As a handful of Hoosiers leave, younger players must step up

The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NFL Draft arrived Monday. For the Hoosiers, it’s juniors Stevie Scott and Jamar Johnson that are out the door, along with a handful of seniors in pursuit of NFL opportunities.

Now, there are holes to fill.

“This gives a chance for our roster to grow and develop,” Indiana coach Tom Allen said last week. “If a guy at a position decides to move on, that’s a great opportunity for those current freshmen and sophomores and juniors to rise up and be that next guy.”

In these departures, there is a chance for Allen’s next wave of recruits to prove their merit. And just at first glance, it does appear the Hoosiers have talented replacements at the ready.

Who are those “next guys” on the Hoosiers’ roster? Let’s take a look at what players could be in the spotlight.

Departing: RB Stevie Scott, Jr.

Next up: Sampson James, So.; David Ellis, So.; Tim Baldwin Jr., Fr.

This an area where there is great potential but still some mystery.

While running backs coach Mike Hart built a deep and talented room, he leaned heavily on Scott for three years. Of the 226 carries by IU running backs last year, Scott had 156 of them, or 69%. That was up from nearly 57% during Scott’s 2019 season.

Part of that uneven distribution, as Hart explained, was the number of carries available. IU just didn’t run the ball consistently enough, or well enough, to get more than one back meaningfully involved.

That made it hard to get a read on Scott’s backups, even a former four-star recruit like Sampson James. He exploded for 118 yards in a win at Purdue in 2019. Then he gained just 96 yards on 32 touches as a sophomore. James hasn’t quite taken that next step.

Now Scott is jumping to the NFL. Plus, Hart just accepted a job at Michigan, his alma mater. So there will be a new face, or faces, handling the load in 2021, picked by another new face at running backs coach.

The simplest solution would be for James to reach the potential in his 6-foot-1, 220-pound frame, taking the reins of IU’s running game, as he did versus Purdue, hitting holes with burst and moving piles.

But the developments of the last year do cloud the picture. James’ classmate, David Ellis, became a full-time running back in 2020. He brings versatility and some wiggle with his background as a receiver and returner.

And then there’s another 100-yard performance from a true freshman to consider. In 2020, it was Tim Baldwin Jr. running for 106 yards versus Maryland, patiently waiting on his cutback lanes and taking advantage.

Add in two incoming freshmen, David Holloman and Trent Howland, and Hart left plenty behind. It’s just a question of who impresses IU’s next running backs coach the most. The leg up, regardless, should go to whoever does the best job in pass protection. That was an area where Scott excelled, which kept him on the field even more.

Departing: DT Jerome Johnson, R-Sr.

Next up: C.J. Person, R-Fr.; Damarjhe Lewis, Fr.; Shamar Jones, R-So.

IU not only lost Johnson, a first-team All-Big Ten performer, but also his backup at the three-technique position, grad transfer Jovan Swann. That’s a lot of experience vacating an important spot on the interior.

Demarcus Elliott and Sio Nofoagatoto’a both return at defensive tackle, which helps. But they man the nose position in IU’s 4-2-5. It would probably be ideal to keep that rotation going. So it’s going to be up to some younger players to step up alongside them.

The most logical replacement for Johnson would be redshirt freshman C.J. Person, who made plays in 2020. He just made a lot of them as a defensive end against opponents’ “heavy” personnel sets, holding an edge in the run game. But at 6-foot-3, 291 pounds, Person has ideal size, strength, and athleticism to play three-technique.

Damarjhe Lewis, a true freshman in 2020, impressed in spring practice before it was shut down, but he did not see the field much in the fall. That’s not entirely surprising given the stop-and-start offseason the Hoosiers experienced. But if Lewis can have a strong offseason and mature, he can play quick off the snap and with leverage.

Beyond the duo of Person and Lewis, a player like Shamar Jones, who was slowed by injuries in 2020, could get a shot at more snaps. The 6-1, 270-pounder appeared in 12 games as a redshirt freshman in 2019.

IU does need someone to take a big step forward here.

Departing: DB Jamar Johnson, Jr.

Next up: Juwan Burgess, R-Jr.; Bryson Bonds, Fr.; Raheem Layne, Sr.; Josh Sanguinetti, R-Fr.

This one, like the previous two, could go in multiple directions.

There is an experienced safety still in the room, Juwan Burgess. The redshirt junior made plays in 2019, including 29 tackles and a pair of forced fumbles. But he very much took a backseat to Johnson in 2020, producing just eight tackles in six games. Burgess could reemerge, but there are also younger players in the wings.

A leading candidate would probably be freshman Bryson Bonds, who made a name for himself in fall camp. He appeared in every game in 2020, mostly on special teams, but he could be a nice complement to junior Devon “Monster” Matthews at the other safety spot. Bonds has a nose for the ball and has been lauded for his work ethic and smarts. He’s heading into his first full offseason.

Another option could be redshirt freshman Josh Sanguinetti, who has bounced between the corner and safety positions early in his career. He was highly regarded out of high school, garnering offers from prestigious programs like Auburn, LSU, and Florida State. But he has dealt with injuries, and at 173 pounds, it’s questionable if that frame can hold up versus the run in the Big Ten.

IU could also turn to another cornerback. Raheem Layne, who missed the entire 2020 season to injury, was a starter for the Hoosiers in ’19 until a youth movement — featuring corners Tiawan Mullen, Reese Taylor and Jaylin Williams — swept the secondary. Layne was repping at safety in the spring before everything was shut down.

Departing: C Harry Crider, Sr.

Next up: Dylan Powell, R-Jr.; Mike Katic, R-Fr.; Charlie O’Connor, R-So.; Cam Knight, Fr.; Zach Carpenter, R-Fr.

IU has been in this position before. In 2019, Crider broke into the starting five at left guard, gaining experience before he moved back to center for the 2020 season.

Now that Crider has left, there are two guards, redshirt junior Dylan Powell and redshirt freshman Mike Katic, who have the potential to slide over to center. They both rotated at the guard position opposite Mackenzie Nworah in 2020. Katic, one of the strongest players in the o-line room, may have the higher ceiling of the two, but Powell, a grad transfer from Stanford, has more experience.

Regardless of where the Hoosiers turn, they should feel better about the line’s depth in 2021. Powell, Katic, and Nworah provide a base inside, along with Michigan transfer Zach Carpenter. At tackle, the Hoosiers have three players, Caleb Jones, Matt Bedford, and Luke Haggard, with starting experience. There should be increased competition for spots, hopefully increasing the Hoosiers’ talent level in the trenches.

Crider’s backup in 2020 was a former walk-on, Charlie O’Connor. There have also been high hopes for Cam Knight, the brother of former IU tackle Brandon Knight. The freshman center just needed to get stronger. Knight is one of several in his class to keep an eye on, along with big-bodied guards like Randy Holtz, Kahlil Benson, and Brady Feeney. This offseason is huge for them.

Departing: WR Whop Philyor, Sr.

Next up: D.J. Matthews, Sr.; Javon Swinton, Fr.; Jacolby Hewitt, R-So.; Da’Shaun Brown, R-Fr.

The return of Ty Fryfogle, along with a now-experienced target like Miles Marshall, eases the blow of Whop Philyor’s exit. And with a grad transfer in D.J. Matthews — a former U.S. Army All-American from Florida State — the Hoosiers have a chance to just plug and play in the slot.

But some younger players have a chance to crack into the top three. Javon Swinton was a playmaker in fall camp, and he had key catches in a win over Penn State. But Swinton ended up taking a backseat to Fryfogle, Philyor, and Marshall, much like redshirt sophomore Jacolby Hewitt. With Philyor gone, snaps are available.

It’s also important not to forget redshirt freshman Da’Shaun Brown. He was on the Hoosiers’ inactive list for the second half of the 2020 season, but he’s a former prep quarterback with playmaking ability who should have another chance to emerge in 2021.

61 comments

  1. Thanks for this very good breakdown about who is leaving but more important who has a chance to step in become a starter. IU is in good shape in each position to replace who is gone but the DT position got hit hard with both Johnson and Swann leaving. Person and my guess Lewis will step in and play. I am excited to see Lewis play and hope he lives up to expectations of a recruit that was committed to Auburn before flipping to IU. He has the size and quick first step we haven’t seen at IU.
    I do worry about safety a bit as Burgess has been a disappointment for a 4 star player flipping to IU. I hope he can have a breakout season this year.

    Replacing Whop has very good options and IU shouldn’t miss a beat at that position. Improving the run game with more options on running plays and better OL play is a tougher issue but I do like the options for RB. The big question on offense, besides can coach Sheridan improve in his second season as OC, will be is Penix 100% before fall camp comes around.

    2021 could be a very good year for IUFB to prove that 2020 wasn’t a fluke due to an odd season. If they can have the same level of success or better possible a bit worse then IU will show they are on the rise in the B1G. 2021 is a very big season for IUFB.

    1. Lewis was a player you said would make a big impact this year, but he didn’t play. What happened, do you think? And Burgess lost his original offer and then reopened things, which is how we came to get him. Did you hear another story, V?

      1. I didn’t read a story about his offer being pulled but that he was committed to SC. I don’t follow up on everything about recruits other than them being coming to IU. I don’t know if he got hurt or got sick with COVID19. It could have been because Swann came as a transfer player that bumped him down. I just know it looked very good in the short spring practices and he was very quick getting across the line that other IU DL players did.

  2. Does anyone know if IU is still recruiting guys in the transfer portal? I’m wondering if there are any spots left on the roster? I think we’re good at QB, RB and WR, and the O-line will be deep and mature this season. But if there are spots open, I could see a safety, DB or a D-linemen being brought on board. I assume our Linebackers are good but that may depend on Allen returning from surgery. Any thoughts?

    1. They’d take another running back if they can find one. We’re thin there with SS’s departure. That will be, along with the OL, a big point of emphasis in the spring and next fall. The issue up front will take awhile to fix, and it will need to be in improved recruiting. We just haven’t done very well there.

  3. It will depend if they have any HS recruits they want in the next signing day. If they don’t have any then maybe they will bring in a transfer for a spot or two unless they are very happy with the players moving up.

  4. Michigan #1 RB entered transfer portal….Wouldn’t that be interesting? We lose Hart and gain a very good running back?

    1. I realize it looks that way to most fans, but in an offense where pass protection skills are an absolute must if you want to get on the field, experience is a big deal. That’s where transfers can be of great help, but I can see where you wouldn’t make that connection based on just the numbers.

        1. It really depends much more on actual game experience, since they rarely go live in practice in a way that would enhance that skill.

          1. It’s a high injury position, so having a full stable of healthy bodies is rare. Of those healthy guys, good pass pro is even rarer. It’s why teams tend to carry a large number of backs. It’s a tough position to play because you need to do multiple things and you get beat up.

          2. So if you add more #’s who’ll not have much chance of early playing time on Saturday and doesn’t get instruction in practice will support pass protection. Interesting. But too muddled for this country boy to get a handle on. Thanks.

  5. I don’t see IU being “thin” at running back. In addition to the RB’s on scholarship, they also have Charlie Spegal as a preferred walk-on. Spegal may not be as dynamic as some of the others, but I’ll bet he’ll be effective in short-yardage and goal-line situations. If he can demonstrate pass-blocking ability, he may get some playing time this season.

    I was thinking we could use some more depth at safety, CB or D-line, and maybe, depending on Allen’s readiness, at LB. There appears to be some good players left in the transfer portal right now, including Isaiah Robertson (S from ND), Eddie Smith (S -Alabama), Stuart Head (S – Stanford), Nelson Jenkins (DT – LSU), Ayodele Adeoye ( ILB – Texas) and Ovie Oghoufo ( OLB – ND). I don’t know if those guys meet TA’s “character” standards, but athletically they’re qualified.

  6. Wow, things must really have changed a lot regarding RB’s pass blocking drills in FB practices. I played QB and Safety in HS, so I participated on both sides of the pass-blocking drills, which were always run at full speed. Those drills were violent, and only two rules applied; 1) neither the rusher or the RB could go low, into the knees of his teammate, and 2) no free shots at the QB (for obvious reasons). But if you were the RB doing the pass blocking, and a safety, CB or LB had an eight-yard head start, and you’re basically standing still, waiting to make the block and absorb the hit, you better load up for the collision or you’re going to get run over. In fact, they were some of the most violent drills our coaching staff ran during practices, and they ran them often. But it helped that our RB was one of the biggest and best athletes on the team.

    1. What’s changed is the amount of time every week that they go full contact. If you’ve been to practice, you know it’s much less than it used to be.

      1. Yes, you are correct, and it shows on the field during games. I was watching an NFL game last weekend and could not believe how bad some NFL defensive players tackle. I mean they were terrible at tackling! People who argue that there used to be too much full-speed contact were probably correct. But now, it appears that there may be too little practice conducted at full speed. I’m guessing that some place between the way it used to be and the way it is now is the right amount.

        1. That’s why its not believable adding to RB #’s helps pass protection. If you can’t get enough instructive time for more than 1-2 RB’s adding more makes 0 sense. Much like the murky, unfocused explanation offered.

          1. …and is very apparent you lack the ability to communicate any clear reason why…many things in life I don’t understand…but clarity is not 1 of them…

          2. It’s been explained thoroughly. Clarity isn’t the issue, at least from my standpoint. Have a nice day.

  7. Po it isn’t tough to teach pass pro and I think it was just coach Hart’s excuse to play his favorite player. It will be interesting with the new RB coach [when we find out] if this trend continues or if all RBs learn to pass pro.

    As much as I like coach Hart there are many things I wondered about how he chose who ran the ball and played the most. It is ridiculous that only one RB could learn pass pro and be proficient enough to play the majority of downs.

    I hope our RBs become complete RBs with some moves, power, and blocking ability because it makes it tough on the OL if RBs can’t cutback or bounce outside at times. We have wasted a couple of RBs in the past couple of years that had ability IE Mike Majette and others, that didn’t fit in with just hit the hole that often wasn’t there.

    Maybe with coach Allen working with coach Sheridan to have a variety of running plays there will more options for the RBs which could lead to more carries. I still would like to see our passing game more like what we saw at OSU and not the pedestrian one we saw too often last season. I hope getting a full spring season in and summer workouts in this year [hopefully] will lead to a more open offense, the run and pass. I would also like to see some hurry up put in this coming year just not 100% of the game.

    1. V13, I don’t really care how IU scores points, as long as they score more points than all the other teams they play. I understand why having a potent running game is important, and the value of having a QB with great arm talent. And I understand why having gifted receivers is essential. But overall, I really don’t care if the offense is balanced or not. I want IU’s OC to have the ability to design plays and game plans that take advantage of the talent available to him and the weaknesses of the opponent. I don’t want an OC who tries to force his players to adapt to his system, or who ignore the opponents’ strengths. I want an OC who adapts his system to his players and devises game plans that attack the opponents’ weaknesses. I thought our previous OC (now at Fresno) was excellent at designing an offense that took advantage of IU’s offensive talent at that time. I hope Sheridan can develop that same aptitude (the sooner the better). But if IU wins every game next season without ever establishing a potent running game, that’ll be fine by me.

    2. How many practices did you attend while Mike Hart was at IU, V? How many meetings? How many games? Did you ever meet him or have any conversations with him? For all you claim to know, I’m sure all of those numbers are large. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

      1. BD, I am unable to attend any which is why I say things like I think or it seems. However I have a very good football background in coaching and attending clinics [college and professional] so I look at the results in games and watch them several times to look at different positions. My experience is from coaching and film breakdown.

        I never criticized coach Hart while at IU but now that we are looking for a new coach there are things missing in our RBs that I would like to see with the new coach. Look at Ole Miss RBs and see the difference between our RB skills and their skills. Coach Hart has done a very good job on ball control and not having fumbles.

        Skills I would like to see is more RBs becoming proficient in pass pro, better route running [that may be other coaches responsibility], jump cuts, cut back ability, and reading blocks better. Coach Hart may have been teaching all this but it wasn’t evident based on what we saw in the games. I understand that players don’t always translate what you teach them in practice which is why I never said anything about coach Hart while he was here.

        1. Thanks. You’ve been pointed in your criticism of Sheridan and Hart, but it was the general stuff you hear from fans. Was trying to see if your insights were based on anything more detailed. I expect the RB coach to be named soon. I think you’re going to be happy with it.

          1. I expect to be happy with the RB coach that coach Allen brings in. Any insight as to who to look for coming in [ conference he is from, area of the country etc] or when we will find out?

  8. PO, I am with you as I only want IU to score enough points to beat every opponent and use our players abilities the right way. I agree about coach DeBoer and hope with a full season coach Sheridan improves doing the same thing with IU’s talent. I hope our new RB coaches teaches the RBs more that coach Hart seem to do.

  9. I’ve always thought Hart was a good RB coach. Being hired by Michigan confirms it. Although currently down, MI is still a premier destination for position coaches because they compensate coaches very well, so the money available from MI could lure all but a handful of RB coaches from across the country. MI didn’t hire Hart just because he is an alumni.

    And we should all know that there are a lot of reasons why we may not have seen IU’s backs doing everything we would expect them to do.

  10. It was recently announced that Michigan gave Hart a two-year contract that is paying him $415,000 in year one and $430,000 in year two, plus a signing bonus of $115,000. He was making a salary of $375,000 at IU. Not including the signing bonus, that’s an 10.67% increase. With the signing bonus, that’s a 41.3% increase year-over-year.

    I’m surprised Hart didn’t get more.

    1. It’s a pretty big bump to a higher level program that’s also his Alma mater and that has much more interest in the running game. Hart is an outstanding coach. Our issues are up front. I realize some fans want to point at the coaching, but we need to get better players. We just haven’t had the horses there.

  11. BD good coaches know that they must change their approach if their players aren’t good enough for what they are doing. I don’t buy that we don’t have the horses as they have the size and athletic ability to get the job done. Your comment about they use wide splits to create running lanes is an example. If your players can’t execute from wide splits don’t blame the players change your approach. IU has pulled in players good enough from quality programs that they should be good enough to have a decent running game. IU is pulling in OL players that other major teams are after so “don’t have the horses” doesn’t cut it any more. When IU used to only bring in players MAC teams pursued I could except they didn’t have the horses but IU still ran the ball decently against B1G teams so find another reason for IU to not run the ball effectively. Even us HS coaches change our offenses to take best advantages of our team’s athletes.

    1. V, if they can’t play in wider splits, it’s because they lack the athletic ability and footwork to do so, so that your argument really makes no sense. IU runs that because of the spread DeBord, DeBoer and Sheridan have all run. They do it to create running lanes in a pass first offense. It also spreads the D, especially the D line, which helps in pass pro. Surprised you aren’t able to see this, since you said you coached. As for recruits, you need to stop paying attention to stars and more to the type of kid they’re trying to bring on. They just haven’t had the horses so far. It’s why two of our starters and probably our two best linemen this year we’re first year guys who transferred in. The talent level up front has been very modest.

  12. BD, I already told you I came up in the wide splits creates running lanes concept but found out that narrow splits don’t stop you from running the ball. In fact it helped my teams drive DL off the ball even when we went up against superior defenses.

    Your issue is not that I don’t understand the concept of wide splits, I was DC on a team that won a state title running 5′ splits on the OL between G & T, I just think it works better to have small splits to run the ball. Small splits allow you to run counters and counter power sweeps that IU doesn’t try to run. The pros don’t run wide splits because DL players are too quick and big; maybe IU needs to change their philosophy since none of the teams the last 4 years were quality running teams in the B1G.

    I am not IU’s OC or HC so I don’t get to determine what they run. I just offer ideas on how to improve what they run.

    1. But you were never running a spread system, or going against one. That’s the difference, and that’s what IU has and will continue to run. Iowa and Wisconsin play a power game based on running the football first, so they narrow the splits. We don’t run that. We run a version of the spread. That’s why we split differently.

  13. The Philadelphia Eagles should really consider changing their name to the Philadelphia Cream Cheeses. Could run different versions of spreads….to concession stands. Wide splits would be reserved to bagels and cheerleaders. Beer and bagels …and spreads? Why the hell not?

    My favorite spread is simply putting some plain Philly cream cheese on a slice of toasted french bread (something with a nice crispy edge/crust)…I then put a few dabs of a good quality apricot jam atop the whole thing (Hero from Switzerland is my personal recommendation…though it can be hard to find on grocers shelves). Spread that fruit spread around a bit as well…thus achieving various spreads. Be careful not to jam up your spreads too much….This could cause too much running….off the edges before taking a bite.

  14. I did run the spread system focused on the pass as my career went along. I still used the narrow splits while having two RB gain over 1000 yards and my QB passing for nearly 2000 yds. I wondered if the splits would work in a spread and found out narrow splits give you a running game and help cutdown on the pass rush.

    I have to ask, what will happen fast – IU gains the horses they need or they can change their ideas and create a good running game to go with a very good passing game. It should be IU’s offenses coaches changing but I bet they try and wait on the horses.

    I think very good HS coaches are much better at adapting their offenses based on talent because we had no choice with no recruits to pull in. There have been college coaches that really changed the game because they worked to make the system fit their players – Darryl Royal at Texas [Emory Bellard actually put it in for Royal, Bill Walsh with the west coast offense while at Stanford, Air raid offense Hal Mumme and Mike Leach, Chris Ault at Nevada to name a few.

    If IU is stuck in this is what we do without looking at their players then IUFB will always be limited. I hope coach Sheridan is more innovative and can come up with a solution the offense is what is limiting IUFB right now.

    1. Wow, you’ve once mentioned that you ran a spread until now. Interested to know more about when and where you did that. Thanks.

      1. It started at Wayne HS when I had a very talented QB that was a tough runner. I only dabbled in the spread then but expanded on it at Tell City HS when I had a 6’4″ QB with talent, unfortunately the receiver talent was limited. I blossomed into full spread mode at Brebuef the year we lost all our OL to graduatinon and had just sophomores to go up against Cathedral, Roncalli, Bishop Chatard, and Ritter with limited athletic talent at that point.
        We were full blown spread running WR screens, tunnel screens RB screens, passes up the alley, short timing passes, etc. We still didn’t defeat many teams but we did give teams fits trying to stop our pass game. We developed a good running game as our OL gained experience and teams made changes to stop the pass. This was when not many ran spread offenses, still was rare in high schools.

        1. You ran a spread with two backs, each f whom rushed for 1,000 yards? What spread offense runs two backs? We’re they split or fullback / tailback? Did you play a TE or go 3 wide? Definitely a unique approach that no one else, college or pro, is running. Please share more. Thanks.

          1. Not two at once unless we were sending one into motion or moving one in as a slot. We were running many more things than IU offense is and the kids knew what to do. Like I said HS coaches have to adjust to their players if we want to win games.

  15. If you want to make it really sinful…First spread a bit of butter on the warm toasted slice of french bread. Then spread the cream cheese…Then add the few dabs of ‘Hero’ fruit spread and spread (optional) lightly across the top. The butter is a nice ‘option.’

    Apricot jam/spread is also a great additive for vinaigrette salad dressings. I’ll mix in a teaspoon or 1/2 teaspoon with just a bit of crushed garlic (1/2 clove). Just use a simple good quality vegetable oil and some red wine vinegar …Add a little salt and fresh ground pepper (not too much pepper). Gives you a nice sweet vinaigrette with a sort of rosy-peach color. If you want it just a tad sweeter than what the 1/2 teaspoon or teaspoon of apricot jam provides, add a pinch or two of granulated sugar. Whisk it thoroughly before serving….or keep it in a small bottle and shake well.

  16. Wow, it is obviously a slow news day for IU Sports.

    Maybe TA understood that it would be easier to sign quality QBs and receivers than it would be to sign superior O-linemen. Maybe he knew it would take years to build IU’s recruiting up to the point where he could win recruiting battles against MI, OSU, PSU, etc. for quality O-linemen. So strategically, maybe TA decided to do the opposite of what Wilson tried to do! Wilson’s IU teams had good running games. He recruited and developed good O-linemen. But under Wilson, IU literally could not score enough points to win enough games. If you believe it’s easier to sign game-changing QBs and receivers as compared to huge and athletically superior linemen, you shift your recruiting strategy to get the players you need to start winning immediately! Who cares if IU has a great running game as long as our QB completes 70% of his passes, protects the FB and the team has a good defense! If in fact that was TA’s strategy, it has worked well so far.

    In time, if IU continues to produce winning seasons, we’ll start seeing the quality of O-linemen IU signs improve. Getting the kid who transferred to IU from MI may be a sign that it’s already begun.

  17. Agree…Sure seems a lot of nitpicking is going on considering a #12 ranking and one win shy of an undefeated conference season. Did I just say that? Is Rod Serling in the house?

    If only our basketball team had a #12 ranking!…Man, I played right into that one for the supreme apologists crowd. Of course, our hoops team did go on the road to take down stun the #4 team in the nation two days ago…while our football team fell short against #4 OSU.

    Nonetheless, there are many accolades to ‘spread’ around for IU Football. And kudos to V13 for his steadfast belief the team was legit and turning things around.

  18. H4H, there has been lot of nit picking about a #12. However it feels so much better reading the replies about a team placing second in the B1G East to the second place team in the country. It is a shame COVID19 interrupted their run of outstanding play. We will see if the players are as hungry in 2021 but I think they will especially if Penix is healthy. We do know coach Allen is working on the weakness of the team and we can expect to see some changes in the run game come 2021.

    As I have said before 2021 is a very big season for IUFB and with our players working to change IUFB they need to win against the best once again this season. I do wonder about PSU changing OCs so quickly and bringing in so many transfers as it doesn’t reflect continuity. Michigan replacing a very good DC also brings in questions about the program. MSU is the threat as they showed they can step up but not be consistent so having a full off-season could make a big difference for them. Then OSU will have to replace a lot of players including replacing a top QB something IU will have to face when Penix leaves. Next year will bring many questions that some teams may answer and
    others may show real issues with their teams. I like IU chances and hope they can play their best in 2021 giving the fans another treat.

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