The first of what could be several decisions to return to the IU football program came on Tuesday morning from defensive end Mike Ziemba. Later on Tuesday, defensive back Raheem Layne and tight end Kham Taylor confirmed their returns as well.
Under the NCAA’s blanket decision to grant an extra year of eligibility to all fall athletes, Ziemba will return for a fifth season at IU.
He made the announcement on his Twitter page.
You heard the man. LEO 🤟🏼 pic.twitter.com/2ty4PVQexr
— Mike Ziemba (@Ziemba42) January 5, 2021
“Excited to have you back for the 2021 Season!!!,” head coach Tom Allen said in a retweet of Ziemba’s post.
Indiana’s 2020 Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree, Ziemba has played in 41 games during his four year IU career. He made his debut during a 2017 road game at Virginia.
For his career Ziemba has 54 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss, one sack and two fumble recoveries. He played mostly just on passing downs in 2020, but Ziemba had a breakout junior season in 2019, recording 33 tackles, 20 solo, 6.5 for loss with three quarterback hurries.
Ziemba was a tight end and linebacker at Lake Mary High School in the Orlando, Florida area where he was a teammate of former Hoosier and current Tennessee Titan Nick Westbrook.
Layne missed the entire 2020 season with an injury. Allen had hinted his return was likely during a December media availability. Layne made the decision official on Tuesday, and Allen responded.
— Coach Tom Allen (@CoachAllenIU) January 5, 2021
A major factor in punt and kickoff coverage, Layne was IU’s special teams player of the year in 2019. He posted 30 tackles, 28 solo, two for loss and three pass breakups in 2019. The Deland, Fla. product played in 12 games as a true freshman in 2017, starting once and earning the team’s defensive newcomer of the year.
Layne is the first ever Indiana player to wear jersey number zero.
UPDATE: Graduate transfer (South Alabama) tight end Kham Taylor also announced his return. The 6-foot-4 and 265 pound Taylor never saw the field in 2020 due to injury.
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.
Find us on Facebook: thedailyhoosier