While there was plenty of blame to go around as it relates to IU’s dismal offensive performance in 2021, poor play by the line justifiably took on much of the finger pointing.
The spotlight will be on that group when Indiana’s 2022 season kicks off in early September, and they have head coach Tom Allen’s full attention right now.
“I’ve been really hard on this group throughout the whole offseason, in the weight room, in our workout sessions, team and agility runs, and all the things we’ve done with that group in just trying to develop more toughness there,” Allen said following a spring practice.
“Better execution is really the key. That to me is what it comes down to. We have to execute at a higher level and do a great job of creating run lanes for our running backs and also being able to give our quarterbacks time to throw and be effective.”
To complicate matters, Indiana must replace two starters. If the group is going to take a step forward this season under the direction of new offensive coordinator Walt Bell, a youth movement will be part of the story.
In addition to returning starters/key contributors Matthew Bedford, Luke Haggard, Mike Katic and Zach Carpenter, last week Allen cited younger players like Vinny Fiacable, Joshua Sales, and Khalil Benson as emerging guys up front to keep an eye on.
Leaving: Caleb Jones (eligibility), Dylan Powell (eligibility), Brady Feeney (transfer)
Key Returning: Chris Bradberry (redshirt senior+), Luke Haggard (senior+), Matthew Bedford (senior), Zach Carpenter (redshirt junior), Mike Katic (redshirt junior), Tim Weaver (redshirt junior), Kahlil Benson (redshirt sophomore), Luke Wiginton (redshirt sophomore), Randy Holtz (redshirt sophomore), Cameron Knight (redshirt sophomore), Vinny Fiacable (redshirt freshman), Joshua Sales (redshirt freshman).
Transfers In: Parker Hanna (West Texas A&M)
Incoming Freshmen: D.J. Moore (3-star), Carter Smith (3-star), Bray Lynch (3-star)
Below is our complete recap of who is coming, going and back on the defense.
Leaving: Ryder Anderson (Eligibility), Weston Kramer (Eligibility), Jonathan King (Transfer), Gavin McCabe (Transfer), Shamar Jones (Transfer), C.J. Person (Transfer)
Key Returning: James Head, Jr. (senior+), Demarcus Elliott (senior+), Sio Nofoagatoto’a (senior), Beau Robbins (redshirt junior), Cooper Jones (redshirt freshman)
Transfers In: JH Tevis (Cal, redshirt senior), Patrick Lucas (Ole Miss, redshirt junior), LeDarrius Cox (Ole Miss, redshirt junior)
Incoming Freshmen: Nick James (4-star), Richard Thomas (3-star), Venson Sneed (3-star), J’Mari Monette (3-star)
Position change: Caleb Murphy is focused on the offensive side of the football during the spring.
Leaving: Micah McFadden, LB (NFL Draft), Michael Ziemba, OLB (eligibility), Thomas Allen, LB (eligibility), Jaren Handy, OLB (dismissed), D.K. Bonhomme, OLB (transfer), James Miller, LB (transfer), Ty Wise, LB (transfer), Cameron Williams, LB (transfer)
Key Returning: Cam Jones, LB (senior+), Alfred Bryant, OLB (senior+), Aaron Casey, LB (senior)
Transfers In: Myles Jackson, OLB (UCLA, sophomore), Bradley Jennings, LB (Miami, senior+), Jared Casey, LB (Kentucky, sophomore)
Incoming Freshmen: Dasan McCullough, LB (4-star), Kaiden Turner, LB (3-star), Isaiah Jones, LB (3-star)
Leaving: Reese Taylor (transfer – Purdue), Larry Tracy III (transfer – Illinois State)
Key Returning: Tiawan Mullen (senior), Jaylin Williams (senior+), Lem Watley-Neeley (redshirt sophomore), Christopher Keys (redshirt freshman), Larry Smith (redshirt freshman)
Incoming Freshmen: Trevell Mullen (4-star freshman), James Monds III (3-star freshman), Jamari Sharpe (3-star freshman)
Position Change: Noah Pierre (senior) has moved to the husky position this spring.
SAFETIES AND HUSKIES
Leaving: Raheem Layne, S (eligibility), Marcelino Ball, H (eligibility) Juwan Burgess, S (transfer), Jordan Jusevitch, S (transfer), Ty Wise, H (transfer), Maurice Freeman, H (transfer).
Key Returning: Bryant Fitzgerald, S (redshirt senior+), Noah Pierre, H (redshirt senior+), Devon Matthews, S (senior+), Jonathan Haynes, S (senior+), Josh Sanguinetti, S (redshirt junior), Deland McCullough, S (redshirt junior), Bryson Bonds, S (junior), Jordan Grier, S/H (sophomore).
Incoming Freshmen: Phillip Dunnam (3-star freshman)
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