Philyor returning for senior season

Indiana junior receiver Whop Philyor confirmed Monday he will return for his senior season.

Philyor, who led the Hoosiers with 70 catches for 1,002 yards, had a breakout campaign in the slot. He had 56 catches for 570 yards combined as a freshman and sophomore, though both of those campaigns were slowed by injury.

Because of his success in 2019, there was a question as to whether Philyor would entertain early entry into the NFL Draft. But, ultimately, the 5-foot-11, 178-pound native of Tampa, Fla., decided against it, citing “unfinished business.”

IU is coming off of an 8-4 season, which ended just short of the program’s third nine-win campaign because of a one-point loss to Tennessee at the Gator Bowl. The Hoosiers have still not won a bowl game since 1991.

“I feel blessed and successful beyond measure,” Philyor wrote in a Twitter post. “Knowing we have unfinished business that needs to be handled has caused me to search deep within myself. After praying, talking to my family and coaches, I will be returning for my senior year at IU.

“We have some things that need to be accomplished and I would love to be a part of it. I cannot wait to get back to work with my brothers for the upcoming season.”

The Hoosiers are already losing outside receivers Nick Westbrook and Donavan Hale to graduation, so the return of Philyor in the slot is crucial. Another rising senior, Ty Fryfogle, will also have to play a big role for IU next season.

Philyor isn’t the only Hoosier expected to make an NFL decision in the coming days. Senior left tackle Coy Cronk, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury in the fourth game of the season, is eligible to take a redshirt and return for a fifth year.

“I know, obviously, as a senior, would love to have the opportunity to move on and play in the NFL, if he can get healthy,” IU coach Tom Allen said in December. “If he is not going to be able to be healthy enough to do that, seems like he would be open and willing to go back, be able to play that last year.

“Then, in regards to the rest of the guys, we always submit a few guys to the NFL, to see where their draft status will be. Right now I don’t expect there to be a lot of movement there. … We’ll let the NFL give their evaluations, then we’ll sit down with them and have a conversation with their family, help them make the best decision possible.”

10 comments

  1. Smart move to heed the NFL feedback and return to school. Cronk would be wise to follow the evaluation he received as well.

  2. Whop really faced a pretty simple decision. This years draft eligible WR’s is large, larger than most years and with an abundance of quality talent. Cronk’s decision is a little different as the NFL never has enough OL performers and OL fodder possessing size, athleticism with potential. But the season ending injury adds a dynamic to his pondering about the future.

  3. It’s a real shame you can’t find more college athletes with such a selfless approach? I agree with NatHilliv, my opinion of Whop went through the clouds. Very good news for the program! Go Hoosiers!!

  4. I hope this young man breaks all the receiving records before he’s finished at IU. If he’s healthy and adds a few more pounds of muscle, I could see Whop playing in the NFL.

    As for Cronk coming back, that’s a tough call. He’s rolling the dice no matter what he decides. If he’s not going to be drafted in the first four rounds, I’d advise him to come back. Another healthy season and he’d be drafted in the first three rounds and make an NFL roster.

    1. Cronk would be a late round pick at best this year and likely a good chance at going undrafted. Coming back to school would greatly improve his draft stock. If he moves to OG, stays healthy and return to school in 2020, he could* work his way into the 3rd/4th round range IMO.

      I think Whop really made the right choice by returning for his Sr. season. As good as he is, he can be so much better.

  5. T.A. name pops up in other college football job opportunities now. This time, Baylor. T.A. And IU are in the right place.

  6. I get it. Comments are usually in favor of decisions that players come back because it makes teams better the following year. This applies to most player decisions and most teams. (unless a player is unliked).

    1. If I thought they were going to be picked in the first three rounds, I’d say go for it and make your money! The shelf-life of a NFL player is short. As a fan, obviously I would want them to come back.

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