Photo by Mike Schumann / The Daily Hoosier

IU Football: A Position-by-Position Look at Who is Returning in 2020

With a successful 2019 season in the books, it is time to look forward.  Below is a position-by-position review of who is coming and going with the Indiana football program for the 2020 season.  We will leave this under our football drop-down menu and update it as any changes occur.

See also:

(Eligibility status shown below in parenthetical is for 2020 season)

QUARTERBACKS:  (UPDATED) It appears that there will be no quarterback competition going into the 2020 season after all.  Peyton Ramsey has entered his name into the transfer portal, leaving Michael Penix as the clear starter and Jack Tuttle as the backup.  Penix would have entered fall camp as the returning starter even with Ramsey in the mix.  Tuttle is unproven but appears to have all of the skills needed to play at this level.

Leaving:  Peyton Ramsey (redshirt senior) is in the NCAA transfer portal.  He could decide to stay at Indiana.

Key Returning:  Michael Penix (redshirt sophomore), and Jack Tuttle (redshirt sophomore) will return in 2020.

Noteworthy Freshman:  Dexter Williams will join the program as a three-star recruit from Georgia.  Barring major developments, Williams should redshirt in 2020.

RUNNING BACKS (UPDATED)Should be a position of strength in 2020 with the top two contributors slated to return along with a talented freshman coming in.  Stevie Scott should be the clear starter, but with a year under his belt Sampson James will look to take on a more prominent role.  The Hoosiers don’t have a great deal of depth at the position after a couple transfers.

Leaving:  None.  Cole Gest was a midseason transfer.  Ronnie Walker entered the transfer portal in February.

Key Returning:  Stevie Scott (junior), Sampson James (sophomore), and Ahrod Lloyd (redshirt junior) are all back as it stands right now.

Noteworthy Freshman:  Tim Baldwin is a highly rated recruit in the class of 2020, and it will be interesting to watch the progression of Indiana Mr. Football and IU walk-on Charlie Spegal.

WIDE RECEIVERS:  IU will have big losses in Nick Westbrook and Donavan Hale.  Nevertheless, headlined by the return of Whop Philyor, the Hoosiers have a lot of returning young talent that should continue to make wide receiver a position of strength in 2020.

Leaving:  Nick Westbrook (Eligibility), Donavan Hale (Eligiblity)

Key Returning:  Whop Philyor (senior), Ty Fryfogle (senior), Miles Marshall (redshirt sophomore), Jacolby Hewitt (redshirt sophomore), David Ellis (sophomore), Da’Shaun Brown (redshirt freshman), Jordan Jakes (redshirt freshman)

Noteworthy Freshman:  Rashawn Williams should be an immediate impact true freshman.  He is IU’s highest rated recruit in the 2020 class.

Photo via Lansing State Journal

TIGHT ENDS:  Peyton Hendershot broke the IU single season receiving yards record for a tight end in 2019 and will look to continue to make strides under a new offensive coordinator.  As a position group Indiana will be as deep and talented at tight end as they have been in a few years.

Leaving:  None.

Key returning:  Peyton Hendershot (redshirt junior), Matt Bjorson (junior), T.J. Ivy (redshirt sophomore), Gary Cooper (redshirt freshman)

OFFENSIVE LINE:  It is a mixed bag up front as the Hoosiers suffer critical losses on the interior, return anchors on the edge, gain a key graduate transfer, and enter the offseason with one major question mark.

Leaving:  Simon Stepaniak (Eligibility), Hunter Littlejohn (Eligibility), Davondre Love (Eligibility), Coy Cronk (Transfer)

Key returning:  Harry Crider (G, senior), Caleb Jones (T, redshirt junior), Matthew Bedford (T, sophomore), Mackenzie Nworah (G, redshirt senior), Britt Beery (redshirt junior), Charlie O’Connor (redshirt sophomore), Aidan Rafferty (redshirt sophomore), Nick Marozas (redshirt sophomore), Mike Katic (redshirt freshman), Tim Weaver (redshirt freshman)

Graduate Transfer:  Dylan Powell comes to Indiana from Stanford.  He missed the 2019 season with an injury but started some in 2018 for the Cardinal.

DEFENSIVE LINE:  The Hoosiers lose some key veterans in the trenches but have a deep and experienced core ready to go.  This is a unit that could emerge in 2020 after being a question mark in 2019.

Leaving:  Gavin Everett (Eligibility), Allen Stallings (Eligibility)

Key Returning:  Jerome Johnson (redshirt senior), Michael Ziemba (senior), Demarcus Elliott (junior), James Head (junior), Alfred Bryant (redshirt junior), Tramar Reece (redshirt junior), Jonathan King (redshirt sophomore), Madison Norris (redshirt sophomore), Gavin McCabe (redshirt sophomore), Sio Nofoagatoto’a (sophomore), Shamar Jones, (redshirt sophomore), Beau Robbins (redshirt freshman), C.J. Person (redshirt freshman), Jeramy Passmore (redshirt freshman), Antoine Whitner (redshirt freshman)

Noteworthy freshman:  Damarjhe Lewis is a highly regarded recruit out of Georgia.

LINEBACKERS:  The Hoosiers lose a veteran team leader but have a lot returning talent and speed in 2020.

Leaving:  Reakwon Jones (Eligibility)

Key Returning:  Micah McFadden (junior), Cam Jones (junior), Thomas Allen (redshirt junior), James Miller (redshirt sophomore), D.K. Bonhomme (sophomore), Aaron Casey (redshirt sophomore), Cam Williams (redshirt freshman)

Image result for micah mcfadden
Photo Credit – IU Athletics

HUSKY: Indiana should be solid once again at its hybrid linebacker/safety position.

Leaving:  None

Key Returning:  Marcelino Ball (redshirt senior), Jamar Johnson (junior)

CORNERBACKS:  The Hoosiers need to build depth at the position, but the returning group is experienced and talented and should make developmental strides going into the 2020 season.

Leaving:  Andre Brown, Jr. (Eligibility), A’Shon Riggins (mid-season / Eligibility)

Key Returning:  Raheem Layne (senior), Reese Taylor (junior), Tiawan Mullen (sophomore), Jaylin Williams (junior) Larry Tracy III (redshirt freshman)

SAFETY:  Khalil Bryant stepped up in a big way during his senior year, but the Hoosiers return a trio of talented and experienced safeties.

Leaving:  Khalil Bryant (Eligibility)

Key Returning:  Devon Matthews (junior), Bryant Fitzgerald (redshirt junior), Juwan Burgess (redshirt junior), Jordan Jusevitch (redshirt sophomore), Noah Pierre (redshirt sophomore), Josh Sanguinetti (redshirt freshman)


Leaving:  Logan Justus (K/Eligibility)

Key Returning:  Charles Campbell (redshirt sophomore/placekicker), Nathanael Snyder/Jared Smolar (redshirt seniors/kickoffs), Haydon Whitehead (sixth year/P,H), Sean Wracher (sophomore, LS), David Ellis (KR), Reese Taylor / Whop Philyor (PR)


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