Change is the constant in this new era of college athletics, and that is evident in the running backs room where the top three on the depth chart at this time last year are all gone, along with just about everyone who saw significant playing time in 2021.
Out of 303 total rushing attempts by a running back in 2021, players accounting for 264 are no longer with the program. No one with more than 20 carries returns.
But the change moves in both directions, and Indiana hopes it has found answers in Auburn transfer Shaun Shivers, and North Carolina transfer Josh Henderson.
Shivers (pictured above) seems like the choice to pencil in as starter right now. He is only 5-foot-7 and 190 pounds, but he has elite speed, is very strong, and has a low center of gravity. He appeared in 43 games (9 starts) at Auburn. He compiled 1,020 rushing yards on 201 attempts (5.1 average) with eight touchdowns.
Henderson rushed for 209 yards on 41 carries in three seasons at UNC. He averaged 5.1 yards per carry as well.
The Hoosiers also have a pair of second-year backs in David Holloman and Trent Howland who could have breakout seasons, with Holloman providing speed and Howland adding size and physicality.
Versatile senior David Ellis will look to get through a season healthy, and likely serve in a third-down role. True freshman Jaylin Lucas appears to have a similar skillset as Ellis and showed a lot of promise in the spring.
See also: Shivers and Henderson spring practice Q&A
Leaving: Stephen Carr (eligibility), Sampson James (transfer portal), Tim Baldwin, Jr. (transfer portal), Chris Childers (transfer portal), Davion Ervin-Poindexter (transfer portal).
Key Returning: David Ellis (senior), Trent Howland (redshirt freshman), David Holloman (redshirt freshman), Charlie Spegal (redshirt sophomore/walk-on)
Transfers In: Shaun Shivers (Auburn, senior+), Josh Henderson (North Carolina, senior)
Incoming Freshmen: Jaylin Lucas (3-star)
Below are our summaries of the rest of the offense so far, and the complete defense. Stay tuned for the quarterbacks.
Leaving: Peyton Hendershot (NFL Draft), Matt Bjorson (transfer portal), Kham Taylor (transfer portal).
Key Returning: A.J. Barner (junior), Aaron Steinfeldt (redshirt freshman).
Transfers In: None.
Incoming Freshmen: Ryan Miller (3-star), Brody Foley (3-star).
Note: Four walk-ons (Ryan Barnes, Trey Walker, James Bomba, and Sam Daugstrup) are also in the mix for playing time.
Leaving: Ty Fryfogle (eligibility), Miles Marshall (transfer), Camron Buckley (transfer), Jacolby Hewitt (transfer), Da’Shaun Brown (transfer), Jordyn Williams (transfer).
Key Returning: D.J. Matthews (Senior+), Javon Swinton (junior), David Baker (redshirt sophomore), Malachi Holt-Bennett (sophomore), Jaquez Smith (redshirt sophomore).
Transfers In: Emery Simmons (North Carolina), Cam Camper (Trinity Valley C.C.).
Incoming Freshmen: Omar Cooper, Jr. (4-star), Kamryn Perry (3-star).
Keep an eye on: David Ellis (senior RB with WR skills) and Jaylin Lucas (freshman RB with WR skills).
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)
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), Larry Smith (transfer portal).
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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