Hendershot coming on at tight end

Through his work in fall camp, Peyton Hendershot earned himself a nickname.

“We called him 24/7,” receiver Nick Westbrook said, “because he was always open.”

The Hoosiers hope that’s still the case when the regular season begins Saturday at Florida International. In a wide-open competition at tight end this month, Hendershot, a redshirt freshman, was among those who made their case for game reps in the coming weeks. And if IU’s depth chart is to be believed, he’ll be the first one on the field this weekend in Miami.

“He really was challenged, I believe, this off-season to play to his level,” IU coach Tom Allen said. “As I tell these guys, I want to see the guys here that we recruited. His athleticism, his ability to make plays in space, running and jumping and strength — he’s a big old strong guy physically.”

Hendershot was a two-sport star at Tri-West, where he was part of the school’s 2014 Class 3A state championship team on the football field and led the Bruins to a semi-state appearance in 2016 on the basketball court. Hendershot played in parts of the first four games last fall before suffering a season-ending injury and receiving a medical redshirt.

This year, he and redshirt Austin Dorris are at the front of the line for game reps entering the season opener. Dorris was one of the standouts during camp, while Hendershot impressed during the second scrimmage, in particular, by doing a nice job of finishing blocks.

Freshman Matt Bjorson is also expected to see action early, while redshirt sophomore Shaun Bonner could be used in goal line sets moving forward.

“They’re all going to play,” Allen said. “From there you re-evaluate. (You say), ‘This is how we looked at you from the off-season, spring and fall camp. Now you get a chance to do it when it counts and we’ll see how you do.’

“Week 2 could be a little different. But those tight ends are all going to play.”

One comment

  1. Having Hendershot and Dorris live up to their potential will be big for this offense. They are important to the run game but also very important to the passing game. It is good to see Henderson step up and take control of the position as he can be a very athletic receiver. Having a big athletic TE that a QB can count on to get open and make the tough catches is a big weapon and I hope Hendershot and Dorris are that type of TEs.

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