Photo by Mike Schumann, The Daily Hoosier

IU football notebook: Friday night lights, Three to NFL Draft Combine, Feeney in portal

Indiana will open the 2022 football season on Friday evening, Sept. 2, against Illinois. It will mark the first Friday opener in Memorial Stadium history.  When announced last month, the game was slotted as a Saturday contest.  Illinois replaced Northwestern in that season-opening game.

The Hoosiers last kicked off a campaign on a Friday in 2005 at Central Michigan and last played on a Friday in 2018 at Minnesota.

The full 2022 schedule is below:

Sept. 2              Illinois
Sept. 10            Idaho
Sept. 17            Western Kentucky
Sept. 24            at Cincinnati
Oct. 1               at Nebraska
Oct. 8               Michigan
Oct. 15             Maryland
Oct. 22             at Rutgers
Oct. 29             Bye
Nov. 5              Penn State
Nov. 12             at Ohio State
Nov. 19             at Michigan State
Nov. 26             Purdue

Three former Hoosiers to NFL Draft Combine

IU will be represented by three former players at the NFL’s Scouting Combine in early March.

Linebacker Micah McFadden, tight end Peyton Hendershot, and wide receiver Ty Fryfogle all will trek to Indianapolis to perform in front of NFL executives and coaches in a few weeks.

McFadden finished his IU career with 14 sacks, 37 tackles for loss (T-6th in program history), and four interceptions. He owns 216 stops, 149 solo, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, three breakups, and 14 hurries in 45 games (31 starts).

Hendershot is IU’s career tight ends leader with 136 receptions and 1,479 yards. He ranks second with 14 touchdowns.  The North Salem, Ind., native led the Hoosiers in 2021 with 46 catches, 543 yards, and four TDs.

Fryfogle finished the season with 46 catches for 512 yards and one touchdown. The Lucedale, Miss., native closed out his career sixth on IU’s career receptions (158) and yardage (2,231) lists, and tied for 10th in receiving TDs (14).

All 32 NFL teams are invited to provide input on draft-eligible players which is used by the Player Selection Committee to select each year’s participants.

The Combine has been a mainstay of the NFL offseason dating back to 1982. It was moved permanently to Indianapolis in 1987.

In total more than 300 potential 2022 NFL Draft picks will be making the trek to Indianapolis in the first week of March for the Combine, which returns to action after being cancelled last year due to the pandemic.

National Champion Georgia is sending the most players to the Combine, with 14. Alabama and Oklahoma were next with 11 invitees each.

Feeney in the Transfer Portal

Offensive lineman Brady Feeney is in the transfer portal, he confirmed on Wednesday.

“After careful consideration, I have decided to enter the Transfer Portal,” Feeney wrote in Twitter.  “I’m grateful to Indiana University for the opportunity to grow and learn the past two years.  I look forward to the lessons and experiences the remainder of my career will bring me!”

A St. Louis, Mo. product, Feeney never appeared in a game in two seasons with the program.

Feeney became part of the national conversation in early August of 2020 when his mother shared his health challenges in a viral Facebook post.  According to his mother, Feeney dealt with heart and breathing issues after contracting the COVID-19 virus in Bloomington in July.

Many pointed to Feeney’s possible heart issues as a reason why college football should be canceled.  According to an ESPN report, the news of Feeney’s complications signaled the alarms regarding possible heart concerns at the conference and university leadership levels.

Feeney was seen back with the team in photos very soon after his mother’s Facebook post.  His return garnered very little media coverage.

For a complete list of former IU players who entered the portal during this offseason, GO HERE.

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