Former Miami center Linder transfers to IU for 2018 season

Indiana bolstered its offensive line on Wednesday, adding former Miami center Nick Linder as a graduate transfer for the 2018 season.

Linder, a 6-foot-3, 300-pound Fort Lauderdale, Fla. native, started 26 games during his three-year playing career with the Hurricanes. Indiana confirmed Linder’s transfer on Wednesday morning. He’ll be eligible to play immediately.

“Nick Linder had a very strong career at Miami and we are excited to welcome him to our football program,” IU coach Tom Allen said in a statement. “He will be completing his master’s degree through the Kelley School of Business and he will be an important addition to our football program.”

IU will value Linder’s experience up front, where a young Hoosier offensive line struggled through a season of injuries and ineffective play in 2017. Last season, Indiana rotated redshirt sophomore Hunter Littlejohn and true freshman Harry Crider at center.

Linder started all 13 games at center for Miami in 2015, then started the first nine at center in 2016 before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in November of that year. He also started four games at left guard as a freshman in 2014.

Separate shoulder injuries caused Linder to miss spring practice in both 2016 and 2017.

Linder is enrolled in classes for the upcoming semester and will be available for this year’s spring practice at Indiana.

The Hoosiers are hoping to see growth from an offensive line that returns starters Coy Cronk (left tackle), Wes Martin (left guard), Simon Stepaniak (right guard) and Brandon Knight (right tackle).

Linder’s brother, Brandon, is the starting center for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

14 comments

  1. This is great news! More please! We should “go after” as many graduate transfers as possible, using IU’s strong academics as a carrot to attract these young men.

  2. Yes, this is good news provide this recruit/player is healthy enough to play. shoulder separation in spring ball of 2017 and he did not play at all in the year 2017??

  3. If this player can get back into form and maintain for a season it is welcome news indeed. These are the type of little things you have to do to build a program anywhere, but especially at IU. I don’t think it should be lost on anyone the number of players being pulled in from Florida. I think the Allen connections to this football hotbed state will pay a lot of dividends over the long haul. Like it or not, the caliber of play and competition in the south is head and shoulders above the rest of the country. Unless you get to see it up close and personal for an extended period of time, you can’t understand the difference. Basketball in the State of Indiana is the best example of what football is like in the south.

    1. I read elsewhere that after the spring of 2017 he decided to sit out the next season to make sure his shoulder injury as completely rehabbed. His replacement looked to be the number one center going into 2017 so he took the year off.

  4. Yes, talented HS players from Florida that are overlooked by the SEC and ACC programs have a good chance of becoming stars at IU. Same with California and Texas, which is why IU also needs to develop stronger recruiting connections in those two talent-rich states. And given the ratio of California D-1 football programs to talented California HS football players (there are a lot fewer D-1 programs in California as compared to Florida), that’s why recruiting California should be a priority. No reason IU can’t compete with the schools located in states surrounding California for the talented kids overlooked by California-based D-1 programs.

  5. He is a very good pick up for IU with an OL that needs more physical maturity. IU had no centers other than Crider and had to move Littlejohn to center. Center is a position that makes the call for the whole OL and makes sure everyone is on the same page. Adding a veteran center will really enhance IU’s OL with the players coming back on the line.

    As far as his injury is concerned, he told coach Richt he was transferring after Richt said he was going with younger players. He was ready to play this fall but used the Fall to rehab his shoulder more. He is healthy now and hopefully he won’t have any injury troubles this year.

  6. There may be some football players/recruits transferring from Arizona soon. AZ fired Rich Rod for “creating a hostile work environment.” Imagine that, a football coach yelling at players and assistant coaches! (“I’m shocked, shocked to find gambling going on in here.”) According to the two stories I read, his termination was based on “accusations” that were pretty thin, but AZ is using them as an excuse to get rid of Rich Rod without paying him his full buyout. Can anyone say “lawsuit forthcoming.” I’m sure Wilson can appreciate Rich Rod’s situation, and Woody Hays must be spinning in his grave. (Did Bob Knight ever create a hostile work environment?). I hope IU is as opportunistic and receptive as it can possible be in picking up quality transfers. Coaching turnover presents opportunity to upgrade IU’s talent and experience.

  7. It has been openly reported RR will be paid the remainder of his contract, something like $6.3m.

  8. HC, from what I’ve recently read, AZ will pay Rich Rod the amount of his contract’s buyout, which is about $6.2 million. But had they terminated him after March, they’d have been on the hook for the full $22 million remaining in his contract. The mistake AZ made is that they publicly stated that he was fired for “creating a hostile work environment” without any proof that the complaints were true, and without due process. And, witnesses have revealed that AZ’s AD stated that he wanted to fire Rich Rod before the investigation was completed. Huge mistake! In fact, RR took and passed a very thorough lie-detector test administered by the law firm AZ hired to investigate the complaint. No evidence has been found to substantiate the accusation, made by RR’s former Administrative Assistant. So by publicizing that he was fired based on an as yet unproven accusation, AZ has put themselves at risk of a civil suit. Rich Rod’s reputation has been damaged, and that could prevent him from future employment. If so, AZ could be at risk for a lot more than just the $6.2 million. It is similar to the situation that prompted Mike Leach to sue Texas Tech after they fired him. RR may take the money and run, but if he feels that AZ has damaged his ability to coach somewhere else, he may go after AZ in court. If he gets a law firm to take that case on a contingency fee basis, RR may try to fight in order to salvage his reputation. Regardless, my guess is that you’re going to see some quality players transferring from AZ.

    1. They are in a lose-lose situation. It looks like AZ maybe on the hook for a lot more money and RR is damaged goods. No matter the outcome employers are going to see hiring him as a risk that they may be averse to.

      I’ll bet there is a lot more going on that we may or may not ever learn about. I think it’s safe to say that CKW didn’t seem to be in much of a hurry to fight the allegations against him for reasons we will likely never know.

      To be continued.

    2. For those of us that have been on the Scoop, er, Hoosier Sports Report for a while now, know that our friend Podunker likes to play fast and loose with the facts. Boy, there are a few very very weird “facts” in this comment.

      Want to know what’s going on? The local beat reporters at the AZ Star have it dialed. RR didn’t get terminated because of the allegations specifically. They conducted an investigation into the matter and determined months ago there wasn’t enough to fire RR.

      So why did he lose his job?

      Arizona athletics have a basketball program being investigated by the FBI, a track coach who is up on felony charges for threatening a former player and a bunch of football players who are up on battery and sexual assault charges. There’s are a lot of bad things happening in Tucson right now. The AD determined that there was enough stink on RR and the direction of the program, that it was time to find someone with some stronger personal values. That’s why they’re paying ALL of his buyout. RR isn’t fighting the University, he’s fighting the former assistant who is suing him for a pretty sizable sum of money independently from the University.

      I’d love to see RR try to fight this one in court. Oh wait, nevermind, he took all of his buyout, soooo…

      http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/football/timeline-how-rich-rodriguez-was-fired-as-arizona-s-head/collection_2af15682-f045-11e7-b19c-1fed4fc10a84.html#3

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