When wide receiver D.J. Matthews went down on the turf at Western Kentucky in September, in many ways, Indiana’s 2021 season took a dramatic turn at that same moment.
Matthews was Indiana’s primary playmaker, and without him for the remainder of the season, throwing windows became incredibly tight — an especially challenging factor as IU dipped further and further into the quarterback depth chart as the season progressed.
If he can return to his pre-injury form, Matthews should provide a boost to the offense.
But who will step up and join him as IU’s primary pass-catching targets? Indiana has two promising transfers in Emery Simmons and Cam Camper, and they’ll need a couple of young players to emerge after the departure of Ty Fryfogle and a wave of transfers wiped out much of IU’s experience on the depth chart.
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.), Andison Coby (Tennessee)
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).
Below are our summaries of the offensive line and the complete defense. Stay tuned for the tight ends, running backs and quarterbacks.
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)
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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