There is a youth movement under way for Indiana at the tight end position.
Four-year starter Peyton Hendershot hopes to hear his name called during the NFL Draft later this week Hendershot finished his career as the Hoosiers’ tight ends receptions (136) and yardage (1,479) leader.
The position seems likely to be featured prominently in new offensive coordinator Walt Bell’s system, and 6-foot-6 ad 251 pound junior A.J. Barner is widely expected to step into the starter’s role and become a weapon in the IU offense. Barner has appeared in 20 games with one start, and his 76-yard catch-and-run touchdown against Idaho flashed his potential as a big play threat. He finished 2021 with 14 catches for 162 yards and a TD.
Indiana isn’t experienced or deep behind Barner. A cast of first and second year players and walk-ons are pushing for early career playing time.
See also: Barner spring practice Q&A
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.
Below are our summaries of the rest of the offense so far, and the complete defense. Stay tuned for the running backs and quarterbacks.
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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