No position group on Indiana football’s roster may have seen more notable turnover this offseason than defensive line.
With James Head Jr., Demarcus Elliott, JH Tevis, Sio Nofoagatoto’a and Beau Robbins all gone, IU lost its five primary linemen.
So new faces will step into those spots this year. Of Indiana’s nine returning defensive linemen, only four recorded a tackle in 2022.
The Hoosiers clearly set out to address this position group in the transfer portal by bringing in three players in senior Philip Blidi, redshirt sophomore Marcus Burris, and fifth-year senior Andre Carter.
Carter was a second-team All-MAC selection last year at Western Michigan, with 68 tackles, including a team-high 13.5 for loss, and seven sacks. He comes in with more on-field experience and success than both Blidi and Burris.
Redshirt seniors LeDarrius Cox and Patrick Lucas Jr. are also candidates to step into larger roles in the fall. Both played in all 12 games last season. Lucas finished with 17 tackles, and Cox made nine. Each assisted on a tackle for loss.
When asked, after a spring practice, which defensive linemen give him the toughest battles, offensive lineman Mike Katic praised Lucas, Cox, Carter, and redshirt freshman Nick James, in particular.
Paul Randolph’s group, as a whole, is young. But there’s potential nonetheless.
Leaving: James Head Jr. (out of eligibility), Richard Thomas (transfer — Florida Atlantic), Sio Nofoagatoto’a (transfer), JH Tevis (graduated), Demarcus Elliott (out of eligibility), Beau Robbins (graduated)
Key Returning: Patrick Lucas Jr. (redshirt senior), LeDarrius Cox (redshirt senior), Venson Sneed Jr. (redshirt freshman), J’Mari Monette (redshirt freshman), Nick James (redshirt freshman)
Incoming: Ta’Derius Collins (3-star, Shreveport, La.), Philip Blidi (transfer — Texas Tech), Marcus Burris (transfer, Texas A&M), Andre Carter (transfer — Western Michigan)
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