lineman in the country. Last fall, Jason Spriggs became the first Hoosier to be named an Outland semifinalist and Feeney could follow his steps this year. This year’s crop of “six or seven” semifinalists will be named on Nov. 17.

“I’ve had a lot of good linemen,” IU coach Kevin Wilson said this spring. “Dan’s about as good as I’ve ever seen with the complete package: toughness, intelligence, consistency. He loves to work, loves the game and he’s gonna give you a great go every day.”

Feeney, IU’s stalwart right guard, earned First Team All-American honors in 2015, finishing with a team-high 102 knockdowns in 1,069 snaps.

He briefly considered entering the 2016 NFL Draft before deciding to play one more season in Bloomington. He returns as the headliner on an offensive line that is quickly earning a reputation as one of the nation’s top units.

“I felt there were a lot more positives to staying,” Feeney said this spring. “I felt like, for the team, coming back was the best thing to do. I can further my skills as an offensive lineman.”

Feeney has allowed only one sack in 37 career starts at right guard — a span that has seen the Orland Park, Ill. native play 2,719 snaps. Last fall, he did not allow a single sack in 475 called pass attempts.

Entering this season, preseason publications from Phil Steele, Lindy’s and USA Today all recognize Feeney as the No. 1 offensive guard in the nation. Phil Steele, Lindy’s, Athlon, ESPN and Sporting News also named Feeney a preseason First Team All-American.

“He sets the standard of prepping and playing,” Wilson said. “I love him to death. I think he’s one of the best players in the Big Ten.”

Right now, Feeney has the resume to prove it.

26 comments

  1. Thanks for staying for your Senior season, Dan. Stay healthy and have a great season. Then your payoff as a first round draft pick will be HUGE.

  2. Theres been plenty of positive things said about iu football where u people been goodness man this is pathetic.smh

  3. I was referring to D.F. dedication to program staying in school rather than jumping to nfl like others in bb and fb program have done, with several of those making not really good decision.

  4. Feeney is an outstanding player and brings positive attention to IUFB. When I heard he was coming back for this year I reevaluated the prospect for this season. He solidifies a line that lost two starters. The OL will be solid again making IU offense one of the better ones in the league. The fact that he decided this team was worth coming back for gives me real optimism for this year instead of the usual hope for a good season. Feeney saw how close the team was last year for a breakthrough season and I think he believes this year will be that year where IU wins 8 or more games. I hope Dan is right and that the other players follow his lead about how hard they must work to become a winning program.

  5. The offense was not the problem last year and won’t be the problem this year. Watching that short clip of Feeney reminded me how IU’s offense mauled Michigan’s defense last season. The O-line just dominated Michigan! So, once again, it’s all about the defense. If it is improved, IU probably goes bowling again. If not, we don’t. That simple.

  6. Podunker, based on the way they played in the Spring game and how Coach Allen makes his coaches focus on fundamentals and take-away; the defense will be better but who knows how much better. The way coach Allen improved USF last year shows he can improve IU’s defense this year; especially with the Thompson and Green being added along with Dutra and a couple of others coming back from injury. Moving Bowen to the DL to improve the talent and depth will help the DL. Coach Allen took USF’s defense from 96th in the nation the year before he took over to 46th in his first year. Although IU may not make that kind of jump I expect they will jump up into the 70s or 80s in the nation. IU gained over 400 yds versus OSU, UM, Iowa so it isn’t easy stopping the spread offense even with an outstanding defense. I can’t wait for this season to start so we can see if this is the start of IU becoming a decent defense and to see how well the offense meshes.

  7. Without seeing the 1st 2016 game I’m satisfied Allen and Hagen will make a significant difference to IUFB performance coaching the RS Freshman, Sophomores and Jr. who contributed so much to the program last year. I am anxious to see the many well sized young 1’s in the secondary show their improvement and maturity. v is in the right wheelhouse when saying Allen will have everyone from coaches down to players concentrating on fundamentals and takeaways. As I have read now many times the beauty of the 4-2-5 is simplicity allowing to focus on the 2 biggest factors of the Allen style of D. The schedule does no favors for the Hoosiers but as I read Wilson from afar that is what he likes.

  8. I agree with the last two posts and think IU’s defensive coaching staff is much improved. There are reasons for optimism, but even the best coaches need time and their type of players to turn an under-performing unit into an average-performing unit. IU’s defense has no where to go but up, but I think we’re at least one year away from being an average Big Ten defense. I just don’t want to see any more games like the Rutgers debacle.

  9. I just read on Bleacher Report that the upside for IUFB this year is 9-3. What I wouldn’t give to see IUFB at 9-3 or better this year. It also gave the worst IUFB would do is 5-7 so it seems that IU should have a better season this year than last. Of course for all of us and the pundits we don’t really know how the season will go as no one predicted that Northwestern last year would go 10-2. If IU avoids injuries, unlike the past two years, then 9-3 isn’t out of the question but 8 wins would be a big improvement this year. IU does have better players in the LB and DBs, we will have to see how good the front can be with players from one of the best recruiting classes. I believe the offense will be one of the top offenses in the conference based on the OL, returning RB and WRs. Coach Wilson has QBs prepared to succeed on the field and with all the supporting players around the QB the offense will do well again this year.

    Only the play on the field will really show how well IU plays this year. It is important for IUFB to win many more games this year as they need the wins to bring in better recruits to go along with the very good ones already committed.

  10. By the way, I have tried to put the Rutgers debacle out of my mind which is why I didn’t mention it in my post. I hope those kind of games are in the past and we won’t suffer through one again with our new DC. The big short coming of the 4-2-5 is giving up a big pass play if you can’t pressure the QB. Our two corners should be able to hang with WR to keep from giving up too many long passes. I know coach Allen will do what it takes to put pressure on the QB and not playing it safe on 3rd down.

  11. I was checking out another site and came away with this article “http://grantland.com/features/hard-knocks-playing-defense-with-tcus-gary-patterson/” if you want to know more about the 4-2-5. I see many aspects of what I ran as a high school coach because I needed to make defense simple for our players and complex for the offenses. I expect Coach Allen will take the same approach to breaking down offenses to help his players be prepared for the offense they face. I always wondered why coaches didn’t make defense for their players easy and difficult for offenses. I did it with a 4-3 that could morph into 4-2-5. Running this defense is why I am hopeful that Coach Allen will really improve the defense. We have the athletic players to play this defense even if we don’t have the studs other defenses have. TCU gets 3 star players instead of 4 and 5 star as a rule. This defense is very good for schools that don’t pull in the best players. Still only the season will tell how much a difference our DC makes.

  12. v, Exactly what I was trying to explain. And better coaches can get more out of the same players lesser coaches cannot.

  13. Podunker- Northwestern has been to bowl games 6 out of the last 8 years, a span which has included two 10 win and one 9 win seasons. It really shouldn’t ever surprise us to see them exceed expectations anymore in any given year. It’s been a long while since they were the perpetual bottom-feeders of the league; they turned that title over to IU when Gary Barnett got them going.

    Northwestern is one of those teams where the more you look at them, the more puzzling it becomes that IU has floundered for so long. One year they’re 5-7, the next they are 10-3, just like that.

  14. Tom, while attending IU and for a few years after graduation, I remember going to seven consecutive IU – NW and IU – WI football games (including the away games) and watching IU beat them in many of those years. I also recall feeling relieved that at least IU was not at the bottom of the Big Ten in football. And then, fast forward a couple of decades, both NW and WI were very strong, nationally ranked football programs. What happened? How is it that IU fell so far behind programs they once defeated on a regular basis? It has frustrated me for decades that those once lowly programs could build strong programs while IU Football became even worse. You could make an MBA case study on how not to manage a college athletic program by documenting the disastrous management and leadership failures made by IU’s administration (and Trustees) over a couple of decades. But hopefully, that is all behind us now. Our current administration, especially Glass, seems to be competent and determined to make IU Football relevant and competitive again. This could be another big year in the process of turning the program around. I hope a greater number of fans will buy tickets and attend games. IU Football needs the financial support and the team needs fan support at their games. Hoosier fans will get the football program it deserves.

  15. Podunker, I too hope the fans [students and general fans] come out this year after seeing the improvement in the team last year. I worried if the team really improved after all the losses but the way they handled Maryland and Purdue gave me confidence they are really improved. Then the Duke game brought that back into question however it did bring about a change in DC with a lot of hope our defense will be better.

    For IU to really move up it needs to start filling the stands the way WI does now. IU has an exciting offense to watch so it isn’t a case of going to the game and being bored. I suppose fans need to see the wins and the more the team wins the more fans they will get in the stands. I sure hope this year is the year IU turns the corner with the program.

  16. I agree they need to start filling the stands but the administration needs to do more to entice students and alumni to show up. The stadium isn’t exactly easy to get to for anyone outside of the Martinsville to Gnaw Bone corridor. In an age when gas prices can change by the minute and airline prices change by the hour, its rtdiculous that the tickets are a set price. The value of those seats drops the closer you get to kickoff. Get a way to price accordingly. If there are tickets available at kickoff, give them away free or for a $1. If more people get used to showing up at the stadium, the value of those tickets will go up. With all the money the team is receiving from the television contract, they should never be playing in front of a half empty stadium.

  17. Squash- your “high jump” pic is a classic. I love the amount of detail and symbolism you work into your creations. You must work in marketing or something.

    My one complaint is this new “tiny pic” site. I like it better when your pic pops up in its own window.

    Podunker- your 2:34 pm post says it all. Only a historical negligence of legendary, once in a millennium proportion could cause what has happened to IU football. They say that even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while, but in the case of IU football, the squirrel must not only be blind but also deaf and an amputee.

  18. 123, I like your idea about ticket prices but wonder if the B1G has some rule about tickets. I agree the first job is to get people used to coming to the games. IU shouldn’t forget they are also competing against the Colts for fans especially from Southern Indiana. Offering tickets at different prices would go a long way with being able to compete for fans. I do agree that as people get used to coming to the stadium they will want to come again in the future.

    It still will take the team winning more games but they seem to be on the verge of doing that this year. This is a critical year for IUFB as they need to show they have turned the corner and not take a step back. With the coaches in the B1G East this will become a brutal division top to bottom. Maryland and Rutgers have recruiting areas superior to IU so IUFB needs to win and show national recruits that this is a place to come and play football with a great chance to move on to the NFL.

  19. PO- don’t know that IU “fell behind,” NU and Wisc. just got better. IU has just stayed where it’s almost always been.

    Seahawk Tom: Right on! The ‘Cats have been a competitive team for twenty years now. Had they not, they probably would have the distinction of owning the most NCAA football losses instead of you-know-who:

    Northwestern % = 0.43714 W = 504 L = 655 T = 42 Games played = 1201
    Indiana 0.41930 469 658 44 1171

    Despite NU’s (relative) success in the last two decades, such success does not automatically put people in the seats. NU was 10-2 in the 2015 reg. season but drew less than did IU notwithstanding that NU plays in a metro area of 8 million people, so those of you (and you know who you are) who are counting on increased revenue from winning football games to pay for higher priced (not necessarily better quality) coaching talent are, if not delusionsal, in for a big disappointment when (not if!) the battleship known as IUFB turns itself around.

    v13 and 123: I’m all down witchoo about doing creative stuff to fill those empty seats (aluminum benches), And yeah, there probably is some idiotic league rule against said creativity (no doubt designed by the league’s “haves” to protect them from the “have nots.”) Don’t foget that there is a mechanism called the internet to deal with ticket pricing. Tickets for the Oct. 22, 2016 IU – NU game can be had for $6.00 online. (I bought a dozen. So anyone who wants to see IU narrow the gap between the two teams with the most all-time losses in NCAA football can join me.) So whatever scheme the IUADept. can come up with (within sacred league rules, of course) to paper the house, said scheme will have to be pretty creative.

    I lean towards busloads of high-school football teams let into the game for free. Really. Wouldn’t the Crawfordsville varsity be tickled to get on a yellow bus and go to a Big Ten football game, no charge? What could it possibly hurt? Line up another high school team and make it a prize for beating ye olde cross-town rival. Or cross-bypass rival. Or whomever. You get the idea.

  20. Also, v13: Re: your post July 13, 2016 at 2:34 pm “the Duke game brought that back into question ” about team improvement. Wilson’s stupid play-calling is what should be questioned. Redding had +200 yds. rushing in reg. time but no carries in OT? And just to say it ’cause it must be said (written), I was at the game and the IUFB fans made the Duke so-called supporters look pathetic (by numbers and enthusiasm). Yeah, I said (wrote) it before and I’m sayin’ (writin’) it again.

  21. davis, it depends what year Po and you are looking when evaluating the IUFB program. Since 1988 or so IU recruiting did decline from getting 3 and 4 star players to competing with MAC schools to get 2 star players if we were lucky; especially in the OL and DL. IU coaches could pull off a good player now and then but our lines were undersized and lacked talent.

    It really got bad by the time Coach Wilson got here. We have held steady with getting 3 star players now with a few 4 stars mixed in and it is time to move up in talent again. Moving up will require IUFB to win more B1G games, which is why it is important this year to win 8 or 9 games [can we hope for more?]. Only then, will we start to get 4/5 star players. It is the path MSU has taken to build their program into one of the top three/four teams in the B1G.

  22. v13- I have no idea about who was recruiting how may stars when, but between 1989 and 1990, NU won 18 football games and IUFB won 48. Between 1990 and 2015 (inclusive) NU won 148 football games and IU won 112. Recently (2010-2015 (inclusive)), NUFB has won 43 games, IUFB 25. So, yeah, it does depend upon which years we’re looking at, and for the last twenty-five years or so NU has been a markedly better football team than has IU, even though NUFB was a much crummier team than IU before that.

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