Indiana should have one of the best defensive backfields in the country in 2021.
That unit got a big boost on Tuesday when husky Marcelino Ball announced he is returning for the 2021 season.
Coach Tom Allen confirmed the news with a Twitter post.
So Fired Up to have Marcelino McCray-Ball back for the 2021 season. He has battled through adversity and he will come back stronger than ever!!! #LEO pic.twitter.com/KPZNc2j5le
— Coach Tom Allen (@CoachAllenIU) January 5, 2021
A four-year starter, Ball suffered a torn ACL during fall camp prior to what was to be his redshirt senior season. He started three games in 2017 prior to a season ending injury after being named to the ESPN and BTN All-Freshman team in 2016.
The 6-foot and 220 pound Ball totaled 47 tackles, including 29 solo, two sacks, and three for loss in 2019. He registered a team-high six quarterback hurries and two pass breakups. Ball finished 2019 fourth on the team in stops and solo tackles.
The Georgia product was named honorable-mention All-Big Ten by the coaches and media after the 2018 season.
His return means that IU will have six players in its defensive backfield who have received All-Big Ten recognition, joining Tiawan Mullen, Jamar Johnson, Devon Matthews, Reese Taylor and Jaylin Williams.
Ball graduated with a liberal studies degree in May 2020.
Although the 2021 season will be Ball’s sixth with the program, he will still only just turn 22 years old in March.
Ball is the fourth Hoosier to announce his plan to return, joining defensive end Mike Ziemba, defensive back Raheem Layne, and tight end Kham Taylor.
IU will be allowed one additional scholarship for the 2021 season for each player that decides to return for an extra year of eligibility.
To see all 13 of the Hoosiers eligible to return under the NCAA’s eligibility directive, GO HERE.
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